Apple to Start 12″ MacBook Air Production This Fall, 12″ iPad Delayed [Digitimes]

Taiwanese publication Digitimes is reporting its sources tell them Apple is set to start production of a 12-inch MacBook Air this fall:

Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook Air will enter mass production in the third quarter, filling the gap between the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs as well as enhancing Apple’s leadership in the small-to-medium-size ultra-thin notebook market, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Apple manufacturer Quanta is said to be responsible for manufacturing the new MacBook Air, while sources say they have not heard any changes about existing 11-inch and 13-inch models.

The apparent reasoning for Apple to debut a 12-inch MacBook Air, according to sources, is because the 11-inch MacBook Air’s screen size is similar to that of the iPad, which has been impacting notebook demand.

While sources aren’t able to pinpoint an exact date for the 11-inch MacBook Air to retire from the company’s lineup, they believe the smaller MacBook Air will eventually be phased out in the long term.

As for changes in the new 12-inch MacBook Air, its exterior is said to resemble the current lineup, aside from internal changes to layout and battery, while some industry watchers expect a Retina display soon.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a 12-inch MacBook Air. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously noted in his predictions of Apple’s 2014 product lineup for a fan-less 12-inch MacBook Air to debut in the third quarter of this year.

Other rumours also cited a 12-inch model was coming soon with a buttonless trackpad design, while back in March, Digitimes similarly reported a Retina display-equipped MacBook Air would launch in 2014.

12-inch iPad ‘Pro’ Delayed?

As for the 12-inch iPad, sources tell Digitimes it was originally planned to be manufactured by Quanta in the latter half of 2014, but that plan has now been delayed, reiterating a previous report from March.

Digitimes’ track record is a hit or miss, so take these rumours with a grain of salt.