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Apple rumored to release new MacBook Air this month, iPad 3 in Q4

New Apple MacBook Air

Apple is allegedly set to release a refreshed version of its ultra-light MacBook Air laptop late this month, reports Reuters. The rumor comes via Taiwan’s Economic Daily, which claims to have direct knowledge of Apple’s production schedule via “industry sources.” Apple will reportedly ship about 380,000 units of the new MacBook Air in its initial run.

The update to the MacBook Air line has been floating around for some time. In fact, AppleInsider claims that the Economic Daily news is simply a “recycled” version of its own exclusive report from last week, which showed that Apple planned to include Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors in 11.6- and 13.3-inch models of the refreshed MacBook Air.

Prices for the current MacBook Airs start at $999 for the 11-inch, 64GB model, and go up to $1,599 for the fully-loaded 13-inch version that comes with a 256GB SSD and a 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 processor. Using Apple’s previous pricing rules as a guide, it’s likely that the new MacBook Air models will follow the same approximate prices.

This past weekend, Apple tipster ChronicWire reported on his Twitter feed that Apple would release the new MacBook Air on Wednesday. He later revised that statement to say that, no, actually it would be an unlocked iPhone 4 that Apple would release. That, in fact, turned out to be true — but the carrier-free handset was actually release today, not tomorrow.

In addition to the MacBook Air news, the Economic Daily reports that Apple has plans to release the iPad 3 in the fourth quarter of this year. The updated tablet will reportedly have a screen with “image resolution 5-6 times higher than iPad 2.” Unlike the MacBook Air information, this allegation appears highly suspect. Most reports suggest the iPad 3 will get a screen upgrade, on the scale of about twice the resolution — 2048×1536 — of the iPad 2, not 5 to 6 times. Also, it’s unlikely that we will see a new iPad before 2012.

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