Apple Said to Ship New 'Ultra-Thin' 13" and 15" MacBooks by June-July
While some customers were hopeful that Apple would release new Macs at its "Let Us Loop You In" media event yesterday, the product announcements were focused on the new 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and additional Apple Watch bands.
But those waiting patiently for a Mac refresh may not have much longer to wait, as DigiTimes today reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the second quarter.
The second calendar quarter ends on June 30, meaning that new Macs could feasibly be introduced by WWDC 2016, which will likely take place between June 13-17 based on scheduling information available from the Moscone Center.
The new MacBooks will allegedly "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air," which makes it difficult to infer which MacBook lineup the report is referring to.
DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its report corroborates a previous rumor claiming Apple is preparing thinner 13" and 15" MacBook Airs with "fully redesigned" internal components. That report said the notebooks would be ready by the third quarter, which corresponds to a July-September timeframe -- possibly shortly after a WWDC announcement.
Apple currently offers the MacBook Air in 11" and 13" sizes, and it has never released a 15" MacBook Air. In fact, many have assumed the MacBook Air will be discontinued at some point as declining costs allow the MacBook to become Apple's mainstream notebook offering. A redesigned MacBook Air, possibly with a long-awaited Retina display, could be considered a bit of a surprise.
The current MacBook Pro perhaps better corresponds with the rumored 13" and 15" sizes, but whether Apple is able to fit pro-level hardware in an "ultra-thin" design similar to the lower-spec 12-inch MacBook remains to be seen. There is also the possibility that the new 13" and 15" notebooks will be MacBooks, but the notion seems questionable unless Apple discontinues the year-old 12" model.
Apple's refreshed Mac lineup is expected to feature Intel's faster Skylake processors and Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C, while the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are also deserving candidates for an overall redesign.
Apple last refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015, while the 15-inch model was updated in May. For this reason, the 13-inch model is classified as Early 2015, and the 15-inch model is Mid 2015. Both notebooks received Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics.
The Early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro is based on Intel's last-generation Broadwell chip architecture, while the 15-inch model still has older Haswell architecture. Over the past year, Intel has announced Skylake chips appropriate for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, and MacBook Airs.