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Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

MacBook Air firmware updated to support replacement batteries

Apple this past weekend released a firmware update for its MacBook Air line of ultra-thin notebooks that bundles support for a new series of replacement batteries.

The 623K update requires Mac OS X 10.5.7 and makes modifications to the notebook's micro-controller on the logic board that controls the power functions, thermal management, the sleep LED, and battery.

Apple said the update will deliver compatibility for a new series of internal MacBook Air replacement batteries that are making their way to its repair depots and other Apple authorized service repair centers. The company, however, did not say how the new wave of batteries differs from their predecessors.

Introduced in January of last year, the MacBook Air was the first modern-day Apple notebook to include internal batteries that are not easily serviceable by users. Since then, similar batteries have found their way into the company's 13- to 17-inch MacBook Pro offerings.

The Mac maker says that advanced chemistry and adaptive charging allows the batteries to maintain charging capabilities longer and determines the optimal way to charge the battery’s cells.