Apple is expecting huge demand for notebooks in July, and even greater demand later in the year, according to sources within the Apple supply chain.

DigiTimes reports that makers in the upstream supply chain for Apple notebook products will "run in full gear" to prepare parts and components needed for new MacBook Air models, likely to be launched around the release of Mac OS X Lion in July.

The report states that sources have claimed MacBook orders for July will top 2.8 million units, and that Apple is expected to take deliveries of over eight million MacBook Airs in the third quarter of this year. DigiTimes claims its source said: "Shipments of parts and components for MacBook lineups totalled an equivalent of 2.2-2.4 million MacBooks in June, and orders for July are likely to top 2.7-2.8 million units."

The report adds that the increase is "in line with Apple's previous strategy to ramp up deliveries prior to the launch of new products."

The sources also reiterated rumours that the new MacBook Airs will ship with Lion installed and Thunderbolt support.

It is worth noting that the eight million MacBook Airs estimate seems unlikely to be true – as MacRumours has observed, this is double the amount of Macs, including all notebooks and desktops, that Apple shipped in the second quarter of 2011.