The 15-inch MacBook Air (AAPL), already the subject of multiple rumors, is due to arrive in Q1 2012, according to DigiTimes.

Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Monday 28 November 2011]

Apple reportedly is set to launch its new MacBook Air series notebooks with panel sizes of 11.6-inch, 13.3-inch and 15-inch in the first quarter of 2012 and will directly compete against ultrabooks from PC brand vendors, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

The sources noted that related upstream players have already started pilot production of the MacBook Air models and will add a 15-inch model into the product line to expand its reach in the ultra-thin notebook market.

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Commenting on Apple’s move, sources from retail channels pointed out that Apple will start dropping the price of its existing MacBook Airs before launching its series and the promotion could further boost Apple’s share in the global notebook market.

For the year-end holidays, several channel retailers in the US and Europe have dropped their MacBook Air prices to attract consumers. Online shopping site MacMall saw 11.6-inch 64GB MacBook Air drop from US$999 to US$939.94, while Best Buy is offering the same model at an even lower price of US$849.99. Other models such as the 128GB version 11.6-inch MacBook Air and 128GB/256GB 13.3-inch models are being offered with a discount of US$79-101.

However, ultrabooks with Windows and document processing software will still be more attractive for the enterprise market. – DT


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