Larger 15-in. MacBook Air 'makes sense' for Apple, say analysts
React to report that 15-in. Air due in early 2012 when Apple refreshes line
Computerworld - Apple will launch a 15-in. MacBook Air in the first quarter of 2012, according to a report from a Taiwanese publication that cited unnamed sources in the component supply channel.
A larger MacBook Air -- Apple currently sells 11.6-in. and 13.3-in. Airs -- makes sense, analysts said today, noting that the company will face competition from new "ultrabooks" next year sold by, among others, Hewlett-Packard (HP).
HP is set to start selling its first ultrabook, the name given by Intel to lightweight, thin laptops that will compete with the MacBook Air, on Dec. 7. The HP Folio, which will sport a 13.3-in. display, will sell at prices starting at $900, or $99 under Apple's cheapest MacBook Air.
"I don't have confirmation on a 15-in. MacBook Air, but logically thinking, it does make sense," said Brian Marshall, an analyst with International Strategy and Investment Group (ISI).
Marshall cited the impending debut of HP's Folio -- and the follow-on systems that others will release in early 2012 -- as one reason why Apple would want to extend the Air lineup.
Taiwan-based DigitTimes claimed that supplier sources hinted Apple will ship a 15-in. MacBook Air in the first three months of 2012.
"The sources noted that related upstream players have already started pilot production of the MacBook Air models and will add a 15-inch model into the product line to expand its reach in the ultra-thin notebook market," said the newspaper.
DigiTimes also said that the same sources maintained that Apple will reduce the price of its existing MacBook Air line to prepare for a refresh next year that would presumably include Intel's newest CPUs from its Ivy Bridge architecture.
Those processors, Intel said in September, will double battery life compared to the current Core chips that power the Air line, combine the CPU with the graphics processor, and provide a performance boost to boot.
Some online retailers aggressively cut prices of the MacBook Air on Black Friday, a possible sign that DigiTimes is on the right track. Amazon.com, for example, sold the 1.6GHz 11-in. Air for $850, 15% under list, last Friday.
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, also thinks a 15-in. MacBook Air is a sure bet.
"The Air's popularity is driven in part by the iPad," argued Gottheil, taking a different tack than Marshall. "Interest in the Air is not just in thin and light, but like tablets, in instant on, portability and longer battery life."
- Hands on: Apple's Mac Pro is the fastest Mac ever
- Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53M stock award
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks
- Apple patches critical 'gotofail' bug with Mavericks update
- Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
- Apple takes top spot in brand value computation
- Apple gets a patent for health-monitoring ear buds
- Apple shifts to hardware-first TV strategy with revamped set-top box
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts