Apple's Subnotebook 'Delayed' Until Late 2007/Early 2008?

Appleinsider now believes that Apple's "ultra-thin and lightweight notebook" with NAND flash may take more time than originally projected. The rumor site had previously believed that a "lighter and more compact than any other Mac portable Apple has put forth in recent years" was on track near WWDC (June 2007).

Citing a maturing timeline, people familiar with the initiative now have the chic notebook tracking for the latter half of the year, with a contingency plan in place to transition the device into a Macworld 2008 product should engineers require the additional time.

This is in spite of recent news that Intel's Santa Rosa initiative will be shipping as early as next month. The Santa Rosa platform similarly provides NAND-flash caching to improve boot times and battery lives. (As noted by forum readers, Apple may be working on multiple future laptops and this 'subnotebook' may not be the same as a Santa Rosa based Mac laptop)

If true, the latest rumor, indicates that Apple's own version of this technology will not see light of day until late 2007 or early 2008. This timeframe is also consistent with analyst reports of the same:

The maker of the popular iPod music player and Macintosh computers hopes to introduce so-called flash memory in small computers known as subnotebooks in the second half of 2007

The first rumors of a NAND-flash caching Mac laptop came in January 2006 from Digitimes, but has since been corroborated by multiple other reports. Just today, Digitimes reports that Apple has been negotiating with Samsung for volume purchasing of more NAND flash.

Apple is asking for 400-500 million 4Gbit NAND flash equivalent chips from Samsung, the sources said. Since the volume requested by Apple is 10-15% more than what the two parties agreed earlier, Samsung is not 100% sure its capacity can meet the need, the sources indicated.

While these supplies are presumed to be for the iPod and iPhone, Apple could also be planning for future NAND-flash based laptops.

Related Forums: MacBook, MacBook Pro

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