Apple is expected to launch new MacBook Pro notebooks with an even thinner and lighter design than existing models in April “at the soonest,” according to “DigiTimes” (, quoting unnamed “sources from the upstream supply chain.” Think bigger MacBook Airs.

“DigiTimes” says Apple is expected to launch upgraded 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros in April with initial shipments estimated to reach 900,000 units. (There’s no mention of 17-inch models). The updates are expected to, among other things, jettison the optical drive a la the MacBook Air.

There is a potential problem, however. Intel is delaying the mass supply of its Ivy Bridge CPUs from April to June. Apple could be affected. Or it could be that, per “DigiTimes,” notebook vendors are concerned about that the postponed launch schedules of their ultrabooks, as it may give Apple advantages in terms of time-to-market.”