12-inch MacBook Air rumored to enter production in third quarter

MacBook Air 2014

A new report from a hit-and-miss Taiwanese source claims that Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook Air will enter mass production in the third quarter of 2014. The notebook will position itself between the current 11-inch and 13-inch models in the MacBook Air lineup, strengthening Apple’s position in the small-to-medium, ultra-thin notebook market. But that’s not all…

DigiTimes has the scoop (via MacRumors):

“Quanta Computer will be responsible for the assembly of the 12-inch device, said the sources, adding that so far, they have not heard any changes coming to the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air products.”

According to upstream supply chain sources, Apple could be making this move to establish a clear difference between the MacBook Air and iPad. The 11-inch MacBook Air is believed to be cannibalized in sales because of the similarly-sized iPad, so Apple may eventually discontinue that notebook in favor of the 12-inch model. There was no timeframe provided for those plans.

iPad Air 2 dummy (NowhereElse 001)

It was originally believed that Apple might release a 12-inch iPad in the second half of this year, also sourced out through Quanta Computer, although those plans have reportedly been delayed. In its place, the 12-inch MacBook Air will have some internal layout changes, but otherwise it will have a similar unibody aluminum chassis and overall design as other MacBooks.

It is believed that the 12-inch MacBook Air could also have a Retina display, consistent with rumors that we have heard over the past several months. Apple most recently updated the MacBook Air lineup in April with faster Haswell processors and a $100 price drop on each model. MacBook Airs have an average refresh cycle of between 10 to 11 months, so we are unlikely to see new models just yet.

Would a 12-inch MacBook Air be the perfect size notebook for you?