The next-generation version of Apple’s 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display has entered production in small quantities, a new report said Wednesday. However, production may not ramp up fast enough for it to hit stores in time for the holiday shopping season.
Quanta Computer, a supplier for Apple, has started manufacturing the new version of the ultra slim 12-inch notebook, but production will be limited to small quantities for the first month because of low yield rates, Taiwan’s DigiTimes reported, citing sources at Apple’s supply chain.
The report also stated that Quanta is currently exploring ways to improve yield rates and is expected to ramp up production efforts in November. However, due to limited volumes in the initial production phase, the 12-inch MacBook Air would mostly only launch in early 2015.
According to a report by Apple Insider, part of the delay has been attributed to the device’s ultra-slim chassis, which is expected to be thinner than the current MacBook Air lineup. The delay is also said to be related to advanced internal specifications that component suppliers are struggling to deal with.
In addition to a thinner form factor, the new Retina MacBook Air is also rumored to feature a fanless frame and a click-less trackpad. Thanks to an ultra-thin design, the device could also include fewer input and output ports, compared to the current models of the device.
Meanwhile, MacRumors said in a report that a fanless design could suggest that the device would be powered by an ultra low-power processor, such as Intel’s recently announced Broadwell-Y Core M processors.
A report said last month that Apple could introduce two more color options to the MacBook, including Gold and Space Gray, in 2015.
Some reports also suggest that the new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air could be in conflict with the widely-rumored iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch display, which is also rumored to be released early next year.