Apple is preparing to finally launch its mid-2011 MacBook Air models in the coming weeks according to checks performed by Ticonderoga Securities. In a note to investors on Friday morning, Ticonderoga’s Brian White recounts channel checks indicating Apple’s authorized resellers in the greater China region are set to begin receiving mid-2011 MacBook Air models as soon as next week. The analyst believes the imminent launch could be a big hit for Apple due to the growing popularity of Apple products in China, as well as the increasing number of consumers who can afford to own a PC. White also notes that “there is no laptop product on the market with the characteristics of the new MacBook Air,” which is likely to draw considerable attention. Apple’s new notebooks launched in Hong Kong over this past week, and White says the launch was met with big demand, and consumers there are also still clamoring for the iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Read on for more. More →
I’ve been using Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Air for almost a week now and even though it’s physically the same unit that it replaced (for the most part) on the exterior, this is an entirely different beast. For starters, Apple’s second-generation MacBook Air improved greatly on the first model by offering up a redesigned case complete with two built-in USB ports, an SD card reader and SSD hard drives as the only available options. The older Intel Core 2 Duo processors however, severely limited the computer. It was functional enough for me to replace a Core i7 MacBook Pro, but it was slow; normal tasks would bog the system down, and the computer would heat up at the drop of a dime. All this has changed with the latest MacBook Air, however. Read on for my thoughts.
Apple news site MacRumors on Friday discovered images of a new LED Display on Apple’s website. While the OS X Lion wallpaper could have meant that these are simply new product shots as opposed to an updated model we’re looking at, the URL of the image features the recently revealed part number “MC914.” This part number corresponds with a number seen in a recent leak that identified multiple forthcoming refreshed Apple products. The new LED Display will be nearly identical to the current model, though it will include a Thunderbolt I/O port for connectivity to Mac computers. Apple’s upcoming mid-2011 MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac mini refreshes are all expected to include new Thunderbolt ports as well. More →
Japanese blog Macotakara.jp is reporting from parts makers in Asia that Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air refresh, expected in the next two weeks, will use super-speedy 400Mbps NAND flash storage chips. In addition to being incredibly fast — even faster that the current MacBook Air solution, which uses an mSATA connector to connect the SSD to the motherboard — these new NAND flash storage chips would be soldered directly to the motherboard, bypassing any connector. If true, this new change would result in 100-times performance increase over the current solution, and coupled with a rumored bump to i5 / i7 processors, the new MacBook Airs should absolutely fly. More →
It looks like we may finally see Apple unveil its mid-2011 MacBook Air models some time this week. Best Buy has stopped shipping all MacBook Air notebooks as of this past weekend. The online retailer is still taking orders, however, which indicates that Apple will likely not adjust pricing when it issues its refreshed models. Of note, unless Apple introduced an entirely new model at a much lower price point, this puts earlier rumored sales targets of 8 million units well out of reach. Several sellers on the Amazon.com website are showing low inventory or stockouts as well, further supporting the notion that Apple has stopped refreshing distributor inventory as it prepares to begin shipping updated MacBook Air models. Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Airs are expected to feature Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports, among other changes. More →
Apple plans to ship more than 8 million MacBook Air computers in the third quarter of 2011, DigiTimes claims in a new report on Friday. The number represents more than twice the total number of Mac computers Apple shipped during its fiscal second quarter. DigiTimes‘ report cites sources within Apple’s supply chain in stating that combined MacBook production was ramped up to 2.2-2.4 million units in June, and Apple is expected to yield 2.7-2.8 million units in July. The Cupertino-based company is expected to release refreshed MacBook Air models ahead of the release of its new Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, and the notebooks should feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. The anticipated spec boost is expected to cause a surge in MacBook Air sales, but a target of 8 million units in a single quarter doesn’t seem terribly realistic; Apple shipped a total of 3.76 million Mac units in its March quarter, including its MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Pro lines. Unless Apple also plans to announce a drastic price reduction when it unveils its new MacBook Air PCs in the coming weeks, we don’t see the company coming anywhere close to shipping 8 million units next quarter. More →
Global supplies of Apple’s MacBook Air laptops are dwindling as the consumer electronics giant prepares to refresh the line, 9to5 Mac reports. The Apple enthusiast blog cites multiple sources in stating that shipments of the Air are currently constrained, and the site also points out that remaining MacBook Air inventory is now on sale at several retailers. Apple’s online store is currently offering refurbished models at an all-time low price of $829, and Best buy has brand new models on sale starting at $938.99 for the 11-inch version. Earlier rumors suggest Apple plans to issue an incremental update to its MacBook Air line later this summer, likely featuring Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. More →
According to site xda.cn, HTC will launch the above handset — the HTC Ignite — in mid-2011, complete with Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. The blog has a mixed record when it comes to predicting future hardware, but has acquired accurate, HTC-based information in the past. The listed specs include an 800MHz Qualcomm processor, 3.7-inch resistive touchscreen display, 512MB of RAM, and 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash. Something is — obviously — not right here, as 800MHz processors and resistive touchscreens have been strictly forbade by Microsoft’s Windows phone Chassis standards (also: we’re not sure HTC makes a phone, of any kind, with a resistive touchscreen). It’s extremely speculative, but an attractive looking handset nonetheless. Let’s hope that this one does indeed make its way to market with a different rap sheet. More →