Ever since the debut of the Retina MacBook Pro last year, there has been speculation regarding a possible Retina version of Apple’s incredibly popular MacBook Air. This rumor has received a boost today, with Taiwanese publication Economic Times reporting that Apple will indeed introduce a Retina MacBook Air around the middle of the year, likely at their annual WWDC conference.
This report comes less than a week after Apple updated their MacBook lineup, with processor bumps and price reductions across both Retina Pros and Airs. Notably, the prices for Retina MacBook Pros were reduced by up to $300, meaning that Apple may have streamlined the production process for a display that is typically hard to manufacture, resulting in the high price of the Retina Pros.
With this price reduction, we now see Apple’s Retina Macs being more affordable, which could directly affect the price of these rumored Retina Airs.
Apple currently sells the Retina MacBook Pros alongside the regular Pros, and they may very well continue this trend with the Airs. This distinction with the Retina Pros is mainly one of price, but the Retina MacBook Pro is also much thinner, is less customisable and has no optical drive. As the Air currently is extremely thin, has no optical drive, and has basically no customisability factor, the only difference between the Retina and non-retina models would be the screen.
Couple this with the better manufacturing process for Retina panels, and this new Air could be the only one Apple sells. However, the battery power required to power these Retina displays is quite large, so there could be an affect on the overall battery life of the Air.
Also worth noting, the Economic Times also says that the Air will have a new design. The Air has remained largely the same since its introduction in 2008, meaning that a new design would be a major step forward for the Air.
Apple traditionally updates their MacBook lineup at their WWDC conference mid year, so expect to see many more rumors regarding a Retina Air in the coming months.