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MacBook Air rumors are back, tease a release in the first half of 2015

All has been quiet on the Retina MacBook Air speculation front following Apple’s October 16th iPad and iMac-dedicated event. Almost too quiet. It feels like the calm before the storm.

Digitimes brings word of a looming deadline, quoting its routine unnamed “sources from the upstream supply chain.” The Taiwanese publication claims the mythical 12-inch MacBook Air entered a “pilot production” phase in late 2014, with mass production no doubt the next logical step, in Q1 2015.

RelatedHere’s a recap of previous 12-inch Retina MacBook Air rumors

Alas, not even the purported well-connected insiders care to comment on the ultraportable’s possible commercial launch timeline, so depending on how fast Apple ramps up production, it could all go down as late as summer of 2015. Or never. Previous rumors of an impending Air refresh didn’t exactly pan out.

The current 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air weigh in at 2.38 and 2.96 pounds respectively, and measure .68 inches in depth, so the hope is for the upcoming 12 incher to stay under half an inch thick, and tip the scales at 2.4, 2.5 pounds, tops. It’s also extremely likely that a new model, if it exists, will be completely fan-less.

RelatedFirst Intel Core M benchmarks

The ultra-high-resolution Retina display remains part of the rumor, as well. No one knows what the resolution might be, but Apple seems to consider 220 pixels per inch the standard for Retina Macs. That means a 12″ model could get by with a resolution slightly below 2560 x 1440.

USB Type C connectivity seems like a given, and the price tag may feel quite prohibitive for mainstream laptop consumers. The target will reportedly be the high-end market segment, so chances are Apple is gearing up for “limited shipments.” For now, it’s probably best to take very little for granted, and just wait it out. Nothing’s official until it’s official.