More chatter from the MacBook grapevine (or should that be Apple-vine? – no, probably not) has emerged reinforcing the prospect of revamped offerings being revealed before the month is out, including a new 13-inch MacBook Air with USB-C.
The latest from Japanese tech site Mac Otakara is that according to its sources, Apple will unveil refreshed MacBook Pro 13-inch and 15-inch laptops at some point later in October – as previous rumors have indicated – and these models will ship before the end of the month.
And the aforementioned 13-inch MacBook Air will also debut, but apparently the 11-inch Air will be canned. Again, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that; indeed, back in the summer, Mac Otakara cited a Chinese supplier saying that the plug would be pulled on the smallest MacBook Air.
However, at the time there was also speculation that a 15-inch version of the Air would be introduced, and there’s no mention of that now.
The Japanese site also notes that all of these new MacBook models will run with USB-C ports along with Thunderbolt 3, which is again in line with some previous chatter. But of course, all this remains speculation, and as ever, some of these rumors pan out, and some don’t.
Clock is ticking
At any rate, as MacRumors, which spotted this development, notes, time is rather running out if there is to be a press event for Apple’s launch of these new notebooks. Invites will pretty much have to be going out today, or in the next couple of days, for a near-the-end of October launch, if it’s going to happen.
Although it’s possible Apple plans to introduce the new hardware with a simple set of press releases. That might depend on the gravity of the changes being made to the devices.
On the MacBook Air front, as well as the mentioned connectivity changes, among other rumors, we might finally see a Retina display, or at least an option for one – although Apple will have to play a careful balancing act in terms of the pricing of the range.
Particularly if the 11-inch version is being dumped, which is the cheapest MacBook available, the loss of which will certainly hurt those who want to buy a wallet-friendly Apple laptop. (The 11-inch Air runs to a relatively palatable £749, $899 over in the US, or AU$1,399 in Australia).
As for the MacBook Pro, speculation includes the introduction of an OLED touchpad providing dynamically changing context-sensitive keys that adapt to whatever app you’re currently using (replacing the row of function keys at the top of the keyboard), and a super-slim design helped by specially crafted metal injection molded hinges.
The rumored USB-C ports are further anticipated to be of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 flavor, making them zippier than the (Gen 1) port which Apple introduced with the 12-inch MacBook.