Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Apple to Launch 2880x1800 Resolution 'Retina Display' MacBook Pro in Q2 2012?
Apple is likely to launch its new MacBook Pro lineup with a display resolution of 2880 by 1800 in the second quarter of 2012, setting a new round of competition for panel specifications in the notebook industry, according to sources in the upstream supply chain.The publication cites supply chain partners as the source for the information which would double the resolution of the MacBook Pro to 2880x1800 pixels.
This new high resolution MacBook Pro would presumably be a 15" model which currently carries a native resolution of 1440x900 pixels. By doubling the resolution in each dimension, Apple would achieve four times the number of pixels and provide developers an easy way to scale existing artwork.
TextEdit running in HiDPI mode, via Arstechnica
We've known about Apple's work to support these ultra high resolution screens, but we didn't necessarily expect them to arrive so soon. That said, support seems to be building for exactly such a thing.
Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors are known to support resolutions as high as 4096x4096. Meanwhile, Apple has already added new "HiDPI" modes in Lion that support this resolution-doubling mode. Apple has even added ultra-high resolution artwork in Lion with desktop images at 3200x2000 pixels and icons at 1024x1024 pixels.
And Apple's not the only company preparing for the possibility. Microsoft is also building in support for high dpi monitors in Windows 8.
A Q2 2012 launch would place it near what has been expected to be the arrival of a 15" MacBook Air. Based on the expected timing of that product (Q1 2012), it seems this MacBook Pro may be a different product altogether.