Apple Planning to Launch ‘Entry-Level’ MacBook, AirPower Charger in September: DigiTimes

Apple is reportedly planning to launch its much-rumoured “entry-level” MacBook in September.

Today, a supply chain report from Taiwan’s DigiTimes purports to shed light on the computer’s internals, claiming that Intel’s delay of a small new CPU led Apple to redesign the machine around a larger, more available part.

According to the report, the new MacBook will contain a 13-inch screen and was originally planned to launch late last year but was delayed due to problems with Intel’s 10-nanometer chip manufacturing problems. When Intel rescheduled 10nm CPU production for the second half of 2019, Apple changed the MacBook’s design to use a larger 14nm Kaby Lake processor so it could be released this year.

“The 13-inch inexpensive MacBook was originally set to be released in the fourth quarter of 2017, but has been delayed due to Intel’s issues with its 10nm manufacturing process,” reads the report.

DigiTimes refers to this inexpensive Mac as a MacBook, although previous reports suggested the device will mostly be a redesigned MacBook Air, which should sport a Retina display on top of other improvements.

Industry sources claim that the price for the 2018 MacBook Air will start at roughly $1,200 USD. The current 13-inch MacBook air starts at $1,199.00 USD, while the 11-inch base model is just a hair under one thousand. Even at that higher price, Apple reportedly expects the machine to sell 8 million units in 2018 and to undermine demand for similar laptops from top rivals.

“The inexpensive MacBook is estimated to have a shipment volume of around eight million units in 2018 and is expected to undermine demand for first-tier competitors’ similar devices,” reads the report.

The same report also predicts that Apple will finally unveil the new AirPower wireless charger, which the Cupertino company announced almost a year ago but delayed due to technical problems. The company will supposedly set the charging mat’s price tag between $161 USD and $193.

Apple will also announce new 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pros featuring slimmer bezels and a TrueDepth camera with support for Face ID. The 11-inch model will reportedly be taking the place of the current 10.5-inch device.

“For the tablet, Apple reportedly has prepared two new iPad Pros: a 12.9-inch one and an 11-inch one, with the 11-inch iPad Pro set to take over the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro,” reads the report. “Starting the fourth quarter, Apple will have a total of four iPads available in the channel, the narrow-bezel ultra-thin 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pros; the 9.7-inch entry-level iPad and the 7.9-inch iPad mini 4.”