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Will Apple replace the MacBook Air this year with an entry-level 13-inch MacBook?

Rumors last year said that Apple would discontinue the MacBook Air, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Apple chose to bump the specs and keep the affordable, best-selling laptop in its lineup for at least one more year. Apple did, however, eliminate the 11-inch Air version from its inventory.

But a new report seems to indicate that the MacBook Air’s days are numbered. Again.

The MacBook Air is one of the most iconic laptops ever made, bringing over a slim design that was adopted almost immediately by the entire industry. The device remains one of the best-sold MacBooks out there, and that’s because it can deliver a great experience to most computer users.

But the MacBook Air has not received a redesign in years, as Apple focused on building a MacBook Air replacement (the 12-inch MacBook) and redesigned the MacBook Pro line.

This year, Digitimes reports, Apple will introduce an entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018. Sources from the supply chain familiar with the matter said that touch panel General Interface Solution (GIS) will win more LCD module (LCM) orders from Apple for that purpose.

GIS became an LCM supplier for MacBooks last quarter, something company chairman Chou Hsien-ying has already confirmed. GIS is expected to ramp up LCM shipments to 600,000 units a month by the end of 2018 or double the current capacity. GIS also makes 3D Touch panels for the iPhone X.

Digitimes does not mention the MacBook Air product line anywhere in the report. But if this 13-inch MacBook is supposed to be an entry-level device, it can’t coexist with the MacBook Air family. The Air is the entry-level MacBook right now.

It’s unclear at this time what an entry-level 13-inch MacBook would have to offer in terms of design and specs, as the report doesn’t specify such details.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.