Apple could be prepping a refresh of its white MacBook line, according to a new report.
According to the blog Apple Insider, authorized Apple resellers, ranging from Amazon to J&R, are either running low on white MacBooks or completely stripped of supply, suggesting that a refresh or discontinuation is imminent.
“The reduced availability could also be a result of a somewhat recent educational discount price drop, from $949 to $899,” read the blog’s June 29 entry. “Any new hardware that may be released is not expected to debut until after the launch of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.”
Current rumors also suggest Apple will introduce a new line of MacBook Airs following the release of Mac OS X “Lion.” New features of Lion include a baked-in Mac App Store, with access to a variety of applications-a spiritual descendent of the App Store long available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. In addition, Lion will also offer some rejiggered operating-system fundamentals, including trackpads with an increased range of gesture control and scroll bars that remain visible only when in use.
To top off those MacBook Air rumors, the blog MacRumors reported June 20 that Apple could offer the ultra-thin notebooks in black. “We’ve received several anonymous tips claiming that at least some models of the next-generation MacBook Air will be available with a black finish,” read the posting. “The most specific of the claims suggests that a black anodized aluminum case would be available on a top-end MacBook Air model.”
On the hardware side, the next MacBook Airs could feature some tweaked hardware, including Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” Core processors and ThunderBolt I/O technology, which brings together PCI Express high-speed data transfer and DisplayPort high-definition display support on a single cable. According to Intel, ThunderBolt is capable of transferring a full-length high-definition movie in less than 30 seconds.
While the rumor mill has churned busily about a possible MacBook Air refresh, it has remained relatively quiet on the topic of a shift in the white MacBook line. There’s a bit of blogosphere theorizing, of course, that Apple could kill its most modestly priced laptop entirely, essentially making the lowest-priced MacBook Air ($999) its entry model.
Of course, given Apple’s tight veil of secrecy, rumors (and a lack of real information) will likely persist until after the actual Mac OS X Lion launch, when the company perhaps holds an event to reveal its newest equipment.