AppleInsider reports that a former AMD employee has come forward to reveal that Apple seriously looked at AMD Llano chips to power the MacBook Air. The alleged former employee says that Apple passed on the AMD parts because the chip had too many samples that were faulty. These Llano parts are known as the Fusion processors from AMD.
Ultrabooks have undoubtedly been the star of CES 2012 this week - heck, we counted up the top contenders and found almost a dozen - but the slimline notebooks' challenge is more than just shedding pounds and squeezing in as big a display as possible. For all Intel's hard work pushing the trademark, and its manufacturer partners' efforts coming up with their own slimline machines, the biggest threat to ultrabook success wasn't even shown at CES. Apple's MacBook Air.
When it comes to the SSDs that Apple crams inside the MacBook Air notebooks the SSDs come from one of two sources - Samsung or Toshiba. Apparently, both brands of SSDs are used inside the machines depending on what is on hand. The thing that consumers take note of when shopping is that the Samsung model SSDs are considerably faster than the Toshiba brand.
In an investor's note released this week by J.P. Morgan, they made it clear that they believe the Ultrabook market will continue to be dominated by Apple's ultra-thin MacBook Air well into next year at least, saying the prices on all competitors don't begin to post a threat to the thinnest Mac on the market. While most Ultrabooks, they note, are priced up and above $1000, with only a few sitting below that mark, the MacBook Air still has a major edge over any competitor already released or released in early 2012. At prices between $999 and $1,599 for the newest model and competing Windows-based machines not nearly as pretty or perfect, you'd better bet your lunch he's right.
Touchscreen ultrabooks to challenge the growing tablet market are expected to debut alongside Windows 8, according to sources in the manufacturing chain, as notebook makers look to differentiate their ultraportables from the MacBook Air. A new breed of LCD displays and touch panels to go with them have already begun sampling, DigiTimes' insiders claim, with new designs required in order to work with the sub-0.8-inch thickness Intel specifies for the ultrabook segment.
The folks at MIC Gadget have found a MacBook Air knockoff from China called the AirBook that looks near identical to the real thing upon first glance. Without having a side-by-side comparison and without booting up, those less familiar with Apple products could easily be duped into thinking it was the real deal.
Apple is reportedly readying a new MacBook Air line-up for early 2012, with a new 15-inch model joining the existing sizes as the Cupertino company reacts to Intel's Ultrabook push. The new 11.6-, 13.3- and 15-inch ultraportables will go on sale in Q1 next year, DigiTimes' supply chain sources claim, with pilot production believed to have already begun. Meanwhile, retail insiders suggest a MacBook Air price cut is in the pipeline before the new models arrive.
I can remember years back when AMD was the processor to have for all out performance in your desktop. One year Intel put the smack down on AMD with a line of processors that was well beyond anything AMD had for pure performance in the desktop world and it's as if AMD threw in the towel and has been the runner up ever sense. It looks like AMD missed its chance with Apple sometime last year.
Intel has announced that its Intel Capital investment arm will be using a $300m Ultrabook Fund to encourage the development of innovative technologies that will improve the MacBook Air rivaling ultraportable segment. Expected to be dolled out within the next 3-4 years, the cash will go to "companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with Ultrabooks, achieving all-day usage through longer battery life, enabling innovative physical designs and improved storage capacity."
Apple will need to merge OS X and iOS if its aim of satisfying seamless content management and cloud-service delivery is to work out, according to Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek. In a new investor note this week, Barrons reports, Misek argues that the MacBook Air will be first to make the switch, jumping to an Apple "A6" processor in late 2012 or early 2013.