Apple will reportedly release a 13-inch Retina MacBook during the third quarter of this year, but might axe the MacBook Air series.
Yes, you read that right, word is that Apple might be gearing up to give its most popular laptop the boot. The prediction comes from well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who provided spot-on information countless times in the past.
Apple Insider obtained a note from Kuo, in which the analyst predicts that the upcoming 13-inch MacBook will replace the MacBook Air.
According to Kuo, the new MacBook set to launch in Q3 2016 will join the existing 12-inch Retina MacBook in Apple's lineup, which might seem a bit odd considering the small difference in screen size.
Nevertheless, Kuo suggests that Apple might be looking at the big picture and visualizing its lineups in the long run. With this in mind, the analyst says the MacBook Air series will no longer evolve. Rather than upgrading them to the "resolutionary" Retina display and Force Touch trackpads and giving them beefier tech all around, the MacBook Air models are expected to stagnate, with no meaningful upgrades in store.
If Kuo turns out to be accurate, Apple will turn the once-flagship MacBook Air into a thin and light, yet entry-level offering. The theory is not too far-fetched either, as Apple already pulled such a scheme in the past with its plastic MacBook.
Moving on to the MacBook Pro lineup, the analyst expects major changes. The new iterations in the Pro lineup should rock Touch ID fingerprint technology for extra security, an OLED display touch bar, USB Type-C, a Thunderbolt 3 port and more. The new MacBook Pro models should arrive sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.
Simply put, Apple will likely go forward with all of its MacBook lines this year, but at clearly differentiated tiers. The MacBook Pro will be at the top of the food chain, the MacBook will cover the middle ground, while the MacBook Air will slip from the medium tier to the entry-level.
This means that the MacBook Air will become the budget option, the MacBook will bank on portability, while the MacBook Pro will be the top performer, thus making up a clear three-tier structure so customers find it easier to make their choice.
Keep in mind, however, that none of this is official or confirmed, so make sure to take these predictions with a grain of salt.