Mac Otakara had reported last month that Apple is planning to announce the new MacBook Air models that feature USB-C ports based on the Thunderbolt 3 by the end of June, and start shipping the notebooks to the retailers in August. This rumor is yet to materialize.
However, a new report by DigiTimes suggests that Apple is holding on to those plans. The report does not suggest a date or a timeframe.
Previous to this report, DigitTimes reported that the device would start shipping in June.
DigiTimes had also previously reported that Apple plans to release new ultra-thin MacBooks with metal injection molded hinges in the second half of 2016. Despite having a well-connected source chain that has proved to be a good source of information, the website has been the source of some un-materialised rumors in the recent past.
Apple’s Mac lineup, beyond the last 12-inch MacBook, has stagnated. The company has not released a new MacBook Air in at least 500 days, besides a minor 8GB RAM lift for 13-inch models released in April. It is believed the MacBook Air’s days are numbered, but perhaps the notebook will not perish as long as the 12-inch MacBook keeps selling at $999.
It is highly likely that the leaked images may be that of a thinner MacBook Pro and alternatively, it is possible that DigiTimes is misinterpreting a thinner MacBook Pro with USB-C ports as a MacBook Air.
If Apple has a new MacBook lined up, a late-year launch is very likely. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple might launch three new MacBook models by year’s end: a thin and light 13-inch MacBook in the third quarter, and two thinner and lighter 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro in the fourth quarter.
Apple Insider reported that instead of updating the MacBook Air, Apple might simply let it fade out. Keeping it around with old specifications allows Apple to be available for lower notebook prices. The entry-level 11-inch model retails for $899, but the resale units can be found to be as cheap as $770.
The release date pegged by AI is November (not along with the iPhone). It would be a sensible thing as the holiday season will do some good to the sales.