Despite recent reports that Intel's next-gen Ivy Bridge chips may see an 8- to 10-week delay, which pushes the release back to June, insider sources say that Apple may still be launching the much rumored MacBook Pro refresh as early as April. Intel has staggered its shipments before and may give Apple a head start with about 900,000 units, according to DigiTimes' sources in Apple's upstream supply chain.
It's been rumored that Apple will be launching a thinner, redesigned Air-like MacBook Pro starting off with the more popular 15-inch model in April and then introducing the revamped 17-inch model later. The next-gen lineup is expected to feature Intel's Ivy Bridge chips and rumored to sport a Retina Display-like screen with 2,880 x 1,800 pixels, twice the current resolution found on the 15-inch MacBook Pro displays.
The updated MacBook Pros and new MacBook Airs along with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will pose a significant threat to Ultrabook manufacturers that may have to wait for Intel to release its mass supply of Ivy Bridge chips in June, giving Apple a much greater head start. Ultrabooks are set on competing with Apple's MacBook Airs, featuring ultra slim designs of 21mm or thinner and weighing no more than 3.1 pounds. However, initial Ultrabooks are still having a difficult time competing on price due to Apple's advantage on component costs.