Archive of MacBook Air Rumors

macbook_air_chassisFollowing a previous report claiming Apple's much-rumored 12" ultra-slim notebook is planned to arrive in silver, gold, and space gray color options, Jack March has issued a follow-up report sharing additional details on the machine.

According to March's report, which MacRumors believes to be based on legitimate information, the new notebook has a much thinner design that appears to sacrifice many of the usual ports seen on Apple's current notebooks and may adopt the new reversible USB Type C connector that has seen its specifications recently finalized.
A source familiar with Apple’s plans describes the 12 inch Macbook Air as having a noticeably thinner design, the source wouldn’t give dimensions however noted that the thinner design may sacrifice the standard USB port and Apple will move to the reversible USB Type C with this product, It is assumed Apple will include an adapter in the box for backwards compatibility.
Interestingly, the report raises some questions about charging on the notebook, indicating that the usual MagSafe port has been removed in favor of a new, unspecified charging method.

In line with previous rumors, the machine is reportedly fanless, suggesting it will adopt an ultra low-power processor such as the Broadwell-Y Core M processors recently announced by Intel. The body of the new notebook is also said to be narrower than the current MacBook Air, with narrower display bezels and a keyboard stretching right to the edges of the machine. Finally, the speakers are said to be located above the keyboard with visible grilles, unlike the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro that have their speakers located underneath the keyboard.

Apple's 12-inch notebook has been rumored for some time, with the launch perhaps being pushed back due to multiple delays for Intel's Broadwell chips. March's previous report indicated Apple appears to be currently looking toward a mid-2015 launch.

(Image: Chassis of current MacBook Air)
With Apple's Mac notebooks continuing to prove popular with consumers, the company has been rumored for some time to be working on a 12-inch notebook that could feature an ultra-slim form factor, Retina display, a new buttonless trackpad, and a fanless design. Rumors of such a machine have surfaced from several sources over the course of the past year, suggesting Apple has indeed been working on the device.

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While such a machine has yet to debut despite early rumors of a mid-2014 launch, perhaps due to continued delays with Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips, a new report from Jack March of A Tech Website claims the machine remains in the works. According to the report, Apple appears to be targeting a mid-2015 launch for the machine and, most interestingly, the company is said be planning to offer it in the same silver, gold, and space gray colors used on its iPhone lineup.
The most fascinating part of this report is that Apple is also planning to change the colours for the first time with an Aluminium MacBook, the source says that Apple is planning to add Space Grey and Gold colours to their MacBook lineup, which would be consistent with the colours on the iPhone 6.
While the claim of multiple color options for this new notebook appears outlandish, MacRumors has reason to believe this information is correct and that Apple has at least considered launching the 12" notebook with several different "special edition" color options.

The report notes that timing for release of the new notebook has shifted several times as Apple has continued development, with that uncertainty also reflected in a recent report from Digitimes pegging the timeframe at a wide open "end of 2014 or in 2015."
Apple will launch a thinner MacBook near the end of this year or sometime next year, according to a new report from Digitimes. Citing supply chain sources in Taiwan, the report notes that component production has already begun in small volumes. Apple will also reportedly cease production of the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro by the end of 2014.

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A report last month claimed that Intel's continued delays of its Broadwell chip may cause Apple to push back the release of its 12-inch MacBook until late this 2014 or early 2015. The 12-inch MacBook is said to include a Retina display and may either be a successor to the MacBook Air or join Apple's current 11-inch and 13-inch models.

A previous report in June stated that Apple would begin production of a 12-inch MacBook Air in the third quarter of this year, with Quanta Computer in charge of assembly. The 12-inch MacBook Air was also described as appearing similar to the 11-inch and 13-inch models, but featuring a Retina display and internal changes to various components.

Other reports throughout the year have also shared information on a 12-inch MacBook Air, with NPD DisplaySearch and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also stating that the new notebook would feature a Retina display. A user on a Chinese forum who previously shared accurate information noted that the 12-inch MacBook Air would incorporate a new cooling system and button-less trackpad design.

If Apple is indeed looking to launch a new MacBook late this year or early next year, the company may unveil the notebook at an October event following the introduction of the iPhone 6 in September.
Microsoft today launched three new ads targeting Apple's MacBook Air and comparing the notebook to its new Surface Pro 3 tablet. All three commercials emphasize the Surface Pro 3's touchscreen multitasking features and expandable hardware, with each showing how the MacBook Air lacks similar functionality. The ads also end with the tagline "The tablet that can replace your laptop."


The first spot is titled "Crowded" and focuses on two narrators and how the Surface Pro 3 is a tablet and a laptop. When told about the Surface Pro 3 by the first narrator, the second claims that the tablet doesn't have the power of the MacBook Air's Intel i5 processor. The first narrator states that the Surface Pro 3 does have an equal processor, and shows off Microsoft Office, Photoshop, pen support and its touchscreen. The second narrator counters with showing off his own touchscreen (an iPad), and exclaims "I have a lot of stuff to carry." The ad ends with the first narrator saying "You are more powerful than you think", referencing Apple's recent "Powerful" ads for the iPhone 5s.


The second ad, named "Head to Head", features a direct comparison between the two, drawing a parallel between the 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM on each device. However, Microsoft once again emphasizes the Surface Pro 3's touchscreen, pen support and detachable keyboard, while the MacBook Air is shown to have none of those features.


The third ad "Power" starts off with a Mac user curious about a full version of Adobe Photoshop running on the Surface Pro 3, once again demonstrating the device's laptop and tablet capabilities. The narrator claims that the Surface Pro 3 is just as fast as the Mac, boasting a touchscreen with a kickstand along with a Mini DisplayPort and a USB port. The ad ends when the Mac user states "So you're saying it does more than my Mac?", and the Surface Pro 3 user going "Well, technically you said it."

Microsoft originally announced the Surface Pro 3 this past May, and also launched a program offering MacBook Air owners $650 to trade in their laptop towards the Surface Pro 3. In prior years, Microsoft has also released ads poking fun of the iPad and comparing it to the Surface.
Apple has launched a new television ad for the MacBook Air, "Stickers," showing off an array of customizable decals placed over the Apple symbol on the back of the notebook.

Decals shown include various sunglasses, hats, and headphones, along with nods to Breaking Bad, Peanuts, Ice Age, Snow White, Pac Man, Chi the Cat, The Simpsons, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Tasmanian Devil, Hello Kitty, Catwoman, and Mickey Mouse.

There are also cameras, record players, trees, faces, cityscapes, planets, scuba divers, 8-bit games, a variety of abstract designs and patterns, and more, plus a Beats logo. The new spot ends with a side view of the MacBook Air and the tagline "The notebook people love." Apple has also posted a "Stickers" page on its website detailing some of the decals in the video.

A celebration of all the many ways people love the MacBook Air, featuring music from artist/producer, Hudson Mohawke.
Apple's MacBook Air, last refreshed in April of 2014, is known for its portability and ultrathin size, weighing in at 2.38 pounds for the 11-inch model and 2.96 pounds for the 13-inch model. The MacBook Air is also Apple's most affordable notebook, with prices beginning at $899.
macbook_air_mavericks_roundup_headerIntel's continued Broadwell delays may cause Apple to push back the release of its rumored 12-inch MacBook, reports Taiwan's Economic Daily News [Google Translate].

According to the site, the device will not ship until late 2014 or early 2015 as it is expected to use Intel's 14-nanometer Broadwell chips, which have been delayed numerous times. The most recent rumors have suggested the U series Broadwell chips designed for use in Apple's MacBooks may not ship until February of 2015.

Apple's 12-inch MacBook, which is said to include a Retina display, has been described as a successor to the MacBook Air. Rumors originally pointed towards a fall 2014 launch date with mass production beginning in the third quarter.

News of the 12-inch MacBook first surfaced in October of 2013, with KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describing the device as a MacBook with the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air but the productivity of the larger 13-inch model, with a high-resolution display.

Rumors have also suggested the 12-inch MacBook will have a redesigned ultrathin chassis with a revamped trackpad design that doesn't incorporate a mechanical button as well as no fan assembly for quieter operation.

Along with the 12-inch MacBook, Intel's Broadwell delays are likely having an impact on several of Apple's planned product releases. The first chips designed for Apple products are not expected to begin shipping until early 2015, and the chips designed for the Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac may not ship until mid-2015, meaning Apple will be unable to launch significant product updates until the chips are ready.

Though the 12-inch MacBook is delayed, a separate report from Economic Daily News [Google Translate], suggests new 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air models are set to enter production next month with new processors, chassis, screen, and other components.
Intel's line of 14-nanometer Broadwell chips, which are expected to be included in future versions of the MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and iMac, have been further delayed, reports Chinese site VR Zone [Google Translate] (via CPU World).

According to the site, while Intel will begin production on its extremely low power Core M processors in July and August for a 2014 launch, production on the U and H Broadwell chip series will not begin until much later in the year.

As a result, the Broadwell U 2+3 dual-core chips with GT3 (HD 5000 or Iris) graphics, likely slated for use in the MacBook Air and the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, won't be ready to ship until February of 2015. The Broadwell H 4+3e quad-core chips with Iris Pro graphics designed for the larger Retina MacBook Pro and iMac won't be shipping until July 2015 at the earliest.

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Back in May, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich promised Broadwell processors for the 2014 holiday season, but it appears that the promised chips will be limited to the company's Core M processor series, used in ultra low power products like two-in-one computers. Broadwell chips suitable for Apple products will not make their first appearance until 2015, which Intel essentially confirmed to CNET in June.
"We expect the initial Broadwell-based devices, including fanless 2-in-1s built on the Core M processor, will be on shelves by the end of this year with more products and broader OEM availability in 2015," Intel told CNET on Wednesday.
Intel's Broadwell chips have seen several delays over the course of 2013 and 2014, and were originally slated to enter production in late 2013 before production was delayed until Q1 2014 and then Q3 2014. The delays are reportedly due to problems with the 14-nanometer process used to manufacture the chips.

Intel's continual Broadwell delays are likely impacting Apple's own release plans. Rumors have suggested Apple is planning a fall launch of a refreshed Retina MacBook Pro and a new 12-inch MacBook Air, but it is unclear which chips the company will use. Apple may only be able to offer a minor Haswell processor boost for the Retina MacBook Pro, which will be the only update the line sees until Broadwell is ready. Apple has already given the MacBook Air a Haswell refresh bump alongside a price drop with an update in late April.

On the desktop side, Apple introduced a new low-end iMac last month, but otherwise the lineup has not been updated since last September. The Mac mini has not even been updated to Haswell yet, with its last revision coming in October 2012. It is unknown why Apple has not released updated Mac mini models, as appropriate Haswell chips are readily available.

Intel's Broadwell chips are said to be 30 percent faster and more power efficient than Haswell, offering even greater increases in battery life and performance. According to Intel, the Broadwell delays will not affect the company's next line of processors, Skylake, as the chips are based on new architecture. Broadwell, however, will have a very short lifespan as Skylake has a prospective late 2015 release date.
Digitimes reports that Apple's new 12" MacBook Air will enter mass production in the 3rd quarter of 2014. Quanta Computer is reportedly responsible for the assembly of the new machine which falls in between the 11" and 13" MacBook Air lines. Their sources have not heard of any changes to the existing 11" and 13" MacBook Air models.

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Digitimes' sources were able to confirm some small internal changes to the machine, but the new MacBook Air is said to look similar to the existing models:
The 12-inch MacBook Air features some design changes such as the battery and the internal layout, while its industrial design will be similar to its existing counterparts using an unibody aluminum chassis, the sources detailed. Some market watchers expect the machine to feature a Retina display.
First word of a 12" MacBook Air came from NPD DisplaySearch and analyst Ming Kuo in October, 2013. Kuo described the new machine as thinner than the existing MacBook Air and that it would incorporate a Retina Display. A Chinese forum post from a user who had previously leaked accurate information added that the 12" MacBook Air would feature a "new trackpad design" without a mechanical button and that the machine would have no fan.

Previous rumors have predicted that the 12" MacBook Air will be announced between Q3 and Q4 2014, so approximately September/October of this year.
Macworld's Jason Snell provides a nice hands-on writeup about Apple's new OS X Yosemite. Snell focuses on the user-experience from a long term Mac user, focusing on the visual and usability changes of Mac windows. He notes the increased use of transparency and the varying implementation of title bars in many applications:

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Overall, Snell feels that many of the design changes were done with Retina displays in mind:
For a while now, I’ve thought that 2014 would be the year that Retina spreads across the Mac product line. After spending time with Yosemite on both Retina and non-Retina systems, I’m more confident than ever in that guess. Yosemite’s new design feels like it was built for Retina displays: Thin Helvetica Neue replaces the long-serving but chunky Lucida Grande as the system typeface.
Apple first introduced Retina displays into the Mac line in with the Retina MacBook Pro in June, 2012. Since that time, Apple has been slow to extend Retina screens to the rest of their lineup.

The MacBook Air seems likely to be the next Mac to deliver a Retina Display. Signs point to a 12" Retina model later this year, and there has already been early evidence in Yosemite of Retina iMacs in testing.
French site MacBidouille revives rumors that Apple is actively developing ARM processor based Macs. According to a source that they describe as reliable, Apple has prototypes of several ARM-based machines, including an iMac, Mac mini, and 13" Notebook with 4-8 64-bit ARM Quad-core processors.

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These machines are reportedly far along in development, and come with a new keyboard that incorporates a large-format Magic Trackpad. Apple might even be ready for an announcement but is reportedly hesitant to make the move.

MacBidouille isn't a frequent source of rumors, so its hard to gauge its source's credibility, but rumors of ARM-based Macs have been circulating for years. It seems likely that Apple has prototyped such devices, but many have doubted the feasibility of moving forward with such a plan.

The first inklings of such a plan might have come when Apple threatened to abandon Intel's chips if they didn't work to slash power consumption. While AMD might have been one way to go for Apple, the first rumors of an Apple migration from Intel to ARM processors appeared earlier that year. Later, a report claimed that Apple already had an ARM (A5) powered MacBook Air in their labs back in 2011.

An analysis in 2012 suggested that Apple shifting from Intel to ARM wasn't implausible but it faced several hurdles. The most significant one was Apple's own ARM chips being able to keep a pace with Intel's future roadmap.

Apple, however, has been making great strides in performance in their ARM processors. The A7 is described as desktop class even in an independent analysis. In fact, the A7 chip is currently being underutilized in Apple's iPhone and iPad devices, leaving some of its power untapped.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has stated that Intel's next-generation Broadwell processors will launch during this holiday season, reports Reuters (via MacG).
"I can guarantee for holiday, and not at the last second of holiday," Krzanich said in an interview. "Back to school - that's a tight one. Back to school you have to really have it on-shelf in July, August. That's going to be tough."
Originally expected to launch in Q3 2014, Krzanich noted that new manufacturing technologies are responsible for the delays surrounding Broadwell, but maintained that Intel is now on schedule to ship its new chips to manufacturers later this year. The statement comes after a leaked Intel roadmap surfaced this past February, which appeared to show an uncertain timetable for Apple's 2014 Mac updates.

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A leaked Intel roadmap for 28-watt chips appropriate for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

With Intel's Broadwell chips launching near the end of this year however, it is possible that Apple could either choose to wait until next year to integrate Broadwell chips into the Retina MacBook Pro or launch updated models with slightly faster Haswell chips. Apple updated its standard models of the MacBook Air last month with a faster 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor while cutting the price by $100.

It is also possible that Intel's new Broadwell chips could be used in the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air, which may coexist alongside or replace the current MacBook Air line. However, it is uncertain which specific chips Apple would use for the new notebook, as prior reports have pointed to the machine coming out towards the end of the third quarter.

As far as a next-generation iMac goes, Apple could also choose to hold off on an update until the appropriate Broadwell chips are out. However, a report last month claimed that Intel's faster Haswell desktop CPUs could arrive in May, with Apple perhaps launching updates sooner rather than later.

Apple is also rumored to have a low-cost iMac in the works, which could utilize more cost-efficient chips. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the low-cost desktop computer could boost sales in critical foreign markets and increase shipments by up to 30 percent.
For many years, Apple has used different suppliers for the solid-state drives (SSDs) in its MacBook Air models, with drive performance varying among manufacturer brands. A recent study by Macworld demonstrated rather dramatic differences in SSD read and write speeds between tested 2013 and 2014 models, but at the time it was unclear whether the poorer performance for the 2014 models was still simply due to drive brand variances or if there was something specific to the 2014 machines causing an overall degradation in performance.

Other World Computing (OWC) has now performed some apples-to-apples testing between 2013 and 2014 models with SanDisk SSDs, and has found that performance is nearly identical.

In OWC's testing using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the new MacBook Air model with a 128 GB SanDisk SSD reported read/write speeds of 705/315 MBps, while the 2013 version also with a 128 GB SanDisk drive scored similarly with read/write speeds of 711/316 MBps.

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Macworld's testing of four machines (various combinations of 2013/2014 models at 11 and 13 inches) had included drives of two different capacities from three different manufacturers, making it difficult to determine the exact cause of the performance differences.

This variability in brand performance was noticed years ago, when Apple started using both Toshiba and Samsung SSDs in its MacBook Air models. Apple continues to use drives from different manufacturers in its 2014 models, including units from Samsung, Toshiba and SanDisk. How various batches of drives from the different manufacturers are assigned to various machines is unknown, and consumers are unable determine which brand of SSD is in their MacBook Air without opening the box and either booting the machine to examine system profile information or physically opening the machine.

Apple's new MacBook Airs are available from Apple's website beginning at $899, while the 2013 models are being sold at significant discounts through a number of retailers.