• Report: Next Generation MacBook Airs Going into Mass Production

    Two weeks ago, MMi reported that Best Buy had begun putting current generation MacBook Air models on sale, which - as my colleague Wiley observed - "is a rather unusual move unless they are trying to clear inventory ahead of a refresh." Well, it now appears as though Wiley was on to something.

    According to an exclusive report from our friends at Apple Insider, the next generation of Apple's MacBook Air notebooks are going into mass production within the coming days. Concurrently, production will dramatically slow on current models of the MacBook Air in order to accommodate the new production regiment.

    Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed today that Apple "has placed orders for the production of a total of 380,000 Sandy Bridge-based 11.6 and 13.3-inch MacBook Airs this month." Kuo adds that existing MacBook Airs will see a final production push of just 80,000 units this month.

    Given Kuo's lengthy history of providing remarkably accurate information about what Apple is planning to do and when it plans to do it, a lot of people are taking his claims of ramped-up new product production very seriously. And according to Kuo, more than half of all the forthcoming refreshed MacBook Airs will be the 11.6-inch model, which consumers appear to favor (but not by much) over the more expensive 13.3-inch model.

    For Apple, the MacBook Air has been enormously profitable. The company, after all, says it shipped more than one million MacBook Airs in just the first quarter of 2011 alone. And given the sobering reality that for the last five years the Mac has outgrown the PC market in every quarter, it's no groundbreaking shocker that Apple is ready to push out a new and improved MacBook Air.

    Source: Street Insider, Apple Insider
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