The latest claims come from the usual Taiwan-based sources at DigiTimes, which claimed this week that Apple will launch a MacBook Air with Retina display in the second half of 2014. It should be known that the publication is often the source of numerous Apple-related rumors, many of which turn out to be incorrect.
The report comes along with a separate rumor that suggested Apple is planning to launch a 12-inch fan-less MacBook with a 12-inch Retina display. Given that the current MacBook Air models sport screen sizes of 11.6 and 13.3 inches, it’s possible that this new, ultra thin model could be a successor to both, simplifying the MacBook Air lineup with a single Retina display model.
Apple took a similar approach in 2012, when they chose to discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro production. That model was replaced by a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and Apple eventually expanded its “New Display” laptop lineup with a 13-inch model a few months later.
When the new highly priced Retina display models were introduced, Apple also continued selling its famous non-Retina models at more affordable prices. If Apple were to employ the same tactic for its MacBook Air lineup, it could offer a 12-inch Retina display model along with non-Retina 11- and 13-inch models.
Word of a newly redesigned 12-inch MacBook with Retina display was first revealed by well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities last October. He said the new model is expected to sport an “ultra-slim clamshell form factor,” which will offer a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity offered by the 13-inch model.
According to Kuo, the new MacBook is predicted to “redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air.”
To add to that, this week’s latest DigiTimes report also claimed once again that Apple is planning to launch a new jumbo-sized 12-inch iPad later this year. This information is viewed as untrue, as Kuo mentioned in February that Apple is unlikely to launch a larger, still-in-development iPad this year, and DigiTimes itself even claimed that Apple had halted development of its so-called “iPad Pro” earlier this month, saying that the company felt there was a “lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems” for a bigger iPad. That report was from 12 days ago, meaning the publication’s supply chain sources have contradicted its rumours in a period of less than two weeks.