Apple To Launch 11.6" MacBook Air This Year?

Remember the MacBook Air? Yeah, it's been quite some time since Apple has made any mention of its only ultra-thin ultraportable machine, and after it made a huge splash a few years ago in terms of design, the company has really let it age. There haven't been too many spec upgrades along the way, and it seems as if the machine isn't a high priority for Apple at all. Of course, it's a niche device with a small buyer pool, but we guess that's too be expected. But it's about time for an upgrade, don't you think?

According to rumors sourced from DigiTimes research, the company is planning to do something beyond just adding Core i3 CPUs and a new GeForce GPU. Apple could be ready to begin production on an 11.6" MacBook Air, which would be a real shock to the netbook world on the whole. We wouldn't expect an 11.6" MacBook Air to compete on price, but it would certainly compete with the other 10"-12" ultraportable machines that are tailored for business users who spend lots of time on the road. It's an excellent market opportunity for Apple, and it's one that would be logical to approach.

Based on the reports, this new MacBook Air would use Intel's Core ix series of processors (the ULV ones), and they'd launch in the second half of this year. It'll be even slimmer than the existing 13" MacBook Air, but it won't be a high volume product.

In related Apple rumors, the company is also expected to reveal a new iPod touch with a 3MP camera (capable of video and still capturing) and Apple's own A4 CPU. Generally, Apple releases a new iPod touch in the Fall, so this definitely lines up well with what has happened over the past few years. Now that Applegate is behind us (we think), we suspect people will actually begin looking forward to new Apple gear again.