Rumor: Apple is going to refresh MacBook Air after all and it’ll have USB-C

By , Jul 27, 2016


DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication that more or less accurately reports unknown features of unreleased Apple products (although the timing on its rumors is usually off), is out with a new story Wednesday claiming that USB Type-C connection is coming to a next-gen MacBook Air, implying Apple might update its most popular notebook after all.

USB-C coming to the Air

“Currently, Apple has decided to adopt the USB Type-C interface for its MacBook Air,” reads the report. Notebook players, posits DigiTimes, have been less keen to adopt USB Type C because of design and cost considerations.

Asustek and Hewlett-Packard are upgrading one of their notebooks’ regular USB port to USB Type-C, but Lenovo, Acer and Dell are still “evaluating the option.”

What about next-gen MacBook Pro?

The report does not provide a launch timeframe for the new Air nor does it mention an upcoming MacBook Pro refresh. If you ask us, it’s logical that the new Airs and Pros would adopt USB-C because Apple is well-known for rolling out new technologies to its entire lineup over time.

Maybe the next Pro is a next-gen Air?

Fairly reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara cited an unnamed Chinese supplier last month as saying that next-generation Airs with USB-C ports based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol would be coming by the end of June. The story proved inaccurate, though it’s also possible that Apple may have pushed back the release util this fall.

Some people think Apple will no longer update the Air lineup aside from an occasional silent refresh here and there adding the latest Intel chips. Since debuting in 2008, the MacBook Air hasn’t seen a significant update in years in terms of hardware and industrial design, its screen still of a low-resolution, non-Retina variety.

Air is getting competition from China’s Xiaomi

Best known for its powerful and inexpensive smartphones, Chinese startup Xiaomi today gave Apple’s MacBookAir a good run for its money with the introduction of its first-ever Windows PC notebook that has discreet Nvidia graphics and is thinner and lighter than the Air at its fattest edge while costing half as much.

Although it will only be available in Asia starting August 2, these new Xiaomi laptops could add to Apple’s competition in China.

Source: DigiTimes

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  • Pretty sure it’s the new 14-inch MacBook that the source confused with the “refreshed MacBook Air”.

    • askep3

      Wait there is going to be a larger MacBook? I was going to buy the 12 inch, but maybe I’ll wait…

    • gary

      Is this rumored 14″ MacBook supposed to be an entirely new MacBook like the 12″ was, or is it supposed to be a 13″ MBP replacement? This is the first I’ve seen this and I’ll be looking to buy a new MacBook within the next month or so, so I’m wondering if I should buy the current 13″ w/ Retina display or if I should wait?

      • No, it’s the 14-inch MacBook like the 12-inch, only 2 inches bigger. It’s not the 13-inch MacBook Pro replacement. In the next year or so, Apple will switch to 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro sizes.

      • gary

        I think I will probably just buy the current 13″ MBPR then… I’d rather have multiple USB 3.0 than any USB C at all wasting a port.

  • Leslie B

    There is no good reason to do this. The USB 3.1 standard does not require the new USB-C connector. In fact, there are issues with adapters for the new connector with various devices, since the connector is not yet fully standardized. Until these issues are resolved, manufacturers would be wise to avoid the new plug.

    But of course Apple being Apple, they want to implement it ASAP so they can sell adapters and dongles and whatnot. Nothing enhances the look of a sleek MacBook as much as a bunch of adapter wires and cräp hanging out of it. Go Apple!