• Shortages Bolster "Mini-MacBook Air" Rumors

    As reports spread indicating shortages of the entry-level MacBook Air model at a number of online resellers, the longstanding rumor of a new, possibly smaller model is getting a boost. AppleInsider, which checks inventory at multiple sites as part of its Mac Price Guide, reports that all but one of the resellers it contacted have completely run out of the 1.83GHz MacBook Air, and that at least two also have no 2.13GHz models in stock. Additionally, reports that stores are pulling MacBook Air SuperDrives off the shelves is further intensifying speculation that a new model is about to drop. Apple last refreshed the product line in June of last year.

    Back in January, reports emerged suggesting that the MacBook Air refresh was waiting on supplies of the low-power version of Intel's Core i5 processor. And in July, DigiTimes had claimed that Apple was at work on a new MacBook Air with a 11.6-inch screen. Despite that publication's inconsistent success rate with predictions, the same report did accurately describe the fourth-generation iPod touch released last month. A financial analyst echoed that report in August, saying that the smaller MacBook Air was already in production.

    Apple resellers generally let supplies of end-of-life models diminish to avoid having to sell them at a discount once a newer model hits the market. The fact that so many large resellers - from Amazon.com to MacConnection, MacMall and J&R - have no stock is a pretty strong suggestion that something is afoot, as are reports that Apple will not send any more MacBook Airs to resellers until Oct. 12 through Oct. 16 at the earliest. So this may or may not have to do with the "mini-MBA" that rumormongers have been talking about for months, but it's increasingly likely we'll see something new.

    Source: AppleInsider, image via TimeCenter
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