An in-depth report outlines new details and potential release dates for a new MacBook Air, a New MacBook Pro Retina 2014 update and a cheaper iMac for the middle of the year.
The new MacBook Air Retina and a MacBook Pro Retina update are two of the biggest releases for users looking for a new Apple notebook, but Apple also focuses on the less mobile side of things with an iMac that currently starts at $1,299. A new report suggests that Apple is planning a big refresh across multiple products kicking off in the middle of the year and culminating in a brand new MacBook Air release, that may not make WWDC 2014.
Apple typically updates notebooks and the iMac once or twice a year with small spec updates, though some updates can bring dramatic performance or battery life improvements or a new design.
Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities outlines what buyers can expect from a new Macbook Air, when a MacBook Pro Retina 2014 update might arrive and why we could see a cheaper iMac this year in a detailed new Apple roadmap of potential announcements.
In this report Kuo addresses the iPhone 6, when we might see the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini Retina with Touch ID. There is no mention of a new Mac Mini in this report or of an iPod touch 6th generation.
Kuo is a well-known analyst with a good track record on Apple products, but it is important to note that this is not a leaked Apple slide, and any of these potential release dates or features could change at any time.
New MacBook Air
Rumors suggest Apple is planning a new MacBook Air release for June, and that Apple is planning a Macbook Air Retina with a new high-resolution display. Earlier reports suggest Apple would show off this new MacBook Air with a 12-inch display at WWDC on June 2nd, and possibly sell it later that day or the following morning. Apple announced the current MacBook Air in June 2013 at the same event.
Two reports from March detail a new MacBook Air with a slimmer design and with a Retina display. The first rumor lines up with Kuo’s description of a slimmer 12-inch MacBook Air and the second points to a MacBook Air release in the second quarter with a Retina display.
In his report shared on MacRumors, Kuo reiterates a new 12-inch MacBook Air with a Retina display. This slimmer MacBook Air will reportedly offer a larger screen in the same size as the 11-inch MacBook Air to offer more power and productivity in a smaller package. This device could include a new design with a buttonless touchpad and no fan.
Unlike the earlier reports that suggest Apple is planning the new MacBook Air release for June, this report includes a timeline with a New MacBook Air in late Q3 or early Q4, which means September through November is a potential release window.
It is not clear if Apple will offer a slight MacBook Air update in June and this new model in the fall or if the release dates from various rumors simply do not line up. Expect a premium price for this portable, high-resolution MacBook Air Retina.
New MacBook Pro
We also expect a new MacBook Pro release date in 2014, which Kuo’s timeline places in the late fall, in time for a holiday shopping season.
The MacBook Pro Retina upgrade details are limited, but previous reports suggest Apple will add a new type of RAM capable of delivering “lightning quick” performance that users will actually notice. The current MacBook Pro Retina retails for $1,299, a $100 premium over the older non-Retina model.
New iMac with Cheaper Price
Another rumor is that Apple is planning to deliver a cheaper iMac for 2014. The iMac currently ships in 21.5-inch and a 27-inch models with starting prices of $1,299 and $1,799. Apple sells a cheaper Apple computer in the Mac Mini at $599, but the last update was in October 2012.
Kuo does not share many details about a cheaper iMac, but suggests it could be the first new Apple product for 2014. There is not any information about the potential specs for a cheaper iMac, such as a smaller screen or new design. It is possible Apple will drop to a cheaper processor, less RAM and storage to achieve a lower price. The company used a similar strategy to deliver a cheaper MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina in 2013.
Tim Cook promised employees that Apple has, “big plans that we think customers are going to love,” but so far buyers are waiting for new devices. If Apple continues at the current pace it could be a very buys fall for new Apple products.