Taiwanese newspaper Economic Times is reporting [Google translation, via Macotakara] that Apple is getting its ducks all in a row with suppliers for its next-generation MacBook Air. The report says the new Air should launch in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
According to the report, the MacBook Air will not only be receiving internal upgrades to Intel’s new Haswell platform but also a “facelift” with new external features, including the possibility of a Retina display. The report also claims that suppliers will begin shipping components to Apple’s assembly partner Quanta during the second quarter of the year.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, he of the excellent track record, had included an updated MacBook Air in his 2013 Apple product roadmap, with a late Q2 or early Q3 launch predicted. However, he predicted it would not include a Retina display, as it would require more battery power, and a redesign to accommodate a thicker display assembly.
Pricing could be another issue with a Retina Display Air. The MacBook Air is Apple’s entry level notebook, and they could be hesitant to increase the price of admission. It is possible however, that Apple may split the Air lineup in much the same way they have the MacBook Pro line, offering Retina Display models alongside those with conventional displays.