Rarely has Apple faced the 'ultimate software-hardware asymmetry' with regard to product launches. But it appears to be such a season for the consumer tech giant.

Apple unveiled at the WWDC the iOS 5, the feature-filled update for its vaulted mobile operating system. But then it failed to say anything about when iPhone 5, the device the iOS 5 was supposed to enrich.

Then, iCloud was launched, but the network preparedness, or the lack of it, of world carriers came in the spotlight.

Now, it looks like the new MacBook Air will not be rolled out until the Mac OS X, dubbed as Lion, is ready.

Rumor mills say Apple is biding time to give final touches to Lion, and would release the updated MacBook Air notebooks only after the latest software update is ready.

Apple's Chinese manufacturing partners are ready to ship MacBook Air hardware, but Apple would rather have the new version of its ultra thin notebook have latest of Mac OS X, which will be the eighth upgrade of its desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers.

Besides supporting Apple's new iCloud services, the Mac OS X Lion, which was unveiled at the WWDC, sports more than 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs. Apple had promised the new version will be available to customers in July as a download from the Mac App Store for $29.99.

Rumors have been doing the rounds that Apple is getting ready with its next generation ultra thin 11.6 and 13.3-inch MacBook Air notebooks that are scheduled to begin production and hit market soon.

There were reports last week that Apple has placed orders for the manufacturing of 380,000 Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Airs this month, in addition to a 80,000 thousand units of the existing MacBook Airs.

Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told Apple Insider last week that the new MacBook Airs will be powered by Intel's 32-nanometer Sandy Bridge chip architecture. The ultra-low-voltage Corei5 and Corei7 chips sport between 3MB and 4MB of Smart Cache and support up to 8GB of internal memory. The Intel Core Duo chips in the existing Mac Book Airs use the L2 cache.

There were reports earlier from Apple suppliers in the East that Apple is due to launch MacBook Airs on the Sandy Bridge architecture in May. Now it appears the release may take more time as Apple wants to make MacBook Airs ready with OSX Lion.

AppleInsider's sources said Apple is unwilling to usher the new [MacBook Air] models into the market with the current Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system. Apple is also waiting for Lion to launch a Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt update to its Mac mini, reports Arstechnica.