MacBook Air and 13" Retina MacBook Pro shipping times have slipped on the Apple Online Store from "in stock" to "1 business day" ahead of Apple's upcoming "Spring Forward" media event on Monday. Earlier this week, we reported that a MacBook Air refresh with the latest Intel Broadwell processors and Intel HD 6000 graphics appears imminent, and it is plausible that Apple also updates the MacBook Pro with similar hardware.
The shipping dates have slipped across North America, with the Apple Online Store in the United States, Canada and Mexico showing the longer "1 business day" estimate. A spot check of the United Kingdom and Australia online storefronts still shows regular shipping times. In-store availability of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in the also appears unaffected in the United States based on Apple Stores in New York and California.
Intel's Broadwell processors are available for all MacBook Air models and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, although more powerful chips for the 15-inch MacBook Pro are not expected until later this year. Nevertheless, Apple may choose to focus its March 9 media event solely on the Apple Watch and could hold off on refreshing its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups until a later date.
Wednesday March 4, 2015 10:55 am PST by Juli Clover
Apple's MacBook Air hasn't been updated since last April, which means the company's line of ultraportable notebooks is due for a refresh. New screenshots from the forums of Chinese site Feng.com suggest an update is imminent, depicting the specifications of a MacBook Air with one of Intel's Broadwell processors. According to the user who posted the screenshots, they're from a 2015 MacBook Air that was produced by Foxconn.
The screenshots show the system information for a low-end 13-inch MacBook Air (MacBookAir7,2) with an Intel Core 1.6GHz i5-5250U processor and Intel HD Graphics 6000, which is what we would expect to see. The machine ships with 4GB of RAM and continues to use a display with a resolution of 1440 x 900. The battery appears to be very similar to the battery in the existing 13-inch MacBook Air.
The notebook is running a custom version of OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 with a build number of 14C2043, another marker we would expect to find in a new machine. The serial number provided is not registered with Apple and comes up as invalid, but that may be due to its unreleased status. There is no information within the screenshots that indicates the information has been faked, but there's also no concrete detail that earmarks them as real, either, aside from the fact that they closely align with what we would expect to see in the next MacBook Air refresh.
A chart suggests that the 13-inch MacBook will come in three iterations. The first two will use the 1.6GHz Core-i5 processor and will ship with either 128 or 256GB of storage. The higher-end model will use the Intel Core i7-5650U 2.2GHz chip and will ship with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage. There will be a variety of upgrade options as well.
There is no information available on the 11-inch MacBook Air, but it will use the same Broadwell chips and will offer many of the same upgrade options.
As for when the MacBook Air refresh will come, that's unknown. It appears the machines are ready to go, so it's very possible that Apple will announce the refresh during its upcoming March 9 event. Rumors initially suggested the MacBook Air might be quietly updated on February 24, but that date came and went, leaving a potential refresh date up in the air.
Apple's March 9 event is said to be focused on the Apple Watch, but it's possible the company will use the time to unveil other products as well. Rumors have suggested the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air may also make an appearance at the event, and there's a possibility Apple could unveil all three machines at the same time.
As with the MacBook Pro, it's likely the 12-inch Retina MacBook Air will initially be sold alongside existing MacBook Air machines due to differences in price. Over time, the Retina MacBook Air may replace the existing MacBook Air, just as the Retina MacBook Pro replaced the standard MacBook Pro.
The website, citing sources from the Czech reseller network, states the update will come with no fanfare or keynote presentation, unsurprising considering a lack of major changes for the lineup. The company also won't discuss the long-rumored ultra-slim MacBook Air around the launch of the new refresh, hoping the "quiet" update tides users over until later in the year.
If true, the focus on the fact that the update would be "minor" points to only slight bumps in areas like storage and processing power, with Apple choosing from 2.2GHz Core i5-5250U, 1.8GHz Core i5 chip, and 2GHz Core i7 processors, while keeping the well-known 11- and 13-inch form factors of current MacBook Airs. Intel launched the new Broadwell processors appropriate for the current MacBook Air lineup last month.
Reports of the 12-inch MacBook Air have been swirling for over a year now, but the product missed the originally rumored timeframe of a 2014 launch. Rumored to be in mass production since last month and with claimed part leaks beginning to surface, the Retina MacBook Air is reported to launch sometime in the second quarter of 2015.
Saturday January 24, 2015 4:31 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Apple will begin shipping the Apple Watch in March and will also look to launch its new 12-inch MacBook Air during this quarter, according to a new report by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The analyst also predicted that iPhone shipments would beat expectations for Q1 2015 with over 61 million units shipped, while iPad shipments are expected to total to 10 million units.
Kuo notes that Apple may reveal more details about the Apple Watch before its official launch, revealing specifics on battery life and the start of pre-orders. Most components of the Apple Watch will see high shipments during the quarter, but other key components are expected to see low production yields which may cause a constrained supply. Kuo predicts that Apple will ship 2.8 million Apple Watch units in Q1 2015, and his estimate for a March launch falls in line with previous reports.
Kuo's estimate for a Q1 2015 launch of the new 12-inch MacBook Air falls in line with a report earlier this month which stated that Apple supplier Quanta Computer was ramping up production of the notebook for a release this quarter. The 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to feature a new ultra-thin, fan-less design with a high resolution Retina display and a low-power Intel Core M processor. The notebook is also said to be one of the first to take advantage of the new reversible USB Type C connector, which may also be used for charging.
Friday January 9, 2015 7:19 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
U.S. District Judge William Alsup this week dismissed a lawsuit filed against Apple over allegedly defective Apple notebooks, reports Reuters. Filed on behalf of Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles with class action status, the suit accused Apple of deliberately selling notebooks with logic boards the company knew were faulty.
The plaintiffs claim Apple in May 2010 stated selling defective MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air notebooks with logic boards that failed within two years. Apple was accused of misrepresenting the faulty notebooks by advertising them as "state of the art" and the "most advanced" notebooks on the market. According to the suit, Tim Cook allegedly was made aware of the logic board issue in 2011 but did nothing to remedy the issue.
In his dismissal of the suit, Alsup said the plaintiffs failed to show that Apple's notebooks were of a substandard quality, noting that both plaintiffs were able to use their computers for a reasonable amount of time.
"Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."
Alsup also refuted the plaintiffs' claim that Apple misrepresented its products. Following this dismissal, the plaintiffs have until January 22 to amend their lawsuit.
Apple is facing another MacBook-related lawsuit that accuses the company of selling MacBook Pro models with defective graphics cards. This second suit is the result of a growing number of consumer complaints citing screen glitches, GPU failures, and system crashes in Apple's 2011 line of MacBook Pro notebooks.
Intel today announced the launch of a full set of "Broadwell-U" processors, opening the door for updated versions of Apple's MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The chip launch is essentially in line with a leaked timeline from last July that also pegs the release of more powerful Broadwell chips appropriate for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro as late as July or August of this year.
As outlined by AnandTech, the new Broadwell-U chips include a set of four 28-watt chips ranging from 2.5 GHz to 3.1 GHz in base frequency and featuring new Iris 6100 integrated graphics. The Core i5-5257U, Core i5-5287U, and Core i7-5557U chips appear to allow for direct upgrades from the Haswell-U chips currently used in the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. While the new chips include only a 100 MHz CPU speed increase over their Haswell counterparts, a number of other improvements, especially with regard to graphics, should make for significantly improved performance.
Broadwell-U chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (top) and MacBook Air (bottom)
On the MacBook Air front, Intel is offering four different 15-watt Broadwell-U chips that would be appropriate for the lineup, with all of the new chips carrying improved HD 6000 graphics. Base clock speeds range from 1.6 GHz to 2.2 GHz compared to the 1.4 GHz and 1.7 GHz options available in the current MacBook Air, and associated upgrades in Broadwell should yield significant performance improvements for the new chips.
Looking at potential release dates for Apple's Broadwell systems, Intel tells AnandTech that the new Broadwell-U chips are already shipping to vendors, with the first systems based on the new chips expected by the end of the month. Systems based on chips using Iris graphics may be more toward the end of the current quarter.
Monday November 17, 2014 7:45 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
Microsoft yesterday launched the latest in its series of ads comparing the Surface Pro 3 to Apple's MacBook Air. The new ad, entitled "Winter Wonderland", compares and contrasts the two machines to the jingle of the Christmas melody.
The ad's predominant assessment of the Surface Pro 3 is how powerful the device is in comparison to the MacBook Air, offering similar performance while also supporting pen input. Microsoft also highlights the use of the Surface Pro 3's kickstand and touch screen as major advantages over the MacBook line, as the Microsoft user in the ad goes about using the Surface to design a Christmas-themed coffee mug. Finally, the ad highlights the Surface Pro 3's ability to detach from its magnetic keyboard for easy travel and its robust array of ancillary ports, such as its USB port. "I think I like your Surface Pro 3," the MacBook Air user states at the ad's end. "No seriously, where can I get one?"
Since the Surface Pro 3 was announced this past May, Microsoft has released several ads comparing the device to Apple's line of MacBooks. Back in August, the company released a series of ads sizing up the MacBook Air with the Surface Pro 3 for the first time, most likely for the then-impending back-to-school rush. Microsoft has also pitted the MacBook Air against Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro in another ad released earlier this month.
All of the ads unsurprisingly position the Microsoft product as offering more versatility and a wider array of functionality compared to the MacBook Air. None of this is new, of course, as Apple and its products have long been popular targets in ads from a number of competitors including Microsoft, which has in the past compared its Cortana virtual assistant to Siri and the Surface RT to the iPad.
Thursday November 6, 2014 9:49 am PST by Eric Slivka
Other World Computing today announced the launch of new 1 TB (960 GB) solid state drive options for 2010-2012 models of the MacBook Air.
Priced at $549 for the drive alone or $579 for a package including tools and an Envoy enclosure to repurpose the original drive for external storage, the new 1 TB option complements existing 120, 240, and 480 GB options for the various MacBook Air generations.
With Apple's move to PCIe-based SSDs beginning with the 2013 MacBook Air, OWC has yet to launch new SSD upgrade kits for the latest notebooks, but the company has promised it is hard at work on kits for these machines.
The first batch of Core M chips launched in early September consisted of the 5Y10/5Y10a running at a base frequency of 800 MHz with a maximum of 2 GHz turbo, along with the more powerful 5Y70 running at 1.1 GHz with a max turbo of 2.6 GHz. But as pointed out by CPU World, Intel now appears to have quietly added several new processor options to the Core M family. Internal roadmaps had targeted an early 2015 launch for these chips, but Intel's chip database shows the new chips as having launched this quarter.
The new chips, which we understand Apple has indeed been testing with the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air, include a new high-end 5Y71 chip running at 1.2 GHz with a max turbo of 2.9 GHz, two new mid-range chips arriving as 5Y51 and 5Y31, and a new low-end 5Y10c variant. As noted by CPU World, all of the new chips offer faster graphics than the initial batch of Core M chips, with base graphics frequencies moving from 100 MHz to 300 MHz across the board and turbo frequencies in some cases rising slightly to as high as 900 MHz.
Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro is the first PC to take advantage of the first batch of Broadwell Core M chips, and performance has been lackluster. It is unclear, however, whether the issues are due more to Core M's limitations for the sake of power efficiency or to Lenovo's design decisions. Still, the new second batch of Core M chips appears to mark a significant step forward from the earlier versions while maintaining the same low power draw.
The launch timing of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air remains up in the air, with one rumor pointing to a likely mid-2015 launch. But with Intel moving forward on its Broadwell Core M chip lineup and perhaps accelerating its launch plans for those chips, it will be interesting to see if Apple looks to launch the new, thinner MacBook Air earlier in the year.
Tuesday October 14, 2014 10:22 pm PDT by Husain Sumra
Just about a day before Apple's October 16 media event, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report, saying that he expects supplies of iPad Air 2s to be constrained. His report also suggests that the 27-inch Retina Display iMac will have shipments begin before the end of the year and reiterates that the new iPad minis won't be a significant upgrade.
Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 of 7- 9mn units, lower than the 12mn units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013. We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don’t expect the event to boost supply chain shares much.
Kuo goes on to once again suggest that a significant update to the iPad mini isn't likely due to the iPad Air's larger "contribution to Apple's sales and earnings" and that iPad mini is seeing limited development resources because Apple is working on a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad.
The 27-inch Retina Display iMac is likely to begin shipments before the end of 2014, with the 21-inch Retina Display arriving sometime in the second half of 2015. The delay between the two models, Kuo suggests, is because of how difficult it is to develop two different sized high resolution panels at the same time.
Finally, Kuo corroborates reports that new MacBook models will not make an appearance at the October 16 event as Apple is waiting on Intel's Broadwell chips before significantly upgrading its laptop line. This includes the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air.
Apple is holding its press event this Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM PT on its Cupertino campus. Besides new iPads and iMacs, Apple is also expected to announce the public launch date for OS X Yosemite. MacRumors will provide live coverage of the event.
Monday October 13, 2014 9:58 am PDT by Eric Slivka
With rumors of a new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air circulating in recent months and the latest reports suggesting small-scale production has already begun, many have been wondering about Apple's plans for introducing the product. According to a new report from Re/code, the Retina MacBook Air will not be unveiled at this Thursday's media event.
Apple may well have a new MacBook Air with Retina Display in the pipeline, but it’s not going to unveil it this week. Sources familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that the company’s latest reimagining of the ultralight laptop won’t be shown off at its Thursday event.
In line with previous rumors, the report claims Thursday's event will focus on new iPads, Retina iMacs, and OS X Yosemite. One source has also claimed updated Mac minis could appear at the event, but there has been little additional chatter about the possibility.
Apple's media event kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday, and MacRumors will have full live coverage of the proceedings. There are likely to be additional leaks and rumors in the final lead-up to the event, so stay tuned as Apple prepares to finalize its product lineup for the holiday shopping season.
Wednesday October 8, 2014 1:35 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Quanta Computer has begun production on Apple's ultra-slim 12-inch MacBook and will look to ramp up its efforts beginning November, reportsDigitimes. Despite these newest efforts however, the report also states that the notebook will not be ready in time for this holiday season.
Since initial production of 12-inch MacBook Air has not yet reached a satisfactory yield rate, component makers and Quanta are making efforts to hike yield rates for the time being, the sources said. As initial production is in limited volumes, 12-inch MacBook Air may not be able to hit the store shelves in time for Christmas, the sources indicated.
Specifically, component makers are reportedly having issues with the new MacBook Air's ultrathin chassis, which is said to be slimmer than the current 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air. The supply chain sources also add that the 12-inch MacBook Air will come with a touch-enabled Retina display.
Rumors of an ultra-slim 12-inch MacBook from Apple have gained traction throughout the past few months, as reports from Jack March last month indicated that the notebook would launch in multiple color options and feature fanless internals. A fanless machine would also suggest that the machine would adopt an ultra low-power processor, such as the Broadwell-Y Core M processors recently announced by Intel.
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