Apple to begin selling new MacBook Air in June or July

18 May 2011

Taiwanese manufacturers are expected to begin shipping new 11.6-inch and 15-5-inch MacBook Air notebooks with Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor and Thunderbolt interface in the coming weeks with a launch likely in June or July.

Taiwanese industry newspaper DigiTimes reported that many of the supply chain makers for the new models remain the same, including Quanta Computer doing assembly work, Catcher Technology supplying casings, Auras Technology providing thermal modules, Shin Zu Shing supplying hinges and Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying the batteries.

Many of the manufacturers are preparing themselves for large volume demand for the new MacBook Air in the second quarter, ahead of the traditional peak for computer sales in the third quarter.

It is understood rival computer makers HP, Dell, Acer and Asustek are striving to make slimmer laptops to compete with the MacBook Air, but are struggling with production costs and price.

MacBook Air accounts for 40pc of Apple’s notebook business

Apple sold more than 1.1m models of its ultra-slim, ultra-light MacBook Air notebook computers during the fourth quarter of last year, making the device one of the company’s most successful Mac product launches ever.

Analysts believe the new MacBook Air devices accounted for 40pc of Apple’s notebook business in the fourth quarter and more than a quarter of its Mac business as a whole.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years