The MacBook Air has quickly become a standout product in its own right, and fans of Apple’s sleek notebook might be happy to know that a complete product refresh is on the horizon and will likely hit stores during the first quarter of 2012.
Looking to stave off competition from a slew of ultrabooks, Digitimes is reporting that Apple is planning to release a series of MacBook Airs with screen-sizes of 11.6, 13.3, and 15-inches. Expected to be a part of the product overhaul is Intel’s Ivy Bridge series of processors.
As for the ultrabooks, we’re sure Apple has those products on its radar but we doubt they’re terribly concerned given the roadblocks PC vendors are running into in their efforts to compete with the Air on price. Yep, it turns out that delivering a premium product at an affordable pricepoint is a lot harder than it seems.
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.
Commenting on Apple’s move, sources from retail channels pointed out that Apple will start dropping the price of its existing MacBook Airs before launching its series and the promotion could further boost Apple’s share in the global notebook market.
Apple last refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with minor spec upgrades this past July, giving them Intel core i5 and i7 processors along with Bluetooth 4.0 support, faster RAM and Thunderbolt integration. Immediately, consumers began snatching up the new machines in droves, so much so that 2011 sales estimates for the MacBook Air skyrocketed to figures as high as 15 million units.
Lastly, the addition of a 15-inch MacBook Air will be a much welcome addition to the Air family.