Quanta Said to Manufacture Apple's Upcoming 'Inexpensive Notebooks' in September Quarter
Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta will fulfill orders for new "inexpensive notebooks" from Apple in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to DigiTimes, suggesting they could be released in September or October.
The report does not provide additional information about the notebooks, but two reliable sources in Bloomberg News reporter Mark Gurman and TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both expect Apple to unveil at least one all-new, lower-priced notebook of some kind later this year.
It's unclear if the new notebook will be branded as a MacBook, MacBook Air, or otherwise. DigiTimes previously reported it will be a 13-inch model with a Retina display, but Gurman and Kuo have yet to support those claims. Gurman expects the notebook to have a starting price of $999 or less in the United States.
The widely rumored notebook could be the first MacBook Air with a Retina display, or it could be added to the MacBook lineup, but 12-inch models currently start at $1,299, so it's hard to envision where it would slot in at $999.
The current MacBook Air hasn't seen any substantial updates in over three years. Since that time, Apple has discontinued the 11-inch model, while the processor on the base 13-inch model received a minor bump in clock speed, but it's still a Broadwell chip from the 2014–2015 timeframe.
12-inch MacBook models were last updated in June 2017 with Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors and faster SSDs.
A few weeks ago, Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News said Apple's new entry-level notebook will be powered by Intel's eighth-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors, which would make it significantly faster than the current MacBook Air given its four-year-old architecture.
While the entry-level notebook could be announced with a press release, it certainly appears that Apple has enough in its pipeline for an October event, where it could introduce new MacBooks, iMacs, and a Mac mini, an iPad Pro with Face ID, and perhaps some other surprises, such as a new Apple Pencil.