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Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Next Apple notebook refresh rumored for June

The next update to Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro family of notebook computers could come as early as June, according to a series of reports.

DailyTech notes that Intel is planning to replace its existing Santa Rosa mobile platform with Montevina (Centrino 2) in June, marking the arrival of a second generation of Penryn processors boasting a 1066MHz front-side bus and clocking between 2.26GHz and 2.8GHz.

Noting that Apple on Tuesday launched revised MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks that incorporate Intel’s first run of Penryn processors, the trade publication cited "insiders" who've confirmed that the company will refresh its notebook lines again in June.

This should come as no surprise, DailyTech added, given that all of Intel's Centrino partners have indicated they will announce notebooks based on the new Montevina Centrino 2 platform at that time.

The claim is bolstered by a report originally published by DigiTimes on Monday, which explained that Intel plans to rapidly phase out its Santa Rosa notebook platform next quarter in order to push adoption of Montevina.

According to the report, existing Santa Rosa-based processors will comprise 60 percent of the chipmaker's mobile shipments this quarter, but that ratio will fall to 35 percent next quarter before the platform is completely eliminated from Intel's repertoire in the fourth quarter.

At the same time, Montevina-based chips will account for around 18 percent of Intel's notebook shipments after it launches next quarter, with those shipments growing to 50 percent by the third quarter and 90 percent by year's end.

Intel's rapid mobile chip transitions are believed to be the primary driver behind Apple's seemingly pre-mature 13-inch MacBook updates on Tuesday, which came less than four months after the Mac maker bumped the consumer notebooks to Santa Rosa specifications.