Apple may show a new version of the MacBook Air during an upcoming event, according to rumors.
Apple could use its Oct. 20 event to unveil a new version of its MacBook
Air, a superthin notebook praised for its design-and occasionally damned for
what some consider an exorbitant price and missing hardware features.
unnamed "independent sources" confirm that Apple
will debut a redesigned, 11.6-inch MacBook Air with an SSD
Card in place of a traditional hard drive. AppleInsider postulated that this SSD
Card could be similar to the flash memory technology found in Apple's mobile
products such as the iPhone and iPod. That would give the laptop more of an instant-on
news sources such as Fast Company have suggested Apple could introduce touch-based technology to the Mac lineup.
That theory seems based
on recent patent filings,
including one for a PC capable of shifting
between touch-screen and traditional keyboard and mouse input.
sold 3.47 million Macs
during the third fiscal quarter of 2010, but the
company's mobile products-particularly the iPad-have attracted the lion's share
of attention this year. Nonetheless, the company's laptops and desktops remain
a core revenue driver, one due for a periodic tech refresh. According to
analytics company Net Applications, Mac holds 5.03 percent of the operating system
market, dwarfed by Windows with 91.08 percent.
Apple has already sent out media invites for its Back to the Mac event at
its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters
Oct. 20. The invite includes a partial image of a lion's face, peeking through
an apple-shaped cutout in a brushed-aluminum pane. That same aluminum
constitutes a major part of Apple's design language for its laptops and
desktops, sparking rampant speculation that new hardware will be unveiled at
The invite also promises attendees a glimpse of "the next major version
of Mac OS X." The presence of a lion has led dozens of online Sherlocks to
deduce that Apple will reveal Mac OS X 10.7, code-named Lion, at the event.
last event took place Sept. 1, when the company debuted new iPods and a revamped Apple TV
with some new services, including a social network devoted to music.
Rumors of a revamp began to circulate this summer, with DigiTimes analyst Mingchi Kuo claiming
the new MacBook Air would feature a slimmer design
and an 11.6-inch display. The current MacBook Air boasts a
13.3-inch screen and a choice of 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
processors. Kuo's predictions were apparently based on discussions with "upstream
Despite the MacBook Air's ultrasleek design, critics have taken jabs at the
device's relatively high price-$1,499 for the 1.86GHz version, and $1,799 for
the 2.13GHz-and lack of hardware such as an internal optical drive. However,
that hasn't stopped rival manufacturers such as Dell from
of their own.