Next Macbook Air Revision

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lefse, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. lefse macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Will it have:

    - 256GB SSD-option?
    - 2.3Ghz (or whaterever it is these days) CPU?
    - 4GB RAM?
    - SD-card slot?
    - Power outlet and port hatch on the _same_ side?

    I think the last one is especially important on a machine that talks style just as much as essence. It is stupid to hook it up to an external monitor and having cables on both sides. Unclean.

    The SD-card slot is nice, because it is so much faster than a USB-solution (that be cable, or even the cheap Express-cards found on MBP 17").

    CPU will always be speedier in a new revision - but is the 256 SSD-option readily available?
  2. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    I would hope for 4&256 by Feb, but the rest I wouldn't expect till maybe early '11.
  3. lefse thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Ah yes. Forgot the RAM. I'll add that to the list. Thanks.
  4. sparkie7 macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    I don't get it. Why doesn't  release updates Airs before xmas? Makes financial/revenue sense :rolleyes:
  5. prodigee macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Because that is how Apple is, they have their product refresh cycles. Many have always wondered why they update MacBook Pro's in January, and that is because they know that they can make more money this way. You get a new MBP for Christmas new one comes out in January, what do average consumers do? Sell their new MBP in favor the newest fastest MBP.
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    ^ That and releasing a new product in Q1 means that they'll have great sales early on during a time when buying is lower because of the holidays.
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    probably for 2 reasons (apart from Phil Schiller mentioning last week that their product line is 'set' for now):

    1 MBAir revC was released barely 5 months ago and thus is mid-cycle.

    2 (and probably more importantly) there have been to date insufficient advances (read also price drops) in key components such as processors to suit and ssd's of larger capacity.

    the Air is after all a niche market product and those 'already owners' and 'potential purchasers' would not necessarily be hanging out for every techno update.

    I know I'm not. :D
  8. sparkie7 macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    most people are flat broke after xmas though

    see above

    I know I am :D
  9. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    I would say 4 MB for RAM, but the HD will be a little on the disappointing side, though larger SSD are out there, it doesnt mean it will make the MBa, because of space, heat, performance, cost, etc.

    SD maybe, but that maybe a "Pro" feature only.
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The only thing that would compel me to upgrade is more RAM. 2GB isn't enough and for a computer of this price, it's unreasonable to be still offering only 2GB.

    …or 4 MB would be good too. :D

    I'd rather get 2 USB ports than an SD slot. It can find a lot more uses for an additional USB including using a SD reader. I mean sure it might not be the fastest reader in the world.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Despite its current following, I feel the MBA was meant for the "executive" type and that really is a business "pro" classification and not consumer oriented market. Now, I do agree a lot of consumers have bought the MBA because of its massive failures - buying an MBA wasn't supposed to cost $999 or even $1499... And the "pro" or "business" markets have money for expenditures and budgets in the first quarter of the new year. So, when would Apple update, during the first quarter to get the highest returns on a new investment. Business buyers are no different than anyone else, they want a relatively new Mac for their dollars too.

    I really believed what I heard about the MBA being updated in October/November of this year, but since I was wrong, the information leads me to believe it's definitely coming soon. I guarantee you that it's already being made or the decision is made to EOL the MBA... Apple should have completed its research about the current MBA sales and why more aren't buying it - cough, lack of RAM!

    Nonetheless, I am predicting a different form factor, Arrandale CPU, and potentially ATI dedicated graphics. Definitely 4 GB RAM, and glass trackpad, but no 256 GB SSD. Also, something totally NEW... a brand new feature not on any other current Mac when it's released. Oh, and definitely a 16:9 display, and I am going to pull OLED out my rear and guess it's really coming as the "new" feature. There were rumors about it, LG makes it, and Apple signed a huge contract paying LG half a billion dollars up front for displays (another half billion later). Whatever the "new" feature, it will definitely be a trial run on the MBA just as was the internal battery, large trackpad, brick unibody, and chiclet keyboard.

    All guesswork!
  12. lefse thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Good Lord!
    ...and all this within the same price points?
    Do you have any idea how expensive OLEDs are? Even LED-displays, for that matter.. First LED-display appeared in MBP summer 07, and there is still not a 30-32" LED-display cheap enough for Apple to upgrade their archaic 30" display (although i think the 30" S-IPS still is stunning, regardless).

    As for a new form factor; that might happen, but only for minor changes like SD-card reader, i believe... When Apple released the new MB/MBP-line they stated that this was something that would last for many years.
    Why would they change that in the Air?

    It would also be stupid to release a new Air, without a bigger SSD. It's been a year since the 128GB-update - and they can't release a new one without a bigger drive.
    Maybe that's what they're waiting for?
    Anyway, next Air revision might be SSD-only, with 128GB and 256GB offerings.
  13. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I LIKE the cut of your Gib Scottsdale, It is going to be a sweet machine when released, and as I am in no rush, I can wait. With 4GB of RAM, I'd slap a Runcore SSD in there and have my dream machine.
    I think the LG deal is for a super thin OLED screen, leaning towards a lid at or near 1/4 " thick:eek:,with dare i hope, an external Blu-ray DVD Burner:rolleyes::eek::eek::eek:
  14. Maks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2009
    So...what you're saying is this:

    1. You guarantee that the MBA is being EOLed without any proof whatsoever.
    2. There is going to be a "new" feature that will be a trial run on a new MBA...even though you guarantee that the MBA is being EOLed.
    3. You posted in another thread "The MBA will see updates before March 2010 for CERTAIN! I absolutely guarantee it." But said they've decided to EOL it, so how will there be an update to an EOL product? And how can you guarantee this information? Please link to references where Apple has stated this as fact.
    4. Everything you just said is "guesswork." Yet guaranteed. OK.
  15. michael1019 macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I also view the Macbook Air as a bit of an Apple test bed. I think that clearly we're moving away from key-based input and into the realm of touch based input. I think we're going to see either the deletion of the physical keyboard in favor of a large multi-touch trackpad / virtual keyboard (as we've seen in various Apple patent applications) or the adoption of the larger area multi-touch trackpad, keeping a physical keyboard for perhaps 1 more generation. I would almost guarantee that we're going to see in the next couple of generations of the Macbook Air the deletion of the physical keyboard in notebook computers.

    I would imagine the form factor could change slightly, although I think it's nearly perfect as-is. Perhaps they could better integrate the usb / mini display and headphone jack into the case. In general, I prefer the MBA over the Macbook / Macbook Pro mainly because of the tapering of the case- very comfortable to type on. Perhaps it will become slimmer and adopt some of the styling of the Macbook Pro line. Then again, perhaps not - the Macbook Air is arguably the most beautiful product that Apple makes. I prefer the all aluminum look over the black bezel and glass covered LED.

    Obviously updated specs, probably a larger SSD, glass trackpad. Oh, and a lot more expensive. That's precisely why I just bought a new Rev B 1.86 128 SSD machine.
  16. elverket macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    No offence, but in my opinion this is an example of what I see all over the apple rumor community all the time: people mixing ther wishes with their predictions.
    The form factor: apple typically makes a lot of effort into designing their notebooks, and usually keeps these designs for a long time (anybody remember the 15'' PB G2-MBP design? That must have lasted at least 5 years...) Why would they redesign the MBA already? In addition, a new (smaller) form factor would perhaps interfere with the presumably upcoming tablet.
    As for hard drive, processor and ram, remember the issue of market segmentation. Apple is very careful about differentiating their hardware lines, and this affects the MBA too. Arrandale, 4 gig ram and 256 SSD and SD-slot would effectively make it a MBP compeditor, something Apple would never do. In addition, as others have pointed out: these components are still too expensive to make sense in a regular upgrade. This goes for the OLED too, Sony is still making you pay through the nose and then some to get your hands on their OLED. It's too soon.

    On the basis of this, my prediction for rev D is this:

    Base model: 160gb HDD, 2.0ghz cpu. Same form factor, same screen, same amount of RAM.

    Top model: New, significantly faster 128gb SSD, 2,3 ghz cpu. Possibly 4 gig ram, but I doubt it - it's still MBP territory.

    Both will perhaps feature a new, improved battery (they should!), but no glass track pad (would mean a redesign).
  17. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    First update after it's available.

    You might want to read what you've quoted again.

    Scottsdale is right when he says MBA was originally aimed at executives - and failed. Revision A one had issues, all reviews were about HDD version, and it earned the opinion of ridiculously expensive, underpowered, but beautiful piece of hardware. People weren't buying it.

    Revision B was a "fix" - most issues were resolved, price lowered, and (accidentally or not) SSD version shipped six weeks before the low-end model. Now reviews were positive and - probably - more people were buying it. But many were still biased against it.

    I see revision C as Air's last chance to prove itself. It was barely upgraded (even the model number remains the same), but significantly discounted - to the point where it's comparable to MBP. It simply can't get any cheaper, unless it isn't upgraded for some time again - it may go Mac Mini route and replace MacBook White as entry-level option, but for now lack of ports and optical drive makes it impossible. If it's still unpopular, there'll be nothing for Apple but give up and EOL it - while MBPs become thinner and lighter. If it sells well enough, it may gain momentum and be upgraded as many people wish here.

    There's really no way to say which one it's going to be - too many unknown variables. We'd need to know sales numbers, revenues, components prices and availability, and then there's a whole issue with Arrandale (availability, TDP, obligatory Intel graphics...).

    It definitely was - LED display, keyboard, unibody design, built-in battery, SSD all appeared in Air first and made their way to MBP. However some new features of MBP - glass trackpad, black bezel around the screen - probably don't fit into Air's design. It may have well fulfilled its purpose... or be used again to introduce new technology (like OLED), if it's still around by then.
  18. Maks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2009
    One of the first objective, well thought out, non-fanboy responses I've ever seen on this forum. Very well put.
  19. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    Then they usually get disappointed when their wishes don't come to fruition.
  20. lefse thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    It was aimed at executives? Oh, where does it say that? Who said that?
    It failed? Really - got any numbers to back that claim? Mac sales have been up all the way, and with the Air's high profit margins, what gives?

    Lower prices will always happen. Just like it happened to the first iPod, which was ridiculously expensive when it first came out.
    Every computer Apple makes, except for the Macbook, are upscale products with very high margins. The Air isn't all that different.

    I'm just tired of reading posts, not only lacking in reasoning, but also with the ability to magically state anything, without even the slightest bit of proof (or as in this case, stating the contrary to the facts that we do know).

    I hope Apple scrap the optical drive in all of their products, as it is the single most stupid thing to still be in computers. With 8GB usb-sticks selling for $15, why would anyone use a DVD-drive?
    And blueray is even more silly. HD-content can today be downloaded, and 64GB usb-sticks aren't that much more expensive than a few blueray-discs..
  21. Rai Saix macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2009
    The fact remains if the Hard Drive option is not upped to 256 GB SSD, people won't buy it.
  22. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I NEVER said the same price points. In fact, I have said that I expect a real high end MBA that will be in the $2300 to $2400 range. I stand by that.

    No proof of anything. I am adding rumors, along with business sense, and speculation from what some on campus have reported. I don't make Apple's business decisions.

    My POINT is that Apple has already decided what to do with the MBA. I believe it will move forward before March 2010. I am responding to what others are pointing out will be a rev 3,1 in Sept/Oct 2010 which is TWO FULL YEARS after rev 2,1 in October 2008. MY point is that Apple isn't going to keep the MBA the same for two years. It would make ZERO business sense. And if they aren't going to improve/evolve/revolutionize they are definitely going to EOL and not let it linger.

    I agree the current MBA form factor is beautiful, but I expect it to change.

    I have come across information of what was "supposed" to happen in the past. Apple isn't that easy to figure out. No matter what has been seen and heard on campus Master Steve makes final decisions sometimes after a new product goes off for production. I also believe the current MBA's form factor and trackpad have stayed the same for so long because Apple made too many of them and has to deplete the stockpile of the parts. Apple made such a piece of garbage product to begin with that it ruined the MacBook Air brand. If Apple could recover the brand, it could be a great product. We will see what Apple does by March 2010 or it will be EOL. I just believe Apple will not let it move on as is forever. I have tried to impose my will in the past, but it doesn't work definitely not Apple. With its iPhone and iPod, Apple doesn't have to get the Macs right anymore. Just look at all the failures with Macs and Snow Leopard... Apple has lost its will to be a great computer company... sad but true.

    I agree with a lot of what you have said here. My posts aren't always correct, but I do use on campus reports, wild rumors, my MBA (not the computer) analysis, and what makes sense to MBA (the computer's) fan base to come up with an idea of what should happen. I am often wrong, but everything I say makes sense to me at the time I write it. Everything rapidly changes, and there is NO predicting with any certainty what Apple will do with computers... so we can all give our own analysis and share or we can quit reading Mac Rumors.

    The MBA definitely has been used as a guinea pig in the past. It makes sense WITH THE OLED RUMORS that the MBA would get it first.

    If you don't enjoy reading the posts here, get off the site. What's the point if we aren't all sharing our ideas and opinions. It's all based on rumors and speculation along with what makes sense from a business standpoint or as an MBA user.

    It absolutely FAILED... ON A MASSIVE SCALE. It may have sold a lot of units, but most were at $999 and not the initial price points of $3099 to $1799. The original Market for the MBA absolutely rejected it after it failed them from a point of not operating like a Mac. The original MBA may have very well ruined the MBA brand. It's the Penryn CPU, Nvidia GPU, SATA-II drive controller, DDR3 1067 MHz RAM, and etc that brought the MBA back from ruins and got it back towards the original marketing of a "business" pro level Mac where executives, managers, consultants, business people, and etc would buy it to use as an ultraportable that worked like a MB but with a premium for the lightweight and thin form.

    I firmly disagree. I find that the number one reported reason for NOT buying a rev B/C 2,1 MBA is that it doesn't support 4 GB RAM. If it had 4 GB RAM, a lot who buy the MBP would buy it! People can use a Mac with 128 GB of drive space, especially an SSD. People fear not having the power of 4 GB of RAM especially with Fusion/Parallels needing RAM at the same time as OS X.
  23. lefse thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    This might be a bit childish of me to point out; but you sir, are not only contradicting yourself, but also sort of raping language as we know it.

    It failed, massively (in bold letters, mind you)? But, also managed to sell well? Most sold at $999? Sorry, but this is absurd. Please preview your post, before posting it.
    Initially they weren't able to produce enough Airs to meet demand for Rev. A. Some failure, that.

    And it didn't work like a mac? Because it was thin, and didn't include legacy devices like optical drive and ethernet-port (I am only guessing what your reasoning is)?
    If something can be described as a mac, then surely that product would be something made for the future. I'm sure you found the first iMac "unmacish" too. It didn't even have one of them ancient, beloved floppy drives!

    Basically, what you're saying is that sales and profits are irrelevant when considering what is a success.

    This might be irrelevant, but personally i think the Air is the best Mac they've ever made. It's leightweight, pretty, and has a desktop class CPU. The comprises are there; but only because they were strictly necessary to be able to make the product.
    This is so obvious, I shouldn't have to point it out.
  24. aleksandra. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2008
    Warsaw, Poland
    Price. $3099 for a classy notebook. For whom was it meant? College students?

    Based on observing what happened. Original Air didn't have extremely high profit margins. In fact it was probably the same or rather lower than rest of the line - all of the development cost and very expensive components (orignal SSD shipped for additional $999, aftermarket cost was only a bit less). And for a 3k notebook, people really weren't happy with it. I'm not basing it only on forum opinions (which are often biased towards negative - most people only ever come if they have a problem), but also on multiple reviews and the amount of used revision A's available.

    BTW there's no data being released about particular products' popularity, only general numbers about notebooks. MB and MBP have been selling well; how much Air affected the results is unknown. While it had its moment at the very beginning, people were generally disappointed with it.

    Actually it's said Apple has very regular margins, on all its products (15% to 25% percent, depending on the moment in development cycle) - based on components' and estimated R&D costs.

    1. Where do you see a contradiction?
    2. I made observations about the past, and clearly stated there's no predicting the future after speculating (again, clearly denoted) about various possibilities. Where's magic in this?
    3. Reasoning you have above. Empirical data ("revision A wasn't well received") doesn't need proof, and I wasn't even aiming at an explanation which would need to be justified.

    I agree. Now only if music, movies and games industry would see it this way...

    That's exactly why I'm typing it on one - just not revision A. I agree except for the CPU - technically Apple uses ones meant for notebooks, even in Mac Mini and iMacs :).
  25. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    hey, I love my Rev A 1.8 SSD!

    ... and the CPUs are far from desktop class... heck, they're not even notebook class, since they were specially designed to be smaller and lower power!

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