Several major retailers across the United States are seeing stock shortages of the 27-inch iMac as we approach Apple’s rumored September 12 event, sparking speculation that the popular all-in-one could be in line to receive a refresh alongside the iPhone 5 (and possibly even an iPad mini).
Think that Apple is already making Macs as tiny and tightly-packed as they possibly can? Think again. Intel is showing off a new demo spec that could shrink down Thunderbolt-compatible, Sandy Bridge Mac minis to the size of the current Apple TV.
Just as expected, Intel launched its first crop of quad-core Ivy Bridge processors today. This is the chip that will replace the company’s Sandy Bridge CPUs in Apple’s next-generation of Macs. They’re the world’s first processors to use a 22-nanometer manufacturing process and feature Intel’s “Tri-Gate” 3D transistor technology.
Intel has reportedly shifted the announcement of its next-generation Ivy Bridge processor from April 29 to April 23 as PC makers gear up to release their second-generation of ultrabooks in May. But you could see it powering Mac OS X before then, with the new chip expected to replace its predecessor, the Sandy Bridge processor, in Apple’s next MacBook Pro and iMac.
In late 2010, after years of abstaining from entering the netbook market, Apple finally succeeded in transforming the MacBook Air from a disappointing promise of laptops to come into a machine that revolutionized ultraportables the same way the iPhone revolutionized smartphones and the iPad revolutionzed tablets. Not only was the MacBook Air as thin as a samurai sword and about as small as a 12-inch netbook, it had the performance of a beefier laptop thanks to the inclusion of a proper CPU, dedicated GPU and ubiquitous flash storage… all at a sub-$1000 price point.
Overnight, the MacBook Air finished what the iPad had started and almost completely killed off netbook demand once and for all. Now all of the gadget makers who had previously been counting on netbook sales to boost their bottom lines are trying to catch up with Apple. But as usual, they’re about a year late.
What does this mean for CES 2012? Expect to see ultrabooks, ultrabooks and more ultrabooks.
Thanks to a leak through Apple’s own website, we’re all expecting a refresh to its MacBook Pro family to introduce faster Sandy Bridge processors. According to the latest rumor, they’ll be ready to purchase from next week.
Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processor could finally bring Retina displays to our Macs, after the company announced support for ‘4K displays’ last week. That’s a display with a staggering resolution of 4096×4096 pixels.