Overnights planned for Apple stores July 13; Lion release and MacBook Air refresh likely

lion

It looks as if Apple’s Lion will be officially unleashed next week, with several reports indicating that the computer giant will be holding an overnight meeting of staff at its retail stores on July 13.

9to5Mac is reporting that it has heard from “a few overseas sources” that something is afoot, with an overnight shift planned for Wednesday next week. Such overnight gatherings usually involve new products being introduced to members of staff as well as the setting up of new in-store displays.

Apple’s latest version of its computer operating system incorporates around 250 new features, including multi-touch gestures through trackpads on the company’s laptops and its Magic TrackPad for iMacs. The Lion operating system will be available as a download from the Mac App Store for $29.99.

9to5’s report goes on to suggest that the updated MacBook Air could also be released. The refreshed machine is likely to feature Intel’s latest-generation Core i-series Sandy Bridge processor as well as Thunderbolt ports – for high-speed data transfer – as seen on the latest MacBook Pro and iMac machines.

There’s also thought to be an outside chance that the MacBook Air will be introduced with a black finish, giving users another color option to choose from. Many fans of the MacBook Air will be hoping for the reintroduction of the backlit keyboard, though there appears to be little evidence that this is actually going to happen.

The price of the new MacBook Airs –available in 11- and 13-inch models – isn’t yet known, though there has been some speculation that it could be cut, but right now it’s exactly that: pure speculation. Things should be a whole lot clearer come Thursday morning.

Image: Robek

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