Apple is planning a refresh of the long neglected MacBook Air according to Far East reports.

DigiTimes, a news source dedicated to Asia's IT industry, claims Quanta Computer has won a contract to supply Apple with a new smaller MacBook Air.

"Quanta has reportedly landed orders for 11.6-inch MacBooks from Apple. Shipments of 11.6-inch MacBooks are expected to top 400,000-500,000 units in 2010. But Quanta declined to comment on issues concerning clients or orders," reports DigiTimes.

The MacBook Air currently comes with a 13.3-inch diagonal LED-backlit glossy widescreen display.

DigiTimes added Quanta, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of notebook computers, is expected to ship a total of 13-13.2 million notebooks in the third quarter down 3-5 per cent from 13.7 million units shipped in the second quarter.

Apple MacBook Air

Reporting the rumours, several sources suggest Apple's new smaller MacBook Air could bridge the gap between the iPad and the MacBook.

The rumours of a new MacBook Air "ready to launch," have been doing the rounds for some time. Back in July, DigiTimes claimed Apple had plans for a MacBook Air with 11.6-inch display, running the Intel Core i-series of processors in the second half of 2010. The same report suggested the new iPod touch would come with a  3-megapixel camera, capable of both photo and video recording.

Apple currently sells the MacBook Air with Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1.86GHz frontside bus, 2GB Memory, 120 GB SATA hard drive and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics for £1,174. A 2.13GHz MacBook Air, with 128 GB solid-state drive, costs £1,378.