Apple reportedly planning a Retina MacBook Air for Q3 2013

The Tiawanese Economic Times is reporting that Apple is preparing their supplies for a redesigned MacBook Air later in Q3. The updated MacBook will not only get internal upgrades - a beefier Intel CPU; better GPU; more RAM; increased SSD space - but could potentially receive a "facelift", which could include a new Retina Display.

Apple currently has two laptop variants: the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air. The Pro includes both a Retina and non-Retina version, while the Air only comes in a non-Retina guise. The 13-inch Retina Pro was criticised for being slow, which has lead some to be skeptical of a Retina Air, as it could suffer from the same problems. The problems were down to a slower GPU which couldn't handle the extra pixels. This problem could be especially prominent in the Air, as there is no space for dedicated GPUs. 

Pricing could also be another issue. Apple does not offer a low-end "traditional" laptop, as the 64GB Air starts at $999. The iPad starts at a lower price, but does not come with the power, or ports, of the MacBook Air. Adding a Retina display increases Apple's laptop pricing by around $200, which could lead to a problem for the low-end Air, as it would start at $1,299, a decidedly non-low-end price. However, the pricing issue could be avoided by introducing a Retina Air alongside the current non-Retina versions, possibly only on the 13-inch models - this would also be in keeping with the current Retina MacBook Pro line. 

Apple recently introduced a 128GB iPad, which has lead some to believe that Apple will do away with the 64GB MacBook Air and replace it with a cheaper 128GB model. That would mean that there would then be a 128GB 11-inch model, a 256GB 11-inch model (both non-Retina), a 256GB 13-inch model and a 512GB 13-inch model (both Retina). There is also the possibility of a 768GB 13-inch model, but that is still unconfirmed. The MacBook Pro comes in those sizes, except for the 11-inch display. RAM is also expected to be increased from a minimum of 4GB to 8GB, with the higher-end models coming with 16GB as standard. 

Source: Economic Times (Google Translate), MacRumors

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