Apple Ultra-Portable MacBook Rumor Roundup

As rumors start to build for Macworld San Francisco 2008, the most consistent rumor appears to be one of an ultra-portable Apple notebook computer.

These rumors started back in March 2006 by MacScoop who indicated that "very reliable" sources had indicated that Apple was planning on releasing an "ultra-thin 12 inch Mac Book Pro". More confirmation came from an analyst, Benjamin Reitzes in June, 2006 with expectations that an "ultra-portable" Mac could be delivered as early as Macworld San Francisco 2007. Reitzes also suggested that these new ultra-portables would use NAND flash memory, either in combination with a traditional hard drive or using NAND flash alone.

Indeed, earlier in 2006, Digitimes had first reported that Apple and Intel were researching the use of NAND flash in portables to improve boot time and battery life. MacScoop later detailed the thin-laptop to be a $1700-$1800 12" MacBook Pro with dual core processor and still retain an optical drive.

Macworld San Francisco 2007, of course, came and went with no new ultra-portable, but in February, more claims emerged from Appleinsider confirming that Apple was working on a mini-MacBook "lighter and more compact than any other Mac portable Apple has put forth in recent years". These specs claimed that the new laptop would exclude a built-in optical drive and would indeed use NAND flash memory.

9to5mac added a report in September that an aluminum MacBook prototype had been spotted that was "considerably slimmer" than the current MacBook Pros, with a thinner bezel around the screen and "something strange about the touchpad".

Finally, as we approach 2008's Macworld, some more confident reports have emerged with Appleinsider now believing that the new ultra-portable laptop will be released at Macworld as a 13" aluminum notebook with NAND flash, no optical drive, and LED backlit screens. Even CNBC now has their own sources claiming that a 12" sub-portable MacBook Pro with Flash memory only (no hard drive) would be introduced and retail for around $1500 at Macworld.

Based on the confidence and number of reports, it seem very likely that some sort of ultra-portable laptop will be arriving from Apple in January. To sum up claims:

MacScoop: 12", Ultra-Thin, Optical Drive, Dual Core, $1700-$1800
Appleinsider: 13", aluminum, 50% lighter, Slim, NAND Flash, LED backlit, No Optical Drive
CNBC: 12", 50% Thinner, NAND Flash only (no HDD). $1500
9to5mac: "something strange about the touchpad"

To be fair, MacScoop's reports were from a year ago, so details may have changed in the interim. It's also conceivable that Apple may have more than one product in the works that could explain some of the discrepancies.

To give some perspective on what might be possible, readers are reminded of a prototype Intel laptop (Metro) that was revealed in May of this year. The concept design was said to go into production near the end of 2007 and offered the following specs:

- 2.25 lbs
- 0.7 inches thick
- 14 hours battery life
- NAND Flash
- WiMax, Cellular, WiFi support

As a concept design with no regard to cost, all of these features may not be included in a theoretical Mac laptop, but it does provide an idea of what might be possible with current technology.

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...