Rumor: MacBook Pros and Airs to get Haswell chips and minor tweaks at WWDC 2013


With one week to go until WWDC 2013, Apple’s annual extravagenza for developers that begins June 10, we’re getting a clearer picture of what we can expect at this year from the Cupertino company. According to KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most accurate sages around, both the MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air will be getting some new parts.

His most recent report obtained by 9to5Mac suggests that “the new MacBook, featuring an upgrade to Intel’s (U.S.) Haswell processor, will be in the spotlight for Apple at the upcoming WWDC from June 10.” Although Kuo didn’t specify whether he is referring to the MacBook Pro or Air, it’s possible that he expects Apple to refresh its entire line of laptops with the new chip.

Since the new chips offer quite a boost in battery life (the 6w processor provides about 9 hours of juice to an Ultrabook),  9to5Mac believes you can expect the new Haswell-powered, MacBook Pro with Retina to last up to 10 hours on battery, assuming Apple keeps its internal battery the same size. Kuo also believes the Retina MBP will become slightly more svelte and get a full HD 1080p webcam, and is moving away from a traditional hard drive and optical drive to just a solid-state drive. While a higher resolution webcam for Facetime isn’t exactly on our wishlist for the new MacBook Pro, it seems like Apple’s getting the message about users wanting SSD storage for upcoming models.

After predicting that Apple will phase out the popular 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pros earlier this year, then reversing course in April as we reported, the KGI analyst is once again declaring that the older Pros with the Intel Ivy Bridge processors, optical drives, and Ethernet ports will be discontinued once Apple is sold out of its stock. For consumers who want a more affordable Pro, maybe it’s time to snap up one of these older models before they’re gone for good.

MacBook Airs will also be getting the new Haswell chips so we should see its battery life and graphics/gaming performance improve – something we listed on our wishlist. One upgrade we’re not expecting but that Kuo believes will be coming to the new Airs is a dual-microphone, which is already a part of the new MacBook Pros with Retina displays. He didn’t really have any updates on whether the Airs will be getting Retina displays, as was rumored earlier this year. The fear is that the higher-resolution screen will add thickness to the laptop, which is hardly what the uber-slim Air is all about.

We’ll find out what Apple really has in store for us on the laptop front in exactly seven days. Stay tuned!

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