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15-inch Apple Macbook Air To Arrive In March 2012?

Apple suppliers have apparently started to deliver the first components required to build the company's first 15-inch ultra-thin notebook.

According to Joseph Tsai and Aaron Lee from Digitimes (opens in new tab), the components could either be for a MacBook Air or a thinner version of the MacBook Pro (although we suspect that the MacBook Pro and Air range could be merged).

Apple has 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops; bringing together both ranges would mean that at least one laptop (the 13.3-inch model) will be canned.

It also means that optical drives will almost certainly disappear but that the number of connection ports (USB, Thunderbolt etc) are likely to remain unchanged.

Ditto for spinning hard disk drives which may be replaced by faster SSDs, a move which may help Apple to differentiate itself from the growing threat of Ultrabooks.

The only question is whether Apple will be hiking up the price of the new updated range of MacBook Pros or will stick to the current price scheme.

Digitimes also highlights the fact that two big players, Acer and Asus, both have plans to release a 15-inch Ultrabook next year, but they may consider the issue linked with integrating an optical drive.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.