New Entry-Level Mac Notebook Expected to Adopt Retina Display, Likely Launch at WWDC in June

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Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899.


DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family.

However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.
The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600.

LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.
The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing.

In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated entry-level iPad models for release in the second quarter and new iPad Pro models for the second half of the year.

Article Link: New Entry-Level Mac Notebook Expected to Adopt Retina Display, Likely Launch at WWDC in June
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
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If the MacBook Air gets a 13.3" 2560x1600 screen, I'd like to see the 13" MacBook Pro move to a 2880x1800 screen and the 15" MacBook Pro move to a 3,360x2,100 screen. I often like the extra desktop space of scaled 1440x900 on the 13" MacBook Pro and it'd be great to get that as a native scaled density.
 

ThisBougieLife

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2016
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If the MacBook Air gets a 13.3" 2560x1600 screen, I'd like to see the 13" MacBook Pro move to a 2880x1800 screen and the 15" MacBook Pro move to a 3,360x2,100 screen. I often like the extra desktop space of scaled 1440x900 on the 13" MacBook Pro and it'd be great to get that as a native scaled density.
Same. This is one area where I think the MBP can improve. The native scaled resolutions (1200x800) and (1440x900) are just too small for 13" and 15" in this day and age.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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The wait to WWDC is going to put me in a grave.
No one expected the 2017 iPad Pros to launch during WWDC 2017. If Apple doesn’t hold a spring Keynote around March or April, then I’m inclined to believe some hardware will launch again during WWDC 2018, perhaps a refreshed SE, MacBook, future announcements of other products, etc.
 
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caoimhin

macrumors member
May 11, 2006
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Apples MacBook lineup is so screwed up lol
I have to agree. It honestly takes a bit of study to figure out how to differentiate these products. The differences seem kind of arbitrary (e.g., the current Air has the weaker display and hard disk at entry level, but has a superior selection of (now "legacy") ports that I use daily when compared to even the spec'ed up MB or MBP.) Then there's the matter of the keyboard on the new MB and MBP, but the more comfortable keyboard on the Air.

I'm beginning to think about replacing my 2013 MBP, and I haven't a clue which machine I should be looking at.
 

Ramchi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2007
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Happy with my 2013 MBP 15inch 512 GB, 16 GB RAM with all ports. Display still looking good since I have mostly used external monitor (LG 27 inch ultra wide monitor) . No intention of replacing it sooner.
 

JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
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I have to agree. It honestly takes a bit of study to figure out how to differentiate these products. The differences seem kind of arbitrary (e.g., the current Air has the weaker display and hard disk at entry level, but has a superior selection of (now "legacy") ports that I use daily when compared to even the spec'ed up MB or MBP.) Then there's the matter of the keyboard on the new MB and MBP, but the more comfortable keyboard on the Air.

I'm beginning to think about replacing my 2013 MBP, and I haven't a clue which machine I should be looking at.
So I have a 2013 MBA

The keyboard issues with the MBP make those effectively a no go for me (unless you wanna budget in AppleCare it's basically a must for the machine).
The 12" MacBook would be my pick, but Intel Core M makes it roughly on par with my MBA geek bench scores so no upgrade there. Also, 1 USB C port, not even Thunderbolt 3. Plus because no fan my MBA can probably run circles around the core M processor after an hour of heavy load.

There is just no upgrade path for me at the moment.

Maybe my next MacBook will be an Air (again):)
 

pika2000

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Jun 22, 2007
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I have a feeling this will be just a refreshed non-TB MacBook Pro. Remember that Apple targeted these towards those liking the 13.3” MacBook Air.

So what we might see
MacBook Air discontinued.
The non-TB MacBook Pro (and maybe the retina MacBook) get some price adjustments.

Nothing to get excited for here folks. The info tells me that. It’s just rumor sites like to speculate more than what it is.
 

Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
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The MacBook lineup is a mess since Tim took over. The strategy is purely aiming at profit, not a clear product portfolio or user experience. Good for the company, bad for customers as they don‘t want to research first, which device is available in which screen size but not lacking up to date internals. It‘s even worse than the heterogeneous iPad lineup. My view.
 
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WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
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So I have a 2013 MBA

The keyboard issues with the MBP make those effectively a no go for me (unless you wanna budget in AppleCare it's basically a must for the machine).
...
There is just no upgrade path for me at the moment.

Maybe my next MacBook will be an Air (again):)
I really want a new MBPr to replace my 2015 MBPr as I under spec'ed it when I bought it but:
  • No HDMI - used a lot for presentations and I am not going to start carrying around dongles. My bag is full enough.
  • No magsafe - This has saved my laptop from flying across the room on no less than 5 occasions.
  • A gimmicky touchbar that I'd be paying a premium for.
  • "That" keyboard...
The pro moniker is frankly laughable at the moment.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Nothing to get excited for here folks. The info tells me that. It’s just rumor sites like to speculate more than what it is.
We know it’s a rumored website, but that doesn’t mean others can’t get excited for the possibility of something that might actually happen. Let’s not forget when no one expected the iPad Pros to launch during WWDC 2017 last year, it’s not unreasonable to not expect some hardware to lunch again for WWDC 2018. It’s Apple, they are highly unpredictable.
 
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deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
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I have a feeling this will be just a refreshed non-TB MacBook Pro. Remember that Apple targeted these towards those liking the 13.3” MacBook Air.
There are no non-TB MacBook Pros. The only non TB model that Apple has is the Macbook. Even the old MBA's have TBv2.



So what we might see
MacBook Air discontinued.
The non-TB MacBook Pro (and maybe the retina MacBook) get some price adjustments.
Apple has too chooses. They could reassign the entry level laptop to the name "MacBook" (and swap name labels the current MacBook take on the MacBook Air mantle which would align with the original "price premium for thinnest" connotation. ) . Or they can continue with the more modern label of the entry level laptop keeping "Air" in the name.

The sub $999 price point isn't going away at all. Kuo's rumor seems more likely of the MBA (or whatever Apple name the entry point) going down to $799-899 more likely. ( $300-500 Chromebooks and MS Windows S models are whipping Apple pretty bad for price constrained buyers. MBA 11 used to dip in that down in that zone a bit. There is no reason now that the same screen tech and chasis couldn't go down there now at 13").

A sensible realignment would be models [ old ]

$799-899 Macbook [ old MBA 13" moved down. Purts upgraded to TBv3 (Type-C) ]
$999 Macbook [ old MBP 13" fcn key model with screen downgraded with this digitimes story ]
$1299 Macbook Air [ current Macbook made slightly bigger (thicker and depth) so can fit in a TBv3 socket infrastructure and clean up keyboard travel a bit. ]
$1299 MacBook Pro 13" [ new MBP fcn key model reworked for 4 TBv3 ports. ]
$1699 Macbook Pro 13" touch bar [ start to walk back the touch bar premium ]
$1999 Macbook Pro 15" [ still plugging hole with older model with USB Type A ports and HDMI ] ***
$2199 MacBook Pro 15" [ again walk back the touch bar premium. Scale back the track pad a bit ]


The current MBP 13' fcn key model looks a lot like what the MBA update should have been given Apple's move to TBv3 (and Type-C sockets). The screen is better which drives up the price, but if Apple backpedaled on that a bit and lowered the price the complaints would likely be moderate.

*** The "hole" here is something that should drift back in weight/thickness to be a better desktop replacement. Thick enough to have so-DIMMs and bigger battery so could hit 64GB in near term. Aimed more so that folks who use the laptop in clamshell mode most of the time (there are companies that blindly assign laptops to everyone. Whether they are using it almost entirely immobile fashion or not. )
 

-BigMac-

macrumors 68000
Apr 15, 2011
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No one expected the 2017 iPad Pros to launch during WWDC 2017. If Apple doesn’t hold a spring Keynote around March or April, then I’m inclined to believe some hardware will launch again during WWDC 2018, perhaps a refreshed SE, MacBook, future announcements of other products, etc.
My 2018 release predictions

Late April

Mac Mini/new ‘value’ Macbook

WWDC
Refreshed iMac/entry level iPad/ MacOS 12/ “one more thing” = Modular Mac Pro preview

‘iOS’ September Event
iOS12/ new iPhones/new FaceID ‘bezelesss’ iPad Pros

*Macbook pros silently spec bumped around WWDC