Technology giant Apple Inc. has thrown all its weight behind the new version of Mac operating system - Mac OS X Lion - by holding back the launch of its new MacBook Air notebook till the Lion starts roaring.
According to rumors circulating in the Internet, Apple has called stops on the release of its new MAcBook Air until OS X Lion's launch is finalized. Lion is expected to hit the market in July.
Nearly 400,000 units of the new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air, equipped with powerful graphic chips, Thunderbolt data port and Intel's ultra-low voltage Sandy Bridge processors, are reportedly ready for production this month but Apple has refused to give it the go-ahead signal as it is pumped over the advantages presented by its forthcoming Mac OS X Lion operating system and wants users of the new notebook to experience the latest and greatest Mac OS ever launched, AppleInsider said.
The Apple enthusiast website also reported that the same may also be true for Sandy Bridge-powered Mac Minis and new Cinema Displays. The new iPhone, iPod and other new Apple mobile devices will also reportedly not be launched until iCloud-enabled iOS 5 is released.
Current MacBooks are powered by Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), which was released in June 2009, and the OS X Lion represents a quantum leap forward in terms of OS advancement.
The OS X Lion, which will only be available through the Internet and will come in downloadable version retailing for $29.99, includes a number of features that will make Apple's ultraportable MacBook Air more appealing for mobile users.
For instance, the Lion will feature Restart in Safari mode (the user will have the option to access a sandboxed version of the Safari browser directly from the lock screen, without having the need to log in), Resume (like iPhone users, Mac users will now be able to instantly resume an application where he/she had quit), Auto Save and Versions (Lion will not only automatically be able to save frequently what you’re working on but also it will save all versions of the file you’re working on) and AirDrop (a sort of Wi-Fi based peer-to-peer file moving utility that offers fully encrypted transfer with confirm to send and receive files function) but most importantly, it will offer automated syncing of important data and documents with iCloud, Apple's ambitious cloud-based music, video, photo and data automatic backup and push out service.
In fact, iCloud represents a major new direction for Apple, which sees it as a way of tying together its various desktop and mobile platforms, as well as providing an additional method for delivering media to users.
And, by selling OS X Lion preinstalled MacBook Air, Apple wants to ensure that Mac users not only adopt the new OS X Lion but also get access to the new iCloud services as quickly as possible.
Moreover, though theoretically Apple could have launched the new Mac Book Air budled with a voucher code that would allow users to upgrade to the new OS X Lion for free via the Mac App Store, Apple has been traditionally resistant to registration keys and doesn't want to make an exception this time.
Also let us not forget that Apple is a software-driven company that makes its money on the sale of proprietary hardware designed to best leverage its software expertise and the release of the new MacBook could be the ideal launch pad for OS X Lion and iCloud.
According to J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, another reason Apple wants to time the launch of the new MacBook Air right is because it could turn into a $3 billion business-a-year, especially with iCloud equipped. In April, Moskowitz estimated the MacBook Air to be a $2.2 billion business.
Sales of ultra-thin MacBook Air have surged even as sales of fatter notebooks and desktop computers stagnated - MacBook Air sales rose 2.9 percent over the prior quarter, even as the broader PC market slipped by 10.1 percent and overall Mac unit sales fell 10.5 percent.
Moskowitz estimates Apple will sell roughly 700,000 of the notebooks each quarter - up from just 432,000 units in the first quarter of 2011.
“The MacBook Air increasingly will be recognized as offering users tablet-like functionality – ultra-portability, thinness, and instant-on – while offering an integrated keyboard and a full computing applications suite to complete professional work-related tasks,” Moscowitz wrote to clients on Thursday.
On top of that, with users storing more of their data on cloud-based services, if the new OS X Lion-preinstalled MacBook Air offers Apple's iCloud services, the new notebook could become a breakout product for Apple, Moskowitz said.