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Redesigned MacBook Air Reportedly Planned for 3Q 2013 Launch, Possibly with Retina Display

Taiwanese newspaper Economic Times reports [Google translation, via Mac Otakara] that Apple is lining up suppliers for its next-generation MacBook Air for launch in the third quarter of this year.

According to the report, the MacBook Air will not only be receiving internal upgrades to Intel's new Haswell platform but also a "facelift" with new external features, including the possibility of a Retina display. The report also claims that suppliers will begin shipping components to Apple's assembly partner Quanta during the second quarter of the year.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had previously included an updated MacBook Air in his 2013 Apple product roadmap, predicting a late second quarter or early third quarter launch for the device. He did, however, indicate that the update would not include Retina displays, which would require substantially more battery power than the current displays and likely force a redesign to also accommodate a somewhat thicker display assembly.

Pricing remains another question for Apple, as the MacBook Air is the company's entry-level notebook and Apple will likely be very hesitant to raise that floor. But while Apple's Retina MacBook Pro models carry significantly higher pricing than their non-Retina counterparts, a significant amount of that cost is related to a shift to solid-state drives, which are already used in the MacBook Air.

Consequently, a shift to a Retina display for the MacBook Air may add a much smaller price premium to the lineup. Apple could also choose to separate the MacBook Air into Retina and non-Retina lines as it has for the MacBook Pro, or offer Retina displays as higher-end options on a unified lineup.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago
Call me crazy but the Air doesn't need retina or any of the performance hits when it comes to displaying that high of a resolution on a portable machine.

The pixel density is already good :confused:
Rating: 26 Votes
34 months ago
Don't they already have 13" Air Retinas...13" rMBP? It's not like Apple didn't try to design the 13" rMBP to be as thin as possible.
Rating: 24 Votes
34 months ago

That would almost require a dedicated GPU, and would provide too much cross over with the Air and Pro w/ Retina.

13.3'' Pro does not have dedicated GPU and still works fine :rolleyes:
Rating: 19 Votes
34 months ago
...And get rid of that enormous bezel :eek: !
Rating: 10 Votes
34 months ago
Apple bashing begins right about now.....
Rating: 9 Votes
34 months ago
I just hope they add more Thunderbolt ports. So I can plug in all my Thunderbolt accessories. The ones I use all the time.
Rating: 8 Votes
34 months ago

Little typo: "Applw will likely" > "Apple will likely"

Thank you!!! I was going crazy trying to figure out what they meant.
Rating: 7 Votes
34 months ago
Retina isn't going to happen without discrete graphics. The current rMBPs struggle as it is and Apple will want something to differentiate the two lineups.
MacBook Airs are about portability and affordability.
Rating: 6 Votes
34 months ago
Simply moving to an IPS non-Retina screen would make more sense.

The current Air resolution is not that bad, but color reproduction and viewing angles are pretty bad for a product of its price.

Apple would'nt put a higher resolution in Airs unless they go Retina as there is no proper way of scaling things in OS X without pixel doubling, and stuff would get way too small.

There's a couple problems I see with a Retina Air:
1. Reduced margin.
2. Either reduced battery life or thicker chassis, unless some sort magic is done to reduce internal component size even more.
3. Cannibalization of the 13" rMBP, which would be almost the same computer.

I think the MBA will go Retina someday, but not this early.


So you would have to somehow make the keyboard smaller if you want to reduce the bezel size.

Not necessarily, the 13" rMBP has a smaller bezel than the MBA yet it has the same screen and keyboard size.

I think the issue is more with the the thickness of the display panel. You couldn't get that tapered effect if you reduced bezel size since the panel wouldn't fit in the extremities of the top lid, thus ruining the optical illusion that makes the Air look thinner than it actually is.
Rating: 5 Votes
34 months ago
This thread cracks me up with all those saying the 11" Air couldn't handle or have enough power to have a Retina display :rolleyes: Nice to see those signatures with an iPad 3 powering a Retina display so…yeah.

Anyone watching that Apple has tested certain factors in the iPad line and then applied those to the computer line albeit to a better suited scale/modified need with the hardware. And as for price, if it cost that much extra the iPads would be way more expensive than they are…
Rating: 5 Votes

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