Despite delays caused by flaws on Intel's "Sandy Bridge" platform, Apple reportedly may introduce its updated line of MacBook Pro notebooks in just two weeks.
generation of MacBook pro notebooks may receive an introduction in as soon as
two weeks' time, Apple Insider
is reporting, following tips from a number of
unnamed sources. This March time frame would reportedly put Apple just a few
weeks behind its planned schedule, according to the site, following delays
caused by flaws found in Intel's new "Sandy Bridge" processors.
On Jan. 31,
Intel officials announced that they were recalling
chipset, known as "Cougar Point," though they had located the problem and were
beginning to manufacture new chipsets with the repair in place. By Feb. 7, the
chipmaker said it had resumed shipments
of the chipsets to PC
makers whose device configurations were not affected by the issue found on the
6-Series chipset. Among those systems makers was Apple, according to a Feb. 16
report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes
normally slower in upgrading its notebook products to the latest platform and
is currently still using Calpella for most of its PC models; as a result, the
company has completely avoided the impact," the site reported.
sources added that the move to the Sandy Bridge architecture wouldn't be the only
major highlight of the new lineup. Apple's latest line of MacBook Air
notebooks, introduced in October 2010,
took design cues from the iPhone and iPad-which
had been influenced by Mac designs, bringing Apple's design cues full circle-and
so feature instant-on capabilities and SSD (solid-state disk) drives instead of
hard drives, and keep things light by doing without optical drives. Such
features, states the report, are expected to "become more prevalent in many of
the models planned for future design cycles over the next 12 to 18 months."
According to a
third Apple Insider source, Apple is currently selling MacBook Air notebooks in
volumes that are nearly half that of the less expensive MacBook Pro. Suggesting
that the success of the MacBook Air will similarly be enjoyed by the newest
MacBook Pros, DigiTimes adds in its report, "Sources from Apple's upstream
supply chain also noted that Apple's shipments in January reached the company's
expectations and Apple is reportedly even planning to increase its orders for
the first quarter."
IDC reported that Apple shipped approximately 2.9 million notebooks during the
fourth quarter of 2010. Benefitting from holiday sales, Apple saw its
highest-ever earnings and revenue ($26.74 billion) during the quarter, as well
as record sales of Macs, iPhones and iPads, the company reported during a Jan.
18 earnings call. For the second fiscal quarter of 2011, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer
said he expected revenue to dip to $22 billion.
updated its MacBook Pro line in April 2010, outfitting it with Intel Core i7
and Core i5 processors, next-generation Nvidia graphics and batteries able to
hold 8 to 9 hours of life per charge. Available in 13- 15- and 17-inch designs,
Apple said that the latter two were now a full 50 percent faster than their
report added that Apple could afford to be slow about upgrading its notebooks,
given their high average selling prices. For competitors also slowed by the
Intel issues, however, the same isn't true.
Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Dell, which heavily depend on their economic scale,"
reported DigiTimes, "the new platform will help raise their ASPs, and
therefore, these makers will try to launch notebooks with new platforms as
early as possible."