The Cupertino-based company Apple is expected to launch a new entry-level MacBook with 13.3-inch Retina display at a cheaper price. Essentially, Apple is preparing a MacBook with a Retina display (which has been an seen on MacBook Pros until now) at the price of MacBook Air. A report from DigiTimes claims that Apple will launch an entry-level Retina display MacBook starting at $999 for the 128gigs storage model and $1,199 for the 256gigs model. However, it’s unknown at the moment whether Apple will market the upcoming model under MacBook Air series or just the newly introduced MacBook lineup.
Rumours in the past have pointed out that Apple is looking to kill the Air lineup from its product portfolio, which includes MacBook Air and iPad Air. However, the company released a slightly upgraded MacBook Air last year, hinting at the possible arrival of a newer model.
The report further added that Apple would be using LG-made Retina displays on the upcoming MacBook. The South Korean electronics maker has reportedly begun the production of a-Si panels carrying a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and will ramp up the production by May or June.
Having said that, the bump in display resolution is evident as the current generation MacBook Air models sport 1440 x 900 pixels display. The report also highlighted that Apple was looking for a deal with Chinese panel manufacturer to lower the overall cost of the product, however, was unsuccessful.
Further, Quanta will assemble 70% of the orders, and Foxconn will settle with the remaining 30%. Apple is looking to ship six million units this year according to the report. This new model will see the light sometime in Q2 2018, most probably at the Apple’s WWDC Developer conference event.
That said, if Apple markets the upcoming model under its Air lineup, it will be the first MacBook Air to ship with a Retina display, which, all the years have been exclusive to MacBook Pro models.
And the rumoured pricing is icing on the cake. Over the years now, Apple’s MacBook Air models have dominated the entry-level laptop segment across the globe, which is possibly the reason why Apple is not killing the lineup.
Also, it’s been ages since Apple released a new MacBook Air model with the latest hardware on board. Last year, Apple announced a MacBook Air model, but that arrived with a slight clock speed increase, instead of a drastic hardware upgrade.
But the rumoured 13.3-inch MacBook Air might come with the latest hardware on board such as the Intel Core i7 processor as the base and up to 16gigs of RAM. In India, the MacBook Air is the most successful model for Apple as several users have purchased it over the years.
Also, Apple introduced a separate standard MacBook lineup in 2016, which raised several eyebrows on the potential killing of Air lineup. However, the standard Apple MacBook arrived with not-so-powerful hardware and the sales were said to be reportedly poor and less than that of MacBook Air models.
Today’s DigiTimes report also claimed that suppliers of Apple have started parts shipments for the refreshed iPad and iPad Pro models. Apple is also expected to launch new iPad models this year- possibly in Q2 2018 or second half of 2018. Rumour mill says that the iPad Pro second generation will not feature a TouchID sensor, instead, it will also use the TrueDepth camera system and Face ID like the iPhone X. The standard iPad lineup is said to receive internal upgrades this year.
On the whole, Apple is planning for a great 2018, but nothing is confirmed officially though. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also suggested the 13.3-inch Retina display MacBook Air model for Q2 2018 release, so Apple is working on it for sure.