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OS X system image utility indicates April release for 2016 Retina MacBooks

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If you’re looking to buy a 12-inch Retina MacBook, you may want to hold off until next month because, as a source has confirmed with 9to5Mac, a new version of Apple’s vibrant collection of lightweight notebooks is on its way. The source discovered this feat by digging into both Apple’s System Image Utility and OS X Server applications.

Within the utility, the 2015 Retina MacBook is listed as a supported computer model, but quite surprisingly, an early 2016 model has been added as well, ahead of its release. Given Apple’s definition of “early,” meaning in the first four months of the year, we can expect to see the next sequel to last year’s MacBook reboot within the next month or so.

With last year’s MacBooks having arrived in April 2015, an April 2016 release date wouldn’t be unforeseen, especially considering Apple’s adherence to annualized routine. Any revisions applied to the MacBook will likely be marginal, though we can only hope the fifth-generation Core M is replaced with something a bit more capable. Fingers crossed, perhaps this year we’ll see the implementation of full-fledged Skylake chips.

9to5Mac / Greg Barbosa
9to5Mac / Greg Barbosa

The introduction of a more powerful 12-inch MacBook wouldn’t be unwarranted. In fact, Intel’s sixth-gen Core M processors have been available since late last year, boasting the same 10-hour battery life spec as its predecessor, except this time with a 10 to 20 percent CPU performance increase, along with a 40 percent GPU gain.

Curiously, there’s nothing in either OS X Server or System Image Utility indicating a Retina MacBook Pro or MacBook Air slated for 2016. While that information could easily be deemed worthless, it could also indicate a later release window for the 12-inch MacBook’s more labor-intensive counterparts.

As reported on by MacRumors, it’s been speculated that Apple is preparing “ultra-thin” variants of its 13-and 15-inch MacBooks for either a June or July launch, though the exact product family remains unclear.

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