Apple is expected to release the new Macbook Air, along with its next generation-- Mac OS X Lion -- on Wednesday, July 20.

Reports say the next generation OS will be launched this week, to go with the newest Mac Airs and Mac Minis. Though it is mostly speculation, the certainty is that Apple has to release it sometime this month.

California-based Apple said the new OS X will be available in July, but did not give the exact date of the release. AppleInsider says it has received word that the products would be released on Wednesday at 8:30 am EST.

Meanwhile, Apple blog 9to5 Mac reported that they’ve received confirmation from several Apple retail employees that Apple Retail stores are planning ‘overnights’ on July 19th. Generally, overnights are held before new products are released to train members of each store to reorganize product displays and window signage at night, or perform any necessary tasks to facilitate a particular product launch.

Apple will be releasing four new MacBook Air models. This includes two 11-inch models and two 13-inch models; both screen sizes will come in entry level and upgraded configurations, the report read.

Other systems are rumored to be arriving soon after or even at the same time, such as white MacBooks as well as Mac Pros.

The new MacBook Air is said to be sporting the Sandy Bridge processors from Intel, support for Apple's new high-speed Thunderbolt, the return of the backlit keyboard and 128Gb to 256Gb of flash storage.

According to OSXDaily, the new MacBook Air is already in Apple's retail stores in sealed boxes, waiting for the Lion to be unleashed.

The current generations of MacBook Airs 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 new operating system will have 250 new features, according to Apple. There are new multi-touch gestures that make the Mac a lot like the iPhone or iPad including momentum scrolling, tapping or pinching your fingers to zoom in on a Web page or image. It's likely that the new features will be available on the new Macbook Airs.

Another new feature on Mac OS X Lion will be its Launchpad, which will allow users to see all of their Mac apps in a full-screen layout. Using the multi-touch gestures, users will be able to organize them in any order.

Apple claims Mac OS X Lion as the world's most advanced desktop operating system. To upgrade to the new OS X, users can simply download it at $29.99 and do not have to visit the store to purchase a boxed copy.

In addition, Apple hopes to integrate high-speed data transfer and high-resolution display through I/O Thunderbolt ports into the upcoming devices. The addition of Thunderbolt can enhance the high-speed technologies enabling compatibility with USB 3.0, firewire, and eSATA.

Thunderbolt has already been integrated into Apple's current MacBook Pro and iMac, showcasing its strengths using Final Cut Pro. It may be an option for Apple to use Final Cut Pro to demonstrate Thunderbolt's enhanced capabilities on the new Mac Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini.