In this 2014 MacBook Air with Retina display release date rumours article we aim to bring you everything we know about Apple's Retina MacBook Air release date so you'll know exactly when the new Retina MacBook Air will launch. We'll also be examining the rumours circulating the web - and we'll assess whether they are credible. Finally, we will show you any Retina MacBook Air images that surface online. So check back here regularly for the latest new MacBook Air with Retina display speculation.
Last updated 19 February 2014 with rumours that MacBook Air might be fanless.
New Retina MacBook Air release date
Apple unveiled the latest MacBook Air at WWDC in June 2013. This was exactly one year after Apple updated its MacBook Air line up at WWDC in June 2012, so a June 2014 release date for the new Retina MacBook Air seems likely.
Last October KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo speculated that a new MacBook Air would launch in Q2 or Q3 of 2014, which points to the April - September time frame.
There is a reason why an update could come sooner: When Apple updated the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, it lowered the price, making that model much more attractive than the MacBook Air. Read our Which Apple Laptop: MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro comparative review for more information. To keep the MacBook Air an attractive proposition for customers, there is a chance that Apple will update it sooner than June.
However, should Apple wish the new MacBook Air to feature Intel's new Broadwell chip (the successor to Haswell) the MacBook Air may be delayed further. The Broadwell processor has been delayed due to manufacturing problems.
Intel revealed in their financial results last October that Broadwell was delayed due to a manufacturing defect in the new 14-nm process being used for the Broadwell chip. Due to this Broadwell won't launch until the second half of 2014 - a quarter later than originally planned.
New Retina MacBook Air release date - will the MacBook Air be an iPad Pro?
There are rumours that the new MacBook Air merge with the iPad to create the iPad Pro. You can read more about the iPad Pro rumours here.
We think that a MacBook Air that offered a dual boot system for iOS 7 and Mac OS X would be very interesting, however, Tim Cook last year ruled out any kind of convergence suggesting that a Toaster Refrigerator wouldn't work.
New Retina MacBook Air rumours - size
It is thought that Apple is working on a new version of the MacBook Air - one with a 11.88in screen, according to Canalys analyst Daniel Matte.
In his blog Matte seems to be suggesting that there may only be one MacBook Air - this new 12-inch model, with the 13-inch model being phased out in favour of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested back in October 2013 that Apple will launch a 12-inch MacBook Air in 2014. Kuo suggested that this new MacBook Air would have an entirely new design.
New Retina MacBook Air rumours - broadwell processor, fanless design
If Apple uses the Broadwell processor in the MacBook Air, it could enable a fanless design for the smaller (up to 11.6in) laptop or mobile device, notes Motley Fool, based on what Intel said at its developer forum in 2013. It could also offer thermal scaling and thermal management.
The advantage of a fanless design would be the quiet operation. The MacBook Air could also be even thinner. The benefit of having no fan is that there would be no moving parts (therefore less likely to break), it could also offer higher battery capacity because a bigger battery could be used.
Other features of the Broadwell chip are that it is low power and offers integration with WiDi, 4G WWAN, and WiGig networks.
New Retina MacBook Air rumours - Retina display
Will the next MacBook Air feature a Retina display? It is possible, although it could equally be the case that there is no Retina display, with Apple opting to instead keep prices down and offer the new MacBook Air at a lower price.
As we mention above, Canalys analyst Daniel Matte has recently written a blog claiming that Apple will add a Retina display to the MacBook Air this year. He expects that we will see a 11.88-inch model with a resolution of 2732x1536 pixels, the same 264ppi that the iPad Air offers. He explains the significance of Apple using the same display technology for the MacBook Air and iPad Air, stating: "It turns out that an ~11.88” Retina MacBook Air with a 2732 x 1536 resolution happens to have the exact same pixel density as the 9.7” 2048 x 1536 Retina iPads: ~264 PPI. It would make sense for Apple to take advantage of the same display technology it has been utilizing for the 9.7” iPads by cutting their panels to this larger size."
The current 11.6-inch MacBook Air offers a 1366 x 768 pixel display.
The rumours of a MacBook Air with Retina display have been long running. Back in February 2013, rumours suggested that Apple was planning to launch a revamped MacBook Air with a Retina display in the third-quarter of 2013. A separate report in March 2013 also claimed that Apple would introduce a Retina display to the MacBook Air in 2013. Since this didn't happen in 2013, it is perhaps likely for 2014.
Wondering what the Retina display fuss is all about? Read: What is a Retina display?
New Retina MacBook Air price
As mentioned above, in 2013 Apple introduced a new lower entry price for the Retina MacBook Pro. With very little difference in price now between the Retina MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, it looks likely that Apple will soon reduce the price of the MacBook Air.
When it first launched in October 2012, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display started at £1,449. This was reduced to £1,249 a few months later when the range received a processor upgrade. Now the entry-level price is a much more compelling £1,099.
The MacBook Air pricing starts at £849 for the 11-inch model, so that's a £250 saving, however, if you wanted to compare like for like, the 13-inch MacBook Air pricing starts at £949, just £150 less than the Retina model.
This may mean that the new entry-level MacBook Air is priced at around £749.
In his predictions last year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the price of this new 12-inch MacBook Air model could be lower than the current line up of Mac laptops.
The new MacBook Air might not use Intel chips
This rumour has been floating around for some time. It is possible that Apple will ditch the Intel processor in its range of laptop in favour of its own home-made A-series chips, like those found in the iPad and iPhone.
Some have even speculated that the new MacBook Air could mark some sort of crossover between the iPad and the MacBook, perhaps an iPad Pro.
The new MacBook Air will be solar powered
Ok, so this is a bit of an out-there rumour, but it really is possible that Apple will one day release a new MacBook Air with a solar powered display.
In January 2013, Apple was granted a patent that described a method for harnessing sunlight to illuminate a MacBook's display. This patent is actually the seventh solar-related patent Apple has gained in the past two years.
New Retina MacBook Air leaked images
At present, there are no new MacBook Air leaked images to share with you, but we will update this story as soon as one surfaces on the web.
Read the latest MacBook Air News, Reviews and Features here.