MacBook Air Pro: Apple to combine notebook lineup, says source

Macbook Air AppleAn accessory maker close to Apple has revealed the impending release of a 15-inch MacBook Air, according to the UK website Electricpig. The anonymous source, which the website claims is a “key player in MacBook docking solutions,” disclosed the information Tuesday at Computers Unlimited Exposed, a UK Mac accessories exhibition.

Although details were limited (and relatively unsurprising), the new 15-inch Air will allegedly include ports on both sides, and be wholly devoid of an optical drive and Ethernet connectivity, precisely mimicking the present Air lineup. A refresh of the current 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air line has been expected for this April, and although the source suggested an introduction of the 15-inch Air at that time, he could not speak to the popular Pro line disappearing completely.

We’ve checked out the guest list for CU Exposed, and concluded that the anonymous source may be Henge Docks, an Arlington, VA based accessories company that started making pretty nifty MacBook docks in 2007. Henge released its first dock for the MacBook Air in January of this year.

Since its release in 2008, the MacBook Air has grown into an unbridled success for Apple. After a 2010 refresh introduced faster processors, fully solid-state storage, and a diminutive 11-inch model to compliment the original 13-inch, sales have risen steeply. Accounting for only eight percent of notebook purchases before the 2010 update, the MacBook Air now represents almost one-third of total MacBook sales, according to Apple Insider. Due to the hasty retirement of the white plastic MacBook last year, we can however deduce that Apple still relies on the MacBook Pro line for its bread and butter, representing the majority two-thirds of notebook sales. This fact alone would make it unlikely that Apple would simply kill off the Pro’s completely — traditional mechanical hard drives still offer vast storage at a fractional cost of the Air’s solid-state equivalent, and many users out there still require an optical drive, whether for ripping music and video on the go, or simply to take advantage of widely available CD and DVD media. If a melding of the lines were to occur, the 17-inch MacBook Pro — which may be configured with a High-Resolution display, a favorite of designers and photo editors — would likely remain available, according to the source.

Always Moving

But simply assuming that Apple will stick with a bulky optical drive configuration for posterity’s sake when it has aggressively pushed toward flash and cloud-based storage in every other facet of its business would be an unwise bet. Apple has historically been a company willing to adapt to new technology, and quickly. It’s initial instinct to forego an optical drive in the original Air was seen as a great risk by many. And its more recent inclusion of Thunderbolt ports in all new Mac models is a gamble on an embryonic technology that still doesn’t have much of a third-party following, Apple’s own superlative Thunderbolt displays notwithstanding. And who can forget FireWire, that noble standard that eventually became synonymous with why Macs were different, even though it was, in the end, a great technology that still to this day has many superior qualities over USB. We certainly can’t say one way or another, but it wouldn’t be the first time Apple has surprised us.

The most recent quarterly earnings results, in which Apple posted record-shattering sales, demonstrated more plainly than ever how much Apple has changed as a company since it dropped “computer” from its name. The nearly 5 million Macs sold were eclipsed by the 17 million iPhones and 11 million iPads, meaning that today’s Apple is first and foremost a mobile company. The MacBook Air line, up to this point, has been a relative experiment in merging the mobile world with the old paradigm of the PC. If we choose to view OS X Mountain Lion’s iOS inspired updates as a harbinger of things to come, a 15-inch MacBook Air would be further proof of where the future of Apple lies.

Image Credit: Cult of Mac

Computing

Amazon sale knocks $200 off the price of 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

If you always wanted to buy a MacBook Pro but found it a bit too expensive, now is your chance to save. A base version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is currently on sale at Amazon for $1,600.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Deals

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.
Computing

Apple’s 4K 21.5-inch iMac is now $200 off if you pre-order it

Apple's new iMacs are now available and if you pre-order one from B&H you can get the midrange version for $200. That's a near 20-percent saving on one of the most competitive configurations.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Mobile

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.
Apple

Apple’s Netflix competitor Apple TV Plus headlines a barrage of new services

Apple's It's Show Time event in Cupertino, California, is officially over, with the tech giant announcing a new video-streaming service to compete with Netflix and Amazon, a new way to subscribe to paid news outlets, and more.
Mobile

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.
Movies & TV

Apple TV Plus streaming service recruits Hollywood A-listers to take on Netflix

Apple has an ambitious slate of original programming it has been developing, and now we know where we'll be able to see it. Apple confirmed its new subscription service, Apple TV Plus, and revealed some of the projects it will air.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.2 brings support for Apple News Plus and new AirPlay 2 features

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Computing

Get a new 2018 Apple MacBook Air for $1,000 with Amazon’s latest sale

Online retailer Amazon is currently running a discount on select models of the MacBook Air 2018. You can bring one home starting at $1,000, a full $200 off the usual selling price.