MacBook air speculation about future...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mayhone1, May 6, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

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    #1
    Does anyone think thunderbolt and 4gb memory as a start will be on the next update in MacBook Air?
     
  2. macrumors regular

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    #2
    Apple to begin production of Thunderbolt MacBook Airs this month

    By Kasper Jade
    Published: 11:00 AM EST

    Apple nthis month will reportedly begin manufacturing the first updates to its rejuvenated MacBook Air line as the company looks to maintain the impressive sales momentum generated by the ultra-thin notebooks and limit the market opportunity for would-be competitors hoping to wedge their foot in the door.

    Sales of the aggressively-priced 11.6- and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs got off to a hot start following their introduction last October, with Apple assembling roughly 1 million units within their first quarter of availability. During those three months, consumers reportedly chose the new MacBook Airs at a one-to-two ratio to the company's more established MacBook Pro offerings, making for one of the company's most successful Mac product launches ever.

    However, shipments of the Airs declined 51 percent sequentially during the first calendar quarter of 2011 -- including a 40 percent month-over-month decline in February -- as Apple introduced new MacBook Pros that caught consumers' eyes, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven sources within the Cupertino-based company's Far Eastern supply chain.

    Kuo tells AppleInsider that his latest round of checks with suppliers and system builders in the region reveals that MacBook Air shipments are set to rebound during the current calendar quarter, fueled by an upgrade to Intel's latest Sandy Bridge microprocessors, integrated Intel graphics, and the expected adoption of the new Thunderbolt high-speed I/O technology that made its debut on MacBook Pros earlier this year.

    Specifically, he said the new models will "go to mass production in late May," which corroborates an earlier report that cited reliable sources as saying Apple would be ready to publicly announce and ship to consumers MacBook Airs with Sandy Bridge processors during following month of June.




    The upgrade should help boost Apple's overall notebook shipments between 5 percent to 10 percent sequentially for the current quarter, according to Kuo, reversing a 5 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, which he notes was still less than the 11% average decline for notebook shipments from the top 6 OEMs worldwide during the same period.

    In moving to Intel's 32-nanometer (nm) Sandy Bridge architecture, the mid-2011 MacBook Airs will jettison two-year-old Penryn-based 45-nm Core 2 Duo chips for the chipmakers' new line (below) of low-voltage and ultra-low-voltage Core i5 and Core i7 chips, which sport between 3MB and 4MB of Smart Cache and support a theoretical maximum of 8GB of internal system memory.


    Should Apple follow its current trend of using ultra-low-variants for the 11.6-inch MacBook Air and low-voltage ones for the 13.3-inch models, consumers can expect to see new 11.6-inch MacBook Airs sporting 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz Core i5 and Core i7 chips and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs with 2.10 and 2.30GHz Core i7 processors.

    In a report shared with AppleInsider last week, Kuo also noted that production of Apple's legacy white MacBook model has been on a steady decline since the start of the year, with shipments falling 10% and 50% in February and March, respectively. As such, it's likely that Apple will similarly need to make some form of announcement regarding the future of this offering sometime in the coming months.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #3
    Thunderbolt, yes.

    4GB, no.

    Why? This is merely out of speculation and my own intuition, but I think they'll leave it at 2GB standard, especially at the 13in - to differentiate it from the MBP 13. I mean, a SB MBA with thunderbolt + higher res + sleeker body + SSD all standard would already be cutting into MBP 13 purchases. Now tack on 4GB RAM standard, then yeah, very few people would go MBP 13, unless they really needed the optical drive, backlit keyboard (which who knows, could make its way into the new MBA), or the 2-3 (I'm not sure) extra ports.

    That's what I think, at least.

    I would also guess the new MBA will have an HD camera, just like the new iMac and MBP... which again, checks off another thing the 2011 MBP and future MBA would have in common.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks!
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Is there a link to match this info?
     
  6. jpi
    macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I would be interested if there is a chance for a design-update?!
     
  7. aleni, May 6, 2011
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

    macrumors 68000

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    #7
    hell no, Apple stated that the new Macbook Air is gonna be the future of all MacBooks. so i think the next MBP will follow the shape of Macbook air but a little bit thicker than the current Air.
     

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  8. macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I'd agree, but for different reasons. Apple doesn't care if you buy an Air or a Pro if the margins are the same, and they likely are. Apple makes a bundle of money selling the extra 2GB of memory to those who need it. And I don't think most people really need it. If they're "power users," they'll get the Pro or up the memory for $100. I get along just fine with 2GB of memory in my Air, since I usually only have a few lightweight programs running. I'm glad I didn't waste $100 on more memory.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Unfortunately, you cannot do it later if you have to, as RAM is soldered on the board.
     
  10. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    Mar 29, 2011
    #10
    I think not only will the RAM stay at 2GB base, but the SSD sizes as well. Judging from the iMac refresh, SSD prices haven't decreased in the slightest. I don't foresee Apple selling the Air at the same prices with larger SSD standards. I think we'll see exactly 64 GB SSD and 128 GB SSD as the base for 11" and 13" respectively.

    I predict we'll see Thunderbolt replacing the Mini Display port, Sandy Bridge processors, an HD front camera, and improved GPU. I don't think we'll see much else. We certainly won't see a new design -- apple tends to stick with the same design for a few years -- and we certainly won't see back lit keyboards.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Thunderbolt is a good possibility but 4GB standard I wouldn't bet on.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Won't need to. This computer will belong to someone else in a couple of years.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I'd agree with that to the word, except for the GPU, unless you consider the Intel integrated graphics an improvement, which has been debated.
     
  14. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #14
    It'll be interesting to also see how the battery life will change.

    My prediction? Either it'll stay the same or improve slightly.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Obi Wan Kenobi

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    #15
    Improvements?

    I'm repeatedly tempted by the MBA. But not quite enough to buy one, yet.

    The first iterations were too expensive for what they were (and they weren't much lighter than the MBPs). The latest ones are much better, but the 11inch model is lacking in two areas that matter to me - battery life and backlit keyboard.

    Battery life matters in such a portable computer. The more portable the computer, the more that battery life matters. Once you have to carry a charger, as well as the computer, the advantage of being super-portable is lost.

    My Alu MB, has a backlit keyboard, and whilst I understand that it's not essential, it's one of those features that, once you have it, you don't want to do without it. I understand that may impact battery life, but in poor lighting conditions, it does make a difference.
    :cool:
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Batteries are heavy, so the bigger the battery, the less portable the computer. Compromises have to be made as battery technology slowly improves. Apple's charger weighs about 6.5 ounces. I'm not sure how I would want to compromise, with a heavier computer, or by carrying the charger occasionally.
     
  17. Beau10, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Still it's a bad purchase if you don't need it. That's 10% the cost of a consumable good for something may need at some later date. In the world of Apple resale is king, so really, you have little to lose and may even come out ahead in the slight chance you find that you do need it but will be buying it in the form of a newer machine. When you buy commonly stocked (ie. non-bto) models you have the ability to easily get these from 3rd party resellers at a price below Apple, incentives, tax free, etc. Or from Apple the stock of refurbs is much greater and easier to attain. When you take a product deeper into the consumer/commodity space, the upgrades you purchased a year or two back are that much more worthless - because now you're selling to the group of people who don't need the latest and greatest, they just want a MBA.

    Many of the folks on this forum who max out their MBAs - sometimes under the guise of future proofing - seem to be people who upgrade fairly often and rarely seem to put forth sound use cases into their choice... not saying that they don't exist, just that it can seem to be an emotional thing. And then they think it applies to everyone.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    #18
  19. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #19
    The only reason Apple may bump up the base RAM from 2GB to 4GB is perhaps to accomodate to Lion? I don't know if it might require it, or maybe Apple wants it to run just as smooth on the Airs? Maybe it can already on 2GB?

    Pure speculation.

    It's wishful thinking, but I'm hoping to see bump ups for the base SSD storage space and RAM, but I predict both will remain the same. Also would love to see an increase in battery life. Time will tell this Summer...
     
  20. macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Nevermind 4... i'm kind of hoping that 8GB will at least be an option, for running Windows 7 in VMWare. Prepared to pay the Apple RAM price gouging for it too.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
  22. macrumors 65816

    striker33

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    #22
    The SB processors will support up to 8GB of RAM. So a bump in RAM isnt entirely out of the question.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    revelated

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    #23
    Source?

    Let me be clear now as I know someone will give something that is not a valid source.

    I'm looking for an authorized Apple employee stating on the record that "the (new) MacBook Air IS GONNA BE the future of ALL MacBooks".

    Statements that "Well, I think that the form factor might be..." nuh uh. DEFINITIVE Source please.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I think it was something the one and only Steve Jobs has said.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

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    Aug 6, 2005
    #25
    Jobs definitely said it when he introduced it. What he meant exactly is up for debate.
     

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