Uncertainty shrouds the retail release of the new Macbook Air and the OS X Lion software, but one Apple employee shed some light on what to expect.
The Macbook Air, Apple's ultrathin notebook computer, will employ Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processor, the person told IBTimes. The low-voltage chip is inline with the Macbook Air's predecessor, and the chip's ability to process graphics cuts the need for other chips, enhancing battery life.
Also in line with expectations, Apple will package the new notebook computer with Mac OS X Lion, the company's next generation operating system introduced earlier this year.
The move was widely expected as both products are set to be released at roughly the same times.
It doesn't make sense to release hardware without the software, the source said, wishing to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.
The information corroborates supply-chain checks from Wall Street analysts and Apple's own corporate moves earlier this year.
Apple released the gold master of its operating system, Mac OS X Lion earlier this month, while also ramping up production of the new Macbook Air.
A gold master is computer parlance that indicates that no more changes will be made to the software, and that finished copy will enter of phases of production -- like licensing, documentation, and other post coding processes.
At the same time, Apple's MacBook Air, the ultramobile portable, is due for a refresh that industry analysts have already pegged for July.
Indeed, checks with retailers show that inventories of current Macbooks are already slimming, and new systems should ship with the new software. Companies like BestBuy, for instance, have stopped shipping the current MacBook Air altogether.
Historically the company has moved form a gold master to a bon-a-fide release within two weeks.
While many enthusiast Web sites have speculated the release to come on the 14th, it is most likely to come late next week, the source said.
The software is not just a welcome development for users. Analysts are expecting the new software to boost Apple's margins as well.
BMO Capital's Keith Bachman projects Apple's gross profit margin will grow by 1 percentage point, leading to an incremental 40 cents per share in profit in the September-ending fiscal fourth quarter.
While the Mac Book Air prices has yet to be determined, Apple has said Mac OS X Lion upgrades will be $29.99.