Archive of MacBook Air Rumors

Apple will release a new MacBook Air at the end of the third quarter, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. That lines up with either September or October, depending on how the wording is interpreted.


TrendForce also refers to a new MacBook Pro in future tense, but it is surely referring to the models released in July, when the third quarter began:
The second quarter was the transition period when Apple was preparing for the releases of the upcoming new MacBook devices for the year. TrendForce therefore expects MacBook shipments to again post a large QoQ increase in 3Q18, as Apple will be releasing a new MacBook Pro at the start of the quarter and a new MacBook Air at the end of the quarter.
The report does not provide additional details, but both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg News reporter Mark Gurman expect Apple to release a new entry-level notebook later this year, and they are two of the more reliable sources as it relates to Apple's upcoming product plans.

TrendForce specifically says it will be a new MacBook Air, but Kuo and Gurman have not identified what branding the notebook will have.

Earlier this year, DigiTimes claimed that Apple will release the first MacBook Air with a Retina display in the second half of 2018, and noted that it will be a 13-inch model in a separate report. This week, it said Quanta will assemble new "inexpensive notebooks" from Apple in the fourth quarter.

Whether it turns out to be a MacBook, MacBook Air, or something else, Gurman expects at least one of the entry-level notebooks, if there are more than one, to have a starting price of $999 or less in the United States.

The current MacBook Air hasn't seen any substantial updates in over three years. Since that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model, while the processor on the base 13-inch model received a minor bump in clock speed, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–2015 timeframe.

Apple could announce availability of a new MacBook Air via press release at any point this fall, or save it for a September or October event. At this point, we lean towards an October release, as the September event should be busy, with a trio of new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and more.

With refreshes to other Macs expected later this year, including the iMac and Mac mini, and a widely expected iPad Pro with Face ID, Apple may have enough in its pipeline for an October event, which it last held in 2016.
Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta will fulfill orders for new "inexpensive notebooks" from Apple in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to DigiTimes, suggesting they could be released in September or October.


The report does not provide additional information about the notebooks, but two reliable sources in Bloomberg News reporter Mark Gurman and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both expect Apple to unveil at least one all-new, lower-priced notebook of some kind later this year.

It's unclear if the new notebook will be branded as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or otherwise. DigiTimes previously reported it will be a 13-inch model with a Retina display, but Gurman and Kuo have yet to support those claims. Gurman expects the notebook to have a starting price of $999 or less in the United States.

The widely rumored notebook could be the first MacBook Air with a Retina display, or it could be added to the MacBook lineup, but 12-inch models currently start at $1,299, so it's hard to envision where it would slot in at $999.

The current MacBook Air hasn't seen any substantial updates in over three years. Since that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model, while the processor on the base 13-inch model received a minor bump in clock speed, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–2015 timeframe.

12-inch MacBook models were last updated in June 2017 with Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors and faster SSDs.

A few weeks ago, Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News said Apple's new entry-level notebook will be powered by Intel's eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, which would make it significantly faster than the current MacBook Air given its four-year-old architecture.

While the entry-level notebook could be announced with a press release, it certainly appears that Apple has enough in its pipeline for an October event, where it could introduce new MacBooks, iMacs, and a Mac mini, an iPad Pro with Face ID, and perhaps some other surprises, such as a new Apple Pencil.
Apple is widely expected to launch a new lower-priced notebook later this year, likely with a 13-inch Retina display and a starting price below $1,000. It's unclear if it will be branded as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or otherwise, but it'll be a new lower-cost, lower-spec option below the MacBook Pro.


According to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News, the notebook will be powered by Intel's eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, released in the second half of 2017.

The translated report suggests that Apple's decision to use the Kaby Lake Refresh processors, manufactured based on a 14nm process, is due to repeated delays with Intel's transition to Cannon Lake chips, based on a 10nm process. The latest word is that Cannon Lake won't be ready until the end of 2019.

The Kaby Lake Refresh lineup includes quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors with base clock speeds between 1.6GHz and 1.9GHz, and max Turbo Boost speeds between 3.4GHz and 4.2GHz. The 15W chips feature integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, with support for up to 32GB of DDR4 or LPDDR3 RAM.

This means Apple's lower-priced notebook would be significantly faster than the latest MacBook Air models, which is unsurprising, given they use Intel's fifth-generation, dual-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors released in 2015. It'd also be much faster than the 12-inch MacBook, which uses ultra-low-power chips.

Kaby Lake Refresh chips are already nearly one year old, and Intel will be releasing faster Whiskey Lake processors suitable for Apple's notebook in the second half of 2018, but they might not be ready in time, as manufacturing needs to begin over the summer for the notebook to launch in the fall.

It appears Apple will have a jam-packed September event, with a trio of new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 4 models, new AirPods, and AirPower, so the Mac and iPad Pro could see some attention at an October event.

It's not entirely clear how Apple will shake up its notebook lineup below the MacBook Pro. The new notebook could be the first MacBook Air with a Retina display, or replace the MacBook Air entirely, or slot into the MacBook family, with price adjustments across the line, but it all remains to be seen.

Apple's plans for the notebook have been detailed by reliable Apple sources Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman in recent months.

Beyond the mid-range notebook, an October event could see refreshes to the 12-inch MacBook lineup with Intel's upcoming low-power Amber Lake chips, a refreshed Mac mini with Kaby Lake Refresh chips, and new standard iMac models with faster processors and a significant display-related upgrade.
Apple has registered new tablets and Macs with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) this week, indicating that refreshes could be on the horizon. The filings, uncovered by French website Consomac, are legally required for any devices with encryption sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

iPad Pro concept (right) by Álvaro Pabesio

The five Mac model numbers are A1931, A1932, A1988, A1989 and A1990, indicating two distinct ranges. The last three numbers may relate to expected refreshes for the 13-inch MacBook Pro (with and without Touch Bar) and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, while the first two could reference a refreshed 12-inch MacBook and a potential replacement for the aging MacBook Air, which Apple has been gradually phasing out.

Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce the new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Details have been scant about the rumored machine, but it could turn out to belong to the 12-inch MacBook family, and the model numbers A1931 and A1932 potentially reflect this.

It's not known what the rumored 13-inch MacBook would be priced at, but the MacBook Air sells for $999, a price point Apple has thus far been unable to match with the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

The five new iPad model numbers are harder to decipher, but Apple is expected to launch new models of iPad Pro later this year featuring slimmer edges, a faster processor, a custom Apple-built GPU, and a TrueDepth camera with support for Face ID.


One report has claimed one of the new iPad Pro models will have a display that measures in at approximately 11 inches, which is in line with reports suggesting the device could have slimmer bezels.

Perhaps the most curious details in the EEC filing are the OS references, with macOS 10.13 and iOS 11 given for the Mac and iPad models, respectively. It's conceivable Apple could refresh its Mac line before macOS Mojave is ready, but launching new iPad Pro models before the launch of iOS 12 seems less likely, given the number of features Apple is introducing in the new OS to accommodate iPads with Face ID and no Home button.

However, strings of code have been found in iOS 11 referring to a "modern iPad", which mirrors the "modern iPhone" nomenclature Apple used to refer to the iPhone X ahead of its release, so nothing is certain.

It's also worth noting that Apple registered several new models of iPhone with the EEC back in April that have yet to appear, so extrapolating launch dates from the filing is particularly difficult. Suffice to say Apple's Mac line-up is overdue an upgrade, while new iPads are expected to launch sometime around September.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who now works at research firm TF International Securities, has issued a new research note today with a wealth of information about Apple's upcoming products and the company's overall outlook.


Highlights from the research note, obtained by MacRumors:
  • Kuo believes 2019 iPhones will have "marked innovations," but notes it could take until September or October of this year at the earliest until the exact designs and features become clearer.
  • Nevertheless, among new iPhones introduced in 2019, Kuo expects shipments of LCD-based models to outpace models with OLED displays. He also notes that, if any 2019 iPhones have triple-lens rear cameras, it would unsurprisingly benefit camera-related companies in Apple's supply chain.
  • In the second half of 2018, Kuo still expects the releases of new iPad models equipped with Face ID, a new lower-price MacBook Air, and new Apple Watch models equipped with larger displays.
  • Kuo also still expects three new iPhones in 2018: a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch version that will essentially be a budget iPhone X.
  • Kuo expects the 6.1-inch iPhone to be available in stores in September of this year, despite entering mass production later than the second-generation iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus. This means all three new iPhones in 2018 will be both announced and released in September.
  • Kuo believes the 6.1-inch iPhone will incentivize customers with older iPhones to upgrade due to it being equipped with similar features as the iPhone X and at a more competitive price of $600 to $700 in the United States.
  • Kuo on potential impact on Apple of the trade war between the United States and China: "We believe it is unlikely that Apple will be directly impacted by the trade war because it plays an important role in both China and US economy. It is worth monitoring whether Chinese consumers will reject buying Apple's products due to anti-American sentiment."
  • Kuo on how Apple can grow under fiercer competition: "In the high-end market, Apple's real competitor is itself, which implies that it needs to offer new models that appeal to consumers to boost replacement demands. We attribute the iPhone's slow growth in recent years to there being no significant replacement demands boosted by new models after the iPhone 6."
  • Kuo on Apple's innovation: "We believe that Apple is still the leading company in the consumer electronics sector and has surpassed its competitors by a wide margin in terms of innovative user experience and ecosystem development. The leading advantages will benefit it when innovating with new applications," like augmented reality.
Much of this reiterates Kuo's previous predictions and information shared by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman over the past several months.
Pegatron has been tipped to land orders from Apple to produce an ARM-based MacBook, according to a brief DigiTimes report out on Tuesday. Citing industry sources, the Taiwan-based website claims the new MacBook model is internally codenamed "Star" and carries the series number N84, but the report mentions no specific production timeline.

Pegatron is likely to land orders from Apple to produce an ARM-based MacBook model, codenamed Star with a series number N84, according to industry sources.

Pegatron declined to comment on what it called market speculations.


The rumor accompanies news of declining net profits of nearly 50 percent in the first quarter of 2018 for Taiwan-based Pegatron, which expects to get growth back on track in the third quarter, "in line with the peak season", implying that the new MacBook model could factor into these predictions. DigiTimes' sources often provide reliable information, but the site has a mixed track record when it comes to interpreting that information and accurately deciphering Apple's plans, although 9to5Mac has also reported that Apple’s so-called "Star" project could be an ARM-based MacBook.

DigiTimes first claimed in January that Apple would release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook this year, due in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Two months later, then-KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming Apple has a "more affordable MacBook Air" set to be released at some point in 2018.

Kuo didn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but DigiTimes believes Apple could upgrade the MacBook Air with a Retina display, which led to questions over whether the machine will be an updated MacBook Air or a lower-cost MacBook. However, today's report is the first time ARM-based architecture has been suggest for the upcoming model.

Speculation that Apple eventually plans to design Macs powered by ARM-based processors has been rumored for some time. A report in September claimed that Apple would build its notebook chips using ARM Holding's technology, a British company that designs ARM architecture and licenses it out to other companies.

The rationale behind the idea is that developing in-house ARM notebook chips would allow Apple to reduce its dependence on Intel. ARM processors also require less power and fewer transistors, enabling a smaller die size for the integrated circuitry – two reasons why they can be found in iPhones and iPads.

However, it's possible the rumor about ARM chips in Macs has been spun out of context: the Touch Bar on Apple's latest MacBook Pro is already powered by an ARM-based T1 chip as a companion processor, suggesting this could be the actual origin of ARM-based rumors. Indeed, Apple said last year that it had no plans for Macs powered solely by ARM chips, rather than Intel processors.

Where that leaves the latest rumor regarding a new MacBook model remains unclear. The introduction of the Touch Bar has received a lukewarm reception among users and is only available as a premium feature on high-tier MacBook Pro models. Confounding matters further, well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has suggested the "N84" series number actually identifies Apple's upcoming low-cost LCD iPhone.

Taiwanese site Economic Daily News recently claimed Apple is working on a more affordable version of the MacBook Air with a price point of $799 to $899, while Bloomberg claims Apple is working on a new MacBook that costs under $1,000, but it still isn't clear whether it's in the MacBook Air family or a new sub-$1,000 machine in the MacBook line.

The current MacBook Air models haven't seen any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model, while the only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–15 timeframe.
Apple has postponed production of its rumored 2018 MacBook Air model to the second half of the year, according to supply chain sources (via DigiTimes).

A new version of Apple's most affordable MacBook was expected to go into mass production in the second quarter, but the company has reportedly already informed supply chain partners of the deferment, without revealing its reasoning behind the decision.

The sources said that Apple has informed supply chain partners that mass production of its new notebook model for 2018 will not kick off until the second half of the year, yet without explaining the rescheduling move. Some partners speculated that the postponement might be caused by problems with some key components such as processors.
DigiTimes was first to report on Apple's intention to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook, due in the second half of 2018, which would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air. Two months later, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a research note claiming Apple has a "more affordable MacBook Air" set to be released at some point in 2018.

Kuo didn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but DigiTimes believes Apple could upgrade the MacBook Air with a Retina display, which has led to speculation about whether the machine will be an updated MacBook Air or a lower-cost MacBook.

Bolstering these claims, Taiwanese site Economic Daily News believes Apple is working on a more affordable version of the MacBook Air with a price point of $799 to $899, while Bloomberg claims Apple is working on a new MacBook that costs under $1,000, but it isn't clear whether it's in the MacBook Air family or a new sub-$1,000 machine in the MacBook line.

The original plan for a second-quarter introduction pointed to an April–June timeframe, which indicated the new model could be announced at WWDC in June, but news of the deferred production makes that suggestion seem less likely, with an October release looking more probable.

As a result, some MacBook Air supply chain partners who have readied their material inventories to support second-quarter production now reportedly face low capacity utilization before starting to deliver shipments in the third quarter, according to DigiTimes' sources.

The current MacBook Air models haven't seen any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model, while the only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–15 timeframe.
Apple is holding its first event of 2018 on Tuesday, March 27 at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. According to invites sent out to members of the media last week, the event will focus on "creative new ideas for teachers and students."

This is Apple's first education-centric event since 2012, hence the unusual location. With most events, we tend to have concrete rumors on what to expect, but things are a little more up in the air with the educational event.

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Still, rumors have hinted at several products that could see a refresh at the event, and while some of them may primarily be of interest to schools and educators, there are some products on the horizon all of us have been eagerly anticipating. Announcement possibilities are listed below:

New Lower-Cost iPad


In 2017, Apple released a fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad that was designed to be a low-cost but powerful alternative to the iPad Pro. The tablet is priced at $329, and in 2018, rumors have suggested Apple could release an iPad with an even lower price point, which would be enticing to schools.

The iPad could be priced as low as $259, $70 less than the starting price of the current 9.7-inch iPad.



Whether this iPad is an entirely new device or just a lower price for the existing 9.7-inch iPad remains to be seen.

Read more about the low-cost iPad in our iPad roundup.

New Low-Cost MacBook or MacBook Air


Along with a lower-cost iPad, Apple may perhaps be planning to introduce some kind of notebook that has a lower price tag, but again, the exact form that this will take is unclear.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often has insight into Apple's plans, believes Apple is working on a "more affordable MacBook Air," which would perhaps be ideal for an educational market to compete with Google Chromebooks.


Kuo didn't mention whether or not this cheaper MacBook Air would be a price drop on the current MacBook Air or a new machine, nor did he mention potential specs. The MacBook Air is highly outdated, so if changes are indeed planned, updated processors and other internals could be on the horizon.

Other rumors suggest the lower-cost MacBook Air could be priced at $799 to $899, and that price tag would likely be even lower for schools able to make bulk purchases.

The rumors have been confused by a report from DigiTimes suggesting Apple is working on an "entry-level 13.3-inch MacBook." DigiTimes calls the notebook a MacBook, but lists the size of the MacBook Air, and goes on to say that it will feature a Retina display.

Updating the MacBook Air with a Retina display would make it difficult to keep costs low, and it would be a curious choice given the existence of the slimmer 12-inch MacBook line, which does come equipped with Retina displays. For that reason, it's not entirely clear if DigiTimes is talking about an update to the MacBook Air line or the MacBook line. DigiTimes' report says the new notebook would be priced at around $999, which is more expensive than other low-cost MacBook Air rumors.

Just this morning, Bloomberg also said Apple is working on a new MacBook that would cost under $1,000 and would replace the existing MacBook Air, but even that report didn't specify whether this machine would be in the current MacBook Air family or part of the 12-inch MacBook line. What Bloomberg did say, though, is that this machine is not ready, and therefore we may or may not hear about it at the event. It's possible Apple will make an announcement with a launch date to follow, but we also might not see any Mac-related news until WWDC in June.

Read more about the MacBook Air in our MacBook Air roundup.

AirPower and AirPods Wireless Charging Case


The AirPower isn't an accessory that's likely to be marketed to educational institutions, but rumors have been suggesting a March launch for the device, so it's possible Apple will also use its March event to debut some products of interest to the general public.


First announced in September alongside the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, the AirPower is an inductive charging mat that's designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3, and the AirPods all at the same time using one accessory.

Alongside the AirPower, Apple will also introduce a new AirPods Charging Case that includes new wireless charging capabilities. This revamped charging case will be necessary for AirPods to charge through the AirPower mat.

Existing AirPods owners will be able to purchase the new Charging Case as a standalone accessory, while new AirPods purchases will likely include it.

We don't know what the AirPower will be priced at, but rumors have suggested it could cost somewhere around $199.

See all of our AirPower coverage here.

Revamped Apple Pencil?


There's no real indication that Apple is working on a new Apple Pencil to debut at its education-focused event, but the design of the event invitation sent out to members of the media does appear to have been drawn with an Apple Pencil, and it could be a hint.

It's possible Apple is planning to introduce a lower-cost Apple Pencil that could be used in tandem with the new low-cost iPad, which would indeed be appealing to schools.


Just this morning, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple Pencil support is likely for the new low-cost iPad, but it's not yet clear if that means Apple plans to add support for the existing Apple Pencil or introduce a new, more affordable model.

If some kind of Apple Pencil announcement doesn't happen at this event, we can perhaps expect to see a new model when Apple debuts new iPad Pros, something we believe will happen either in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference or September alongside new iPhones.

On the chance that Apple is working on an Apple Pencil for its low-cost tablet, it's possible a lower-cost Smart Keyboard could also be included. Adding a keyboard and an input device like the Apple Pencil to the low-cost iPad would add a lot of utility for students.

Read more about the Apple Pencil in our iPad Pro roundup.

iPhone X in New Colors?


If Apple is indeed going to use its March event to focus on products unrelated to education, we could see the iPhone X and perhaps the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in new colors.

There have been rumors of a "Blush Gold" iPhone X floating around, and just this week, new images of the rumored device surfaced. Apple offered the iPhone X only in Silver and Space Gray at launch, and a new color could perhaps lure new upgraders mid-season.

An alleged "Blush Gold" iPhone X via Benjamin Geskin

In March of last year, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and it's possible the company could be planning to do the same thing this year, with a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and perhaps X.

Read more about the iPhone X in our iPhone X roundup.

iPhone SE 2?


We've been hearing rumors of a new "iPhone SE 2" for some time now, and while it's possible we could see a new iPhone SE at the March event, we don't think it's likely.

While some supply chain sources and sketchier rumor sources have suggested a new iPhone SE 2 is in the works with upgraded internals and other specs, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe Apple has enough spare development resources to dedicate to an iPhone SE in 2018 given the company's work on the three iPhones planned for September.


A recent rumor from Taiwan's Economic Daily News has also suggested Apple does not have new iPhones planned for the first half of 2018, which would mean no March iPhone SE 2.

If there is a new iPhone SE 2 on the horizon, major design changes and the adoption of features from flagship phones are unlikely given the iPhone SE's position as a low-cost device.

For more information on a potential iPhone SE 2, check out our iPhone SE roundup.

New iPhone Cases and Apple Watch Bands


Apple already announced a new collection of spring Apple Watch bands in new colors, which could go on sale following the educational event. When announced on March 21, Apple said they would be coming later in the month.


Though not announced at the same time, Apple could also launch new iPhone and iPad cases in refreshed colors at the same time.

For more detail on the Apple Watch and Apple Watch bands, check out our Apple Watch roundup.

iOS 11.3 Release With ClassKit Framework


Apple promised to release iOS 11.3 in the spring, and well, it's spring. iOS 11.3 is also near the end of its beta testing period, and thus far we've seen six betas. We haven't had the GM version of iOS 11.3 yet, so it's possible we'll get that instead of an official release on Tuesday. A launch will come shortly after, though.

Though it's received little coverage, iOS 11.3 includes a new Classroom 2.2 app, which is designed to turn the iPad into a powerful teaching assistant to help teachers guide students through lessons.

It also includes a ClassKit framework aimed at helping developers create educational apps that teachers can use with the Classroom app to deliver assignments to students and track their progress.

Classroom 2.2 and ClassKit haven't been announced or covered heavily by Apple, so expect this to be a focal point of the event.

iOS 11.3, of course, brings a whole slew of other updates and features, like iCloud Messages, ARKit 1.5, new Animoji, and a Battery Health feature that will allow customers to better monitor their batteries and battery health as it relates to device performance.

For full details on iOS 11.3, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup.

Other Educational Announcements


As this is an educational event, expect other educational announcements. Apple is likely to give us an update on its Everyone Can Code curriculum for students. Apple has coding lessons for high schools and elementary schools, along with a dedicated App Development With Swift curriculum for community colleges, which is a full-year coding course.


The high school where Apple plans to hold its event, Lane Tech College Prep, was featured in a December announcement of the expansion of the Everyone Can Code program to 500,000 students in Chicago. Students at Lane Tech have been learning to build apps with Apple's Swift programming language.

Other Details


There's no guarantee that all of these products will be introduced at Apple's educational event, but it's likely we'll see at least some of them.

Apple does not plan to live stream its educational event, but after it takes place, a video will be uploaded to Apple's event site and event app on the Apple TV. MacRumors will have full coverage of the event, however, along with detailed information on each announcement. Make sure to stay tuned to the website for coverage and follow our Twitter account, MacRumorsLive.
Apple plans to introduce a cheaper iPad next week that should appeal to the education market, and new software for the classroom, according to Bloomberg News' Mark Gurman. The new products should be announced at Apple's education-themed event on Tuesday at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago.


Apple is also said to be working on a new, lower-priced notebook, likely to replace the MacBook Air with a sub-$1,000 price in the United States:
A new, cheaper MacBook laptop is in the works and likely destined to replace the MacBook Air at a price less than $1,000, but it probably won't be ready in time for next week, the people said. The MacBook Air, introduced about a decade ago, hasn't seen a major change since 2010, the same year the iPad came out. Although the laptop is popular with college students, it has languished as Apple focuses on more expensive Macs.
At first glance, it would appear that Gurman is referring to a lower-priced 12-inch MacBook, as many people believe that Apple will eventually phase out the MacBook Air. However, the "MacBook laptop" wording is perhaps intentionally vague, in case it does end up being a cheaper MacBook Air.

12-inch MacBook models currently start at $1,299, and were last updated with Kaby Lake processors and faster graphics in June 2017. MacBook Air starts at $999 and hasn't received a meaningful update since March 2015.


Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018, which essentially runs between next week and the end of June. WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu estimated the notebook could start at $799 to $899 in the United States.

Gurman said the new MacBook "probably won't be ready in time for next week," suggesting it won't be unveiled at the Chicago event. Of course, Apple could still mention the notebook at the event, even if orders begin later.

Gurman nor Kuo have elaborated on what we can expect from the new MacBook or MacBook Air, whichever it ends up being, but it's reasonable to assume that we'll see a bump to the processors and graphics. If it's a new MacBook Air, a Retina display is also a possibility, but that may go against the sub-$1,000 price.

Apple hasn't specified if the Chicago event will be live streamed. MacRumors will provide coverage on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Central Time.
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899.


DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family.

However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.
The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600.

LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.
The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing.

In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated entry-level iPad models for release in the second quarter and new iPad Pro models for the second half of the year.
Apple will launch lower-priced versions of four products this year, including an iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air, and HomePod, according to a translated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News via Japanese blog Mac Otakara.


We've already heard rumors about more affordable iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air models, but this is the first word of a supposedly lower-priced HomePod being on Apple's roadmap. The speaker is forecast to launch in the second half of 2018 for between $150 and $200 in the United States.

At $349, the current HomePod is considerably more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home for $99 and $129 or less respectively. But the HomePod also has significantly better sound quality than its smart assistant rivals, in line with Apple positioning it as a high-quality speaker first and foremost.

A lower-priced HomePod would certainly be more competitive with the Echo and Google Home, but it's unclear if that would come at the expense of audio quality. One possibility is that Apple will release a smaller HomePod mini that still delivers premium sound relative to other portable speakers in that category.

Here's the full breakdown of the Economic Daily News report, based on what we could gather from a translated version:
  • 9.7-inch iPad for $259: This lines up with a DigiTimes supply chain report from last December that said Apple is considering releasing a cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for $259 in the second quarter of 2018. The current 9.7-inch iPad was released in March 2017 for $349.

  • 6.1-inch iPhone for $649 to $749: This lines up with a prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects Apple to launch a mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone with Face ID, but with some design compromises like an LCD rather than OLED display to achieve the lower price point.

  • MacBook Air for $799 to $899: This lines up with another prediction from Kuo, who said Apple will launch a more affordable MacBook Air in the second quarter of 2018. The estimated price range comes from WitsView researcher Yubin Qiu. The current MacBook Air starts at $999.

  • HomePod for $150 to $200: Today's report cites industry sources who expect a more affordable HomePod to launch in the second half of 2018. It's hard to decipher details from the loosely translated report, but Mac Otakara's coverage seems to suggest it will be a smaller speaker.
It's worth noting that these prices are estimates, as it's hard to envision Apple sharing pricing information with its supply chain partners.

Of the four products, the new iPad and MacBook Air are most likely to debut first. Apple is rumored to unveil new devices later this month, but it's unclear if the announcements will be made via press release or at a media event. If there is a keynote planned, invites would certainly have to go out soon.

The new 6.1-inch iPhone should debut in September alongside a new iPhone X and so-called iPhone X Plus, and the lower-priced HomePod could certainly be introduced at the same event. The current HomePod launched in early February.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new research report encouraging investors to keep their eyes on three products for 2018: the rumored 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, AirPods, and a "more affordable MacBook Air." The first two in that list have been widely discussed in recent weeks and months, but this is the first we've heard about an update to the MacBook Air.

We expect Apple (US) to roll out the new MacBook Air with a lower price tag in 2Q18. We forecast total shipments of MacBook models will grow 10-15% YoY in 2018 (vs. 0-5% YoY decline for the NB industry), up from 15.5-16mn units in 2017. While Quanta, Radiant, Catcher and SZS are likely to benefit from strong shipments momentum, SZS also stands to benefit from increased market share and a higher ASP.
Kuo doesn't offer any details on what to expect in an updated MacBook Air beyond a lower price tag, but the current models are certainly outdated as they haven't had any substantial updates in three years. Since that time, Apple has cut back on available models including a complete discontinuation of the 11-inch model. The only recent upgrade to the 13-inch model has been a bump to the base processor option last June, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–15 timeframe.

Aside from obvious internal upgrades like processors and graphics, another area that could see improvement is the display, as the MacBook Air currently offers a 1440 x 900 non-Retina display. We'll likely also see some USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 upgrades and perhaps an overall redesign given the age of the current design.

Kuo's claim of a second-quarter introduction points to the April–June timeframe, which could mean an announcement at WWDC in June, and we'll likely hear more rumors as the time gets closer.

In a separate report, Kuo predicts that AirPods and the rumored high-end over-ear headphones are the future of Apple's artificial intelligence and augmented reality ambitions. Kuo believes that compared to HomePod, Apple's headphones offer more opportunities for reaching users quickly, personalization, and complementing rumored augmented reality glasses. Kuo is extremely optimistic about AirPods demand going forward, but less enthusiastic about HomePod given "mediocre" demand so far.