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Old Apr 3, 2013, 08:18 PM   #1
blabliblu
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[Updated] Macbook Air 2013 Forecast

[Update 1] Due to recent informations, I moved the "Wifi AC" standard and NFC capability up to likely new updates.
[Update 2] As for higher resolution, note that the multiplication factor I took are not exactly to a "Retina" level, but they are still just above a 1080p resolution, because that would be the best compromise for a long term update which wouldn't need much more power/battery.

So, as a long time Mac follower, and also working in a trend agency, here is what I think are the possible scenarios of a Macbook Air update in 2013. This is based on current market trends, stocks, prior Apple updates, its policy, component market/price, intel etc...

*Note that the current flash drive differentiation in the designations will probably switch to a processor power differentiation

What will certainly happen

11-inch : 64GB
N/A dual core Intel Core i5 (Haswell)
4GB memory 1600hz DDR3L
128GB GB flash storage
Intel HD Graphics GT2 4200
1366 by 768 screen res
Up to 5 hour battery
$999.00

11-inch : 128GB
N/A dual-core Intel Core i5 (Haswell) better than above
4GB memory 1600hz DDR3L (configurable to 8GB)
128GB flash storage
Intel HD Graphics GT2 4200
1366 by 768 screen res
Up to 5 hour battery
$1,099.00

13-inch : 128GB
N/A dual-core Intel Core i5 (Haswell) better or same than above
4GB memory 1600hz DDR3L (configurable to 8GB)
128GB flash storage
Intel HD Graphics GT2 4500
1440 by 900 screen res
Up to 7 hour battery
$1,199.00

13-inch : 256GB
N/A dual-core Intel Core i5 (Haswell) better than above
8GB memory
256GB flash storage
Intel HD Graphics GT2 4500
1440 by 900 screen res
Up to 7 hour battery
$1,399.00

What may or probably will happen

11-inch : 64GB
same as above but
Wifi AC Standard
2050 by 1152 screen res
Up to 7 hour battery
$899.00

11-inch : 128GB
Same as above but
Wifi AC Standard
2050 by 1152 screen res
Up to 7 hour battery
$999.00

13-inch : 128GB
8GB memory
Wifi AC standard
2240 by 1400 screen res
Up to 8-9 hour battery
$1,099.00

13-inch : 256GB
Wifi AC Standard
2440 by 1400 screen res
Up to 8-9 hour battery
$1,299.00

What could/might happen

11-inch : 64GB and 11-inch : 128GB
same as above but
NFC/Micro-chip reader
Card Reader
Redesign (slimmer and/or dark tint)

13-inch : 128GB
same as above but
NFC/Micro-chip reader
Two thunderbolt
Redesign (slimmer and/or dark tint)
256GB flash storage
(and so) $1,199.00/$1,0299

13-inch : 256GB
same as above but
NFC/Micro-chip reader
Two thunderbolt
Redesign (internal redesign and/or slimmer and/or dark tint)
512GB flash storage
(ans so) $1,499.00

What should but probably won't happen, because too early, innovative and costly

Eye/Gesture tracker iSight (screen auto-dimm, air gesture, eye command, focus, games...)
3G/4G antenna/slot
Wifi 802.11 abc standard
Larger tactile and pen-friendly trackpad
E-ink keyboard (with changing/custom key symbols)
New, way lighter materials and body
Auto connecting/disconnecting Magsafe magnet
NFC/Micro-wireless chip to connect devices/cards/items (data, cut-copy, contacts, music etc...)

All this of course doesn't take into account the future 10.9 OSX that probably won't be release until next year and will probably not be a big redesign but include new features such as Siri. I think they will first test the new iOS7 approach with the iPhone 6 next year before going toward OSX 11

.

Last edited by blabliblu; Apr 10, 2013 at 08:48 AM.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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I would be surprised to see anything smaller than a 128GB SSD on either model.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 01:08 AM   #3
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1) You made a typo in the first 64GB 11in MBA. You label it 64GB then describe it as 128GB.
2) I agree with everything you say will certainly happen
3) I wholeheartedly disagree with everything you say may/probably happen
4) Definitely disagree with everything could/might happen

If my opinion, from also being a Mac fan and having a keen eye for trends, the MBA will not get any sort of redesign and it will not get a retina display (as that would cannibalize rMBP sales and place its cost outside its target demographic).

Simply put - expect Haswell and nothing else.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 03:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blabliblu View Post
So, as a long time Mac follower, and also working in a trend agency, here is what I think are the possible scenarios of a Macbook Air update in 2013. This is based on current market trends, stocks, prior Apple updates, its policy, component market/price, intel etc...


.
Hold on a sec, let me find someone who cares.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 05:30 AM   #5
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Specifically for the 11" model I do hope there is more battery life. oh and less bezel around the screen too but I don't mind if it stays 11"
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 10:25 AM   #6
Michael Goff
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I don't foresee a re-design, likely just a spec update.

They likely won't drop the 64GB model, as it is their 'low cost' Macbook Air.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Goff View Post
I don't foresee a re-design, likely just a spec update.

They likely won't drop the 64GB model, as it is their 'low cost' Macbook Air.
64GB even for a Notepad is very weak and has been around for very long when 128GB really cost nothing now.

So as I said they'll probably up the entry 11" MBA flash drive to 128GB as well and switch from a Flash Drive differentiation (64GB vs 128GB) to a processor power differentiation (X GHz dual core i5 vs Y Ghz dual core i5) like the Macbook Pros...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KylePowers View Post
1) You made a typo in the first 64GB 11in MBA. You label it 64GB then describe it as 128GB.
Not a typo, see above.

As for the rest, that's why I made different scenario because on one hand we very well know that Apple has had a weak update policy for 2 or 3 years and that there's no point to hope for more, but on the other end they've really harshly criticized, the stakeholders and customers are excepting stronger updates or innovation.

So it may or may not get Retina, it may or may not have a slight redesign, it may or may not have bigger RAM or Flash Drive for the same model, but what is sure is that it'll have either of them because the update would be way too weak with just an Haswell update and people won't support it.

Last edited by blabliblu; Apr 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old Apr 4, 2013, 11:54 AM   #8
Michael Goff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blabliblu View Post
64GB even for a Notepad is very weak and has been around for very long when 128GB really cost nothing now.

So as I said they'll probably up the entry 11" MBA flash drive to 128GB as well and switch from a Flash Drive differentiation (64GB vs 128GB) to a processor power differentiation (X GHz dual core i5 vs Y Ghz dual core i5) like the Macbook Pros...
If they sell, they won't get rid of it.

If they don't sell, maybe you're right.

Apple isn't in this for anything other than cash.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 10:30 AM   #9
blabliblu
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If they sell, they won't get rid of it.

If they don't sell, maybe you're right.

Apple isn't in this for anything other than cash.
True. And I think they don't sell but I don't have each model sales.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:04 AM   #10
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Apple isn't in this for anything other than cash.
which is exactly how it should be as profits drive inovation.

----------

i don't think that any of those things you say should happen should happen...certainly not on this year's model anyway.

regarding the card reader on the 11" i think the problem there is that the slope is too steep to make room for a sd reader. i personally would rather sacrifice the reader and keep the small footprint of the 11.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:08 AM   #11
Michael Goff
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True. And I think they don't sell but I don't have each model sales.
I think they sell well enough, considering people can convince themselves that it's the budget model.

But we'll never know, until they replace it for poor sales.

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Originally Posted by DisplacedMic View Post
which is exactly how it should be as profits drive innovation.
Not always.

Losing profits drives innovation far more than gaining them.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 11:38 AM   #12
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Not always.

Losing profits drives innovation far more than gaining them.
losing profits might drive the motivation for innovation but the point is that innovation is rewarded by profit.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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Apple isn't in this for anything other than cash.
That's what all successful businesses are in it for, comrade.

With your attitude, I assume you work for free, since profits are what pay wages and salaries, unless you work for government, then other people's salaries and wages pay you through taxes.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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losing profits might drive the motivation for innovation but the point is that innovation is rewarded by profit.
You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

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Originally Posted by TC25 View Post
That's what all successful businesses are in it for, comrade.

With your attitude, I assume you work for free, since profits are what pay wages and salaries, unless you work for government, then other people's salaries and wages pay you through taxes.
Where did I say that? I was simply pointing out that Apple won't get rid of the 64GB MBA as long as it makes them money. I was simply trying to point out that they aren't doing anything they do out of some altruistic sense of right and wrong.

Is that bad? No, it's how society functions.
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Old Apr 6, 2013, 02:02 PM   #15
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I'd be surprised if the new MacBook Air's don't support 802.11ac. Haswell is a given and if were lucky we might see retina screens or a storage bump.

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Old Apr 6, 2013, 03:03 PM   #16
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Haswell but no redesign

Haswell is almost certainly coming and there will likely be storage bumps and increases in RAM and better battery life which will become a key selling point. The improved battery life will likely be down Haswell.

I think the lowest end Macbook Air will get 128GB rather than 64GB but Apple will keep the price the same protecting its profit margin over the next 12 month cycle. The amount of flash memory Apple is buying you know the profits they must be making on this.

There will be no Air redesign or Retina display for the Air because this will allow Apple to push the RmbPro and consolidate the Macbook Pro product line into all Retina displays.

If the Air offered the Retina display this could cannibalise RmbPro sales. The Retina is currently more suited to a Pro product and the Air's battery life would currently suffer if it had to power a Retina display.

Expect the Air to get the Retina display in 2014 with Intel's Broadwell chip or 2015 with Skylake. At this point it would make more sense to redesign the Macbook Air.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 05:09 PM   #17
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You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.
what are you talking about?
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 06:09 PM   #18
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what are you talking about?
Innovation is not always rewarded by profit.
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Old Apr 8, 2013, 06:26 PM   #19
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I don't believe in 2+ more hours of battery life. It would be amazing but I don't. I think like Ivybridge and Sandy before it, the mobile savings will once again be very minor. We need a real revolution in battery technology for mobile devices. Laptops more than anything, and also smartphones!
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 09:15 AM   #20
DisplacedMic
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Innovation is not always rewarded by profit.
of course not, that wasn't at all my point.
you're not serious with this are you?

the claim that "Losing profits drives innovation far more than gaining them" is nonsense.
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 09:29 AM   #21
Michael Goff
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of course not, that wasn't at all my point.
you're not serious with this are you?

the claim that "Losing profits drives innovation far more than gaining them" is nonsense.
Microsoft did very little to innovate from XP to Vista to 7, but then let's look at what they've done with Windows Phone and Windows 8 so far.

Then we have the big change for OS X (from OS 9) when Apple "came back from the brink".
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 09:29 AM   #22
LeeM
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i love my 11" air and have barely used my pro since i got the air. 64gb is simply not enough though, need to set up a time machine now! its certainly easy to catch the apple bug
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 10:34 AM   #23
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Microsoft did very little to innovate from XP to Vista to 7, but then let's look at what they've done with Windows Phone and Windows 8 so far.

Then we have the big change for OS X (from OS 9) when Apple "came back from the brink".
yes exactly - profit-driven innovation.

i'm not claiming there's no exceptions - clearly. obviously there can be profit without inovation and there can be inovation without profit.
i am speaking in general terms, as was appropriate for this discussion.

Someone made a vague "Apple isn't in this for anything other than cash" statement to which I replied "which is exactly how it should be as profits drive inovation"

The point is this: If Apple is making money then the products are selling. if the products are selling then it's a reasonable assumption that the consumer is happy. This isn't a zero-sum game here in terms of consumer/supplier - everybody can win.

this isn't just my opinion - this is 100 years of modern economic theory.
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 10:46 AM   #24
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I think they sell well enough, considering people can convince themselves that it's the budget model.

But we'll never know.
Should end there. I don't think Apple will ever admit that any product is a poor seller.
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Old Apr 10, 2013, 12:37 PM   #25
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Aside from the usual processor and graphics upgrade, I predict the same ol MBA non-retina screen, ram sizes, SSD sizes, body.
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