While rumors surrounding a 15-inch MacBook Air have been circulating for a number of months now, we had no idea when Apple might be gearing up to launch the new device. Sources “from the upstream supply chain” are now reporting, however, that the 15-inch ultraportable will arrive during the first quarter of 2012 as part of a completely refreshed MacBook Air family.
DigiTimes reports that Apple will retain the new 11.6-inch model, which has become incredibly popular among Mac users, and its larger 13.3-inch sibling, and that a new 15-inch model will be introducing to the family. What’s more, sources claim that pilot production has already started:
Apple reportedly is set to launch its new MacBook Air series notebooks with panel sizes of 11.6-inch, 13.3-inch and 15-inch in the first quarter of 2012 and will directly compete against ultrabooks from PC brand vendors, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
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.
“Sources from retail channels” believe that Apple will soon start discounting its existing MacBook Air notebooks in a bid to maintain their popularity before the new models make their debut.
This seems to be the first report that specifically labels the new device a 15-inch MacBook Air, with previous reports speculating that the device may actually be a new slimline MacBook Pro.