Next month Apple will unveil a 15-inch MacBook Air that will mostly replace the MacBook Pro, according to the “Electricpig” web site (http://macte.ch/CPRSU).
Quoting an unnamed “key player in MacBook docking solutions,” the article says we’ll see “a 15-inch MacBook Air with ports on both sides, no optical drive and no ethernet cable.” Apple could retain the non-Airish, 17-inch MacBook Pro in its line-up for professional editors, says “Electricpig.”
A 15-inch MacBook Air has been rumored for some time. The Air is the best-selling model in Apple’s laptop line-up, so an expansion of the line makes sense.
The question is: can such a laptop launch in April? The next gen Airs and/or MacBook Pros are expected to use Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. However, last month an Intel exec confirmed delays in Ivy Bridge chips by 8-10 weeks — although it is still unclear exactly which processors the delay applies to and how this will affect Apple.
Sean Maloney, executive vice-president of Intel and chairman of Intel China, told “The Financial Times” (http://macte.ch/K5eUa) that at least some of the processors have been pushed from an April to June debut. He said the adjustment was not caused by a lack of demand but came because of the new manufacturing process needed to make the smaller chips.
However, “The Financial Times” says Intel is still sticking its official plans to start shipping Ivy Bridge in the second quarter. Will Apple be among the first to get the chips? Can Mac users can expect Ivy Bridge for updates to their Macs closer to April or June? Stay tuned ….