Apple’s 12-inch MacBook Air could enter mass production in the first quarter of 2015, according to a new report from Taiwan’s Digitimes. In anticipation, suppliers are said to be stocking up inventory of related components.
The device has been previously rumored to contain a number of new features, including a fanless design, 12-inch Retina display and Intel’s low-energy Broadwell Core M processors.
The addition to the MacBook line was previously expected to be unveiled in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. But production delays for Intel’s Broadwell chips and yield issues with the MacBook reportedly set back mass production. Even as manufacturing ramps up in 2015, the new MacBook Air initially is expected to see limited shipments, according to supply chain sources speaking to Digitimes.
Quanta computer is reportedly handling production of Apple’s new MacBook Air as well as the upcoming Apple Watch, which is rumored to launch in spring 2015.
Other rumors have pointed to the MacBook Air also receiving the iPhone color treatment, with options possibly available in space gray and gold. The last time Apple offered any color options in its MacBook line was with the first-generation polycarbonate models, which came in black or white and were introduced in 2006 and discontinued in 2011.
Apple’s line of Mac desktops and notebooks have seen a resurgence in 2014, with sales reaching 18.9 million units in its fiscal year, a 16 percent improvement over 2013 sales, according to company filings. In addition, Apple also broke into the top-five global PC vendor list in the third quarter, which IDC attributed to price cuts on the Mac, back-to-school sales and “improved demand in mature markets.”