Apple To Release 11- And 13-Inch MacBook Air With Retina Display In Q3

20 February 2013, 7:57 am EST By Binu Paul email: Mobile & Apps

It appears that Apple is slowly moving its entire product line to the company's proprietary Retina Display, and MacBook Air could be next on the list to get the much-vaunted display.

Apple is apparently working on the process of preparing suppliers for the launch of a Retina MacBook Air in Q3 2013, reveals a translated report from Taiwan-based newspaper Economic Daily (via Macotakara). Both 11- and 13-inch variants of the MacBook Air will be upgraded with Retina Display technology, the report said citing sources in the company's supply chain.

In addition, the next-generation MacBook Air will come with a redesigned structure, will receive an internal spec bump including Intel's new Haswell processor, and a couple of upgraded external features. According to the report, Apple supplier Quanta will start receiving shipments of the new components in the second quarter.

However, rumors about Intel's low-powered Haswell chips coming on to the Apple notebook is hardly surprising as the processor is set to be unveiled sometime in June which apparently falls right on time for Apple's Mac refresh cycle.

It remains to be seen how Apple engineers would meet the challenges of bringing Retina Display onto MacBook Air and as Gizmag notes, "The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is thinner than the standard MBPs primarily because it drops the optical drive and adds a solid-state drive (SSD). The Air is already a member of that club, so it may be tricky for Apple to add Retina without adding heft." It should be noted that the third- and fourth-generation iPads were thicker and heavier than the iPad 2 when Retina Display was brought in. This was mainly because a second LED light bar and a larger battery were added to Retina iPad.

Similarly, pricing would also be an issue as it would be hard for MacBook Air (a consumer-level laptop) fans to swallow a price tag in the likes of MacBook Pro.

This Asian supply chain leak is against an earlier analyst prediction that the next-gen MacBook Air would land in Q2 or Q3 without a Retina display, 9t05mac reports. The fate of Apple's current lineup of MacBook Airs is not quite clear at this point in time. It's highly likely that the Cupertino tech giant may keep a non-Retina model of the Air around as it did following the launch of the Retina MacBook Pro.

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