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12-Inch Retina MacBook Air To Launch June 2015 During WWDC: Report

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Amidst rumors that Apple could be launching a 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display at its Spring Forward event on March 9, the iPhone maker is reported to launch the new MacBook later in the second quarter.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple could launch the new MacBook in the second quarter, possibly during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, where it isn't uncommon for Apple to introduce new devices. In 2013, Apple took to the WWDC to unveil the Mac Pro and the Retina MacBook Pro in 2012.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal says suppliers have begun mass production of the 12-inch MacBook Pro "in large quantities," although Apple's launch schedule still remains unclear.

The latest development runs counter to earlier reports that Apple will take the wraps of the new MacBook this month. In January, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities predicted that Apple will be unveiling the Retina MacBook before April, confirming a similar forecast by Andrew Uerkwitz of Morgan Stanley. Media outlets have also spoken with supply-chain sources who said Apple went into mass production last year in time for a first-quarter release.

In February, Apple Insider reported that Apple's distribution partners selling its line of Mac products have received notice that Apple is slashing down the prices on current inventory of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, a move that is typical of Apple when it is about to launch a new product.

The upcoming 12-inch MacBook Pro is said to run on Intel's next-generation Broadwell Core M low-power processor, which will allow Apple to take out the fan and accommodate a thinner profile that is in keeping with the iPhone maker's penchant for slim designs. However, for that to be possible, Apple reportedly made some compromises, including the removal of full-sized USB ports, SD card slots, and MagSafe connectors.

But while it's possible that we won't be seeing a 12-inch MacBook next week, Apple could roll out a refreshed line of its older MacBook models, according to MacRumors, which obtained screenshots of a MacBook Air running on an Intel Core 1.6 GHz Broadwell processor and 4 GB of RAM on the Chinese website Feng.com's community boards, suggesting that Apple could officially unveil the new machine instead.

The refreshed machine is said to have the same battery life as the 13-inch MacBook Air and a similar display resolution of 1440 x 900. A chart posted on the website says Apple will release three versions, each with 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB in storage size. No information was posted about a possible refreshed 11-inch MacBook Air.

Photo: Jeff Geerling | Flickr

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