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Major MacBook Air Redesign Coming This Summer?

by: Karl Johnson | Mar 18, 2013

Macbook_airThe Macbook Air was last updated on June 11, 2012. Recent history shows that Apple has been updating the MacBook Air every 9–12 months. That update cycle would lead to a March-June 2013 update range. The MacBook Air is still a major product for Apple, so look for them to follow the current update cycle.

One of the major new features obviously coming to the MacBook Air is a Retina Display. It is unlikely Apple can just drop the high-resolution display into the current Air, which suggests a major redesign coming as well.

It has also been widely rumored that a redesigned Mac Pro is also launching soon, so where does this put the MacBook Air launch? With Mac Pro rumored to release this spring, it is unlikely we will see a new MacBook Air arriving before Apple's World-Wide Developers Conference in June, as Apple likes to stage major updates. 

Intel’s roadmap can also give us a clue to the MacBook Air release. Intel is planning to release their new processor series, code named “Haswell”, this spring. The mobile version of Haswell is likely to come out in June. This new processor will likely see improved battery life and processor performance, although that is up to some debate. Either way, Apple is likely to wait for Haswell before launching an all-new MacBook Air. It will take time for Intel to test and Apple to build up these new machines. Thus a June launch, with a July or early August release date is likely.

With a hardware redesign, it is difficult to tell what new features will be included. A Retina display is almost a given, as well as the new Haswell processor, but beyond those two features, the new MacBook Air becomes fuzzy. Will we see a new material like carbon fiber? Unlikely, as carbon fiber is an insulator which is not good for a computer that needs to get rid of its heat. Aluminum is good at this and will likely stay for the main material. Flash memory and storage options may change, but are likely to stay inline with the rest of the Apple lineup. Users have been wanting built-in LTE for a while now, but there is no evidence at this time to support that direction.

The MacBook Air is one of Apple’s best products. With a Retina display coming to the Air, a major redesign looks to be coming with summer. The Air was updated nine months ago and will likely see an announcement in the next 3–4 months, with Intel’s Haswell processor pushing the ship date out to June or July. 

Related Article: MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro Retina 

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7 Comments

  1. Dave ~ March 19, 2013 11:19

    It will take more than a retina display to wow the tech press now. Retina is old news. Apple probably has in testing today an Air built with an Intel Haswell processor . It may not be final silicon but is probably close. If Intel is going to offer Haswell for delivery by July, then their production ramp must be imminent. Maybe with Haswell power saving the chassis design might be less even though a new battery will be required with a Retina display. LTE as a standard might wow a little, but who will actually pay the carriers another $50/month for it on top of a current phone/data plan. Storage memory has become much cheaper so I see the air being offered with a minmum of 256 GB without a price increase. (512 GB for $350 more). #
  2. ted ~ March 22, 2013 14:32

    Why all the fuss over a Retina Display MacBook Air? Won't it make the icons, menus, and text even smaller? The 13" MacBook Air even now sports such tiny fonts and small menu bars/menu items that it's had to read and even headache producing. Can't see that going even tinier is much of a plus! #
  3. Bob ~ March 23, 2013 20:44

    No, Ted. It would not make the text look smaller. The Retina Display MacBook pro just upscales everything so it renders it at 1400x900, essentially pixel doubling. #
  4. Joe ~ March 24, 2013 09:49

    A$$ Hats #
  5. Dave, Ted, Bob, Joe ~ April 29, 2013 15:49

    I like it. #
  6. Nick Donnelly ~ May 30, 2013 09:25

    Ted you've clearly never used a Retina Mac book - and indeed are a total idiot #
  7. Sergey ~ June 19, 2013 22:05

    So much for Retina in Air, dudes? ;-) #

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