New MacBook Air with Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge to be released in June or July
According to Digitimes, the Taiwan-based supply chain for Apple products will begin shipments of 11.6″ and 13.3″ MacBook Air models for launch in June or July, which features the Sandy Bridge chipset and Thunderbolt interface. While Apple’s PR representatives in Taiwan have neither confirmed nor responded to the report, it has long been understood that Apple always keeps silent about its new products not yet launched, the sources emphasized.
The new models are expected to come with Thunderbolt, Intel’s ‘Lightpeak’ high-speed connection technology, along with the latest processor, Sandy Bridge, which would represent a significant upgrade for Apple’s MacBook Air, which until now is still using the previous generation Core 2 Duo processors.
Apple sold more than 1.1 million of its latest MacBook Air during the fourth quarter of last year, making it one of the company’s hottest-selling Mac products ever. A genuine design classic, the ultra-slim Air currently uses Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics as standard.
“Main supply chain makers for the new models remain about the same as for the existing MacBook Air, with Quanta Computer solely responsible for assembly, Catcher Technology supplying casings, Auras Technology a main supplier of thermal modules, Shin Zu Shing supplying hinges, and Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying batteries, the sources pointed out. However, none of the makers have confirmed their participation in making new MacBook Airs,” DigiTimes says.
A new Air within the next couple of months also makes sense because it sets up Apple’s computer line up for the third quarter of 2011, which is when computer-makers traditionally see their peak volume for the year. The MacBook Air has, by all accounts, been a success since its redesign last year, but it still uses an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Upgrading to the Sandy Bridge platform will provide better power usage, better graphics and better performance, and make the Air much more attractive to back-to-school notebook buyers.
As is usual with the Cupertino company, no word has been forthcoming on the veracity of the rumors regarding the MacBook Air refresh.