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Next-generation Apple MacBook Air 12” enters small-volume production

Quanta Computer, a contract maker of electronics that produces certain products for Apple, has reportedly started small-volume production of Apple’s next-gen MacBook Air laptop with 12” display. The new notebooks will unlikely hit the market until 2015, but Quanta needs to learn how to produce what could be the world’s thinnest mobile PC to date.

DigiTimes reports that small volume-production of 12” MacBook Air laptops started this month and the volumes will begin to grow gradually starting next month. The initial production of 12” MacBook Air has not yet reached a satisfactory yield rate, which means that manufacturing volumes will not be increased until that happens. As a result, it is highly likely that the new notebooks will only emerge on the market in 2015.


Apple MacBook Air 12” was initially expected to hit the market in Q2 2014 or Q3 2014, but was delayed reportedly because Intel’s inability to begin shipments of its code-named “Broadwell” processors in 2014. The mobile PC is expected to feature a new clamshell structure, which is projected to make the new MacBook Air (MBA) even thinner and lighter than the current-generation models. Moreover, since Intel’s mainstream “Broadwell” chips made using 14nm process technology consume up to 15W of energy, the new MBA will be fanless.

Since the new MacBook Air 12” uses significantly different components compared to existing models, it is reported that its suppliers face challenges fulfilling Apple's orders.

Apple and Quanta did not comment on the news-story.

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KitGuru Says: Since Intel will only start revenue shipments of mainstream Core i-series “Broadwell” processors in late 2014 or even early 2015, it is highly likely that by the time Apple will be able to commercially release its new MBA 12” all the technological problems associated with production will be solved.

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