Apple Expected to Ramp Up Production of Haswell-Based Notebooks Next Month
Over the past several months, a number of rumors have suggested that Apple will be looking to update its notebook lineup at or soon after its Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off on June 10. In particular, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a relatively strong track record, laid out a roadmap in January predicting that the MacBook Air could see an update by late in the second quarter with Apple's MacBook Pro moving to an all-Retina lineup early in the third quarter.
Reports on whether there will be any design changes as part of a rumored June notebook update have varied, with a February report from Taiwan's Economic Times claiming that the MacBook Air will see a design refresh while Kuo has suggested that the Retina MacBook Pro may also see design tweaks.
Digitimes has weighed in several times on the June notebook refresh rumors, first noting them in late December while suggesting that Apple may cut prices on the MacBook Air in the interim in order to keep sales moving. To that end, Apple did in fact drop pricing on its high-end 13-inch MacBook Air alongside a February spec bump for the Retina MacBook Pro. Digitimes weighed in again just weeks ago, claiming that Apple will be updating its notebook lineup late this quarter, again suggesting a June launch.
In a new report out today, Digitimes claims that Apple's quarterly notebook shipments are expected to grow 10% sequentially as the company works through the remainder of its excess inventory and looks to begin ramping up production again in mid-May. The report notes that this new production will primarily be next-generation models based on the Haswell platform.
Apple's MacBook shipments in the second quarter are expected to grow 10% sequentially as the company has almost finished digesting its excess inventory and should start placing new orders in mid-May, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The orders in May are expected to be mainly Haswell-based models, the sources noted.
Conflicting with some earlier reports of design changes for the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro, Digitimes says that Apple's suppliers have not received any instructions for changes to designs or their equipment, suggesting that the upgrades may be limited to internal improvements.
During Apple's earnings conference call earlier this week, CEO Tim Cook appeared to play down the company's product launch plans for the next several months, specifically noting optimism about "amazing" new products coming in the "fall and throughout 2014".