A new report suggests that Apple continues to control the majority of the “thin-and-light” laptop market. According to data from market research firm NPD Group, per CNET, the MacBook Air dominated the category during the first five months of the year, capturing 56% of thin-and-light laptop sales in the United States. Ultrabooks from a wide range of PC vendors made up the remaining 44%. Apple is expected to continue its dominance with the release of new MacBook Air models, which have been praised for their improved processors and impressive battery life. Microsoft and its manufacturing partners don’t plan to go down quietly, however. Companies such as HP, Sony, Samsung and Lenovo plan to bring a variety of touch-enabled laptop-tablet hybrids running the new Windows 8.1 operating system to the market in the coming months.
Apple is reportedly replacing new MacBook Air models that are suffering from a Wi-Fi connectivity bug. Earlier reports suggested that new models equipped with Haswell processors and faster 802.11ac wireless cards were unable to maintain an Internet connection, and in some cases required a complete system reboot to reconnect. According to 9to5Mac, Apple is aware of the issue and is working to identify the source of the problem. The company has informed its Apple Store employees to “capture” affected units, which will then be sent back to Apple for further testing. In the meantime, the company is reportedly swapping out impacted models for new ones. More →
Apple recently updated its MacBook Air computers to include Intel’s new Haswell processors. Reviews have thus far been relatively positive, praising the computer’s class-leading design and all-day battery life. Not everyone is happy, however. A number of customers have taken to Apple’s support forums to vent their frustrations with a Wi-Fi connectivity bug that is reportedly affecting new models. It would appear as if impacted computers can connect to the Internet, however after a few minutes they lose their connections and require a complete system reboot. Gizmodo claims that one Apple’s retail stores in London has experienced returns and complaints that have been “well above average.” It is unclear if or when Apple plans to address the issue.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, on Monday took the wraps off of the company’s new MacBook Air computers at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have been upgraded with Intel’s new Haswell processor, improved battery life and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. The 11-inch model will now deliver 9 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch model will last a whopping 12 hours. The 11-inch model will start at $999 with 128GB of internal storage and the 13-inch will start at $1,099. The new MacBook Air will ship out to consumers today. Apple also announced a completely redesigned Mac Pro computer that will be built in the United States. The desktop is 1/8th the size of previous models and is equipped with a next-generation Intel Xeon processor. The computer also supports 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 ports, gigabit ethernet, HDMI Out, USB 3.0, dual graphics and 4K resolution displays. The new Mac Pro will be available this fall.
While this year’s WWDC may not be as exciting as those in years past, it should still deliver a much-anticipated refresh of Apple’s MacBook Air lineup. According to 9to5Mac, Apple will launch new versions of the Air at WWDC next week that will likely “carry the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi chips” that are capable of delivering gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity. Other reports have indicated that the new MacBook Air will feature a front-facing 1080p video camera and a dual-microphone system. 9to5Mac’s sources also say that “Apple could drop the price slightly of the high-end MacBook Air in some countries,” although it’s unclear if that price cut would apply to customers in the United States.
Apple is sure to announce a variety of new products at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week and a recent leak from 9to5Mac confirms that the company will refresh at least one of its MacBook lines at the annual event. The website obtained SKU information for an unreleased MacBook model and speculates that both the MacBook Pro with a Retina display and MacBook Air may see updates. The latest rumors point to a slimmer 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with a full HD iSight camera and Intel’s new Haswell processor. The MacBook Air is expected to see similar updates to its internal hardware, along with a better front-facing camera and an improved microphone system. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is scheduled to take place on June 10th in San Francisco.
Apple is expected to debut a number of updated Mac computers during its annual WWDC show this year, and a new report suggests a redesigned Retina MacBook Pro will be among them. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record when reporting details surrounding unannounced Apple devices, believes Apple has a number of important tweaks in store for its laptop lineup at WWDC. In a research note picked up by 9to5Mac, Kuo writes that Apple will unveil a slimmer 13-inch Retina-equipped MacBook Pro with a full HD iSight camera and Intel’s new Haswell processor, which is said to increase laptop battery life by up to 50%. Kuo also thinks Apple’s MacBook Air lineup will receive similar upgrades — minus the Retina display, of course — but despite the updates, he sees Apple’s laptop sales falling to 12 million units in 2013 from 13.6 million in 2012.
While software is expected to take center stage at Apple’s WWDC keynote this year, a new report claims that we’ll still see some new hardware debut on June 10th in San Francisco. WWDC 2013 tickets sold out in under 3 minutes as excitement among developers boiled over, and all eyes are on iOS 7, which is expected to feature the first major user interface design overhaul iOS has ever seen. We’re not expecting any new iPhones or iPads to debut on stage at WWDC, however. Instead, KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo reports that Apple will unveil several new MacBook computers at WWDC alongside a new version of OS X that should also be shown off during the show. More →
Much to the delight of MacBook Air fans who feel that Apple’s (AAPL) display team has neglected their favorite computer in favor of the MacBook Pro and the iPad, it seems the company may be planning to offer a MacBook Air equipped with a Retina display later this year. According to a report from EMS One, via Apple Insider, the company will launch a new MacBook Air with a high-resolution display in the third quarter of 2013. Earlier rumors claimed the company would launch new MacBooks in June with no major design changes over previous models. Apple started lowering prices and slightly boosting the hardware of its Retina display MacBook Pro computers last week. However the more affordable Air model was left untouched, leading many to speculate that a refresh is slated to arrive in the coming months.
Apple (AAPL) on Wednesday revealed a surprise update to its laptop lineup. The company announced that its Retina display-equipped MacBook Pro line has received a minor spec update and, more importantly, the laptops’ starting prices have been slashed. Apple’s 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now starts at $1,499 with 128GB of storage and $1,699 for the 256GB model with a new 2.6 GHz processor. The entry-level 15-inch model now includes a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor and the high-end model now has a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of RAM. Apple also cut the base price of its MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD to $1,399. Apple’s full press release follows below. More →
One of the reported downsides to the 128GB Microsoft (MSFT) Surface Pro is that only around 70% of its advertised storage can actually be used for user data — in BGR’s review of the Surface Pro, for instance, we found that the 128GB version of the device had only around 85.3GB of actual free space. But new analysis from ZDNet’s Ed Bott shows that this is only slightly less storage than the 128GB MacBook Air, which has roughly 92.2GB of usable storage. And what’s more, Bott found a way to easily free up more storage on the Surface Pro that wasn’t available on the MacBook Air: By “using the built-in Recovery Media Creator” to “copy the contents of that large Windows 8 Recovery partition to a USB flash drive,” Bott freed up around 8GB of extra data. The bottom line, says Bott, is that “if you’re going to complain about operating systems using too much of the available storage, you’d better make sure your letter to Redmond is cc’ed to Cupertino.”
Apple (AAPL) is reportedly submitting quotation requests to supply chain companies in Taiwan for components related to upcoming refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers. Digitimes cites unnamed supply chain sources in its report, and claims the new refreshed models will not see any major design changes compared to Apple’s current laptop lineup. Will they be as “disappointing” as the iPhone 4S? Digitimes notes that combined global shipments of Apple’s MacBook lineup are expected to reach 17 million units, but sell-through may be less impressive. Apple sold 12.88 million notebook PCs in 2011 and 9.78 million laptops through the first three quarters this year.
Apple (AAPL) owners may love their MacBook Airs but that doesn’t mean they think they’re flawless. FixYa, an online troubleshooting guide for gadgets and computers, has put out a new survey showing the top complaints that ultrabook owners have about their computers and has found that MacBook Air owners complain most about their computers’ low memory and forced shutdowns due to overheating. That said, FixYa says that these complaints are relatively minor and that the MacBook Air overall is “a smooth device with very little to complain about.” As far as other ultrabooks go, top complaints tend revolve around poor battery life and screen quality, neither of which was cited as a major problem for MacBook Air owners. More →