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Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 05:05 am PT (08:05 am ET)

Rumor: Apple lining up suppliers for Retina MacBook Air, next-gen iPad

A pair of new reports claim Apple is gearing up to launch both a MacBook Air equipped with a Retina display, as well as a new 9.7-inch iPad with revamped touchscreen technology.

MacBook Air


The reports from Taiwanese news agencies were summarized by (1, 2) EMS One on Tuesday, and were highlighted by Macotakara.

One of the reports claims that Apple plans to launch a revamped MacBook Air with Retina display in the third quarter of 2013. It said that parts are scheduled to begin shipping in the second quarter of the calendar year.

Apple began offering high-resolution Retina displays on its MacBook Pro lineup in 2012 with redesigned, thinner hardware, though the company also continues to offer its legacy Pro designs with lower resolution screens and integrated disc drives.

Tuesday's report is the first such claim that Apple may be planning to launch new MacBook Airs with Retina displays this year. Given that the MacBook Air lineup represents Apple's most affordable notebooks starting at $999, and also that the MacBook Pros with Retina displays carried a significant premium before Apple initiated a price cut last week, Tuesday's rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, as its possible that the pricing and power capabilities for a high-resolution MacBook Air may not yet be attainable.

iPad mini


The second report filed on Tuesday reiterated claims that Apple's next-generation full-size iPad will utilize the same "GF2" display technology currently found in the 7.9-inch iPad mini, instead of the thicker glass-on-glass design featured in the current fourth-generation iPad. Apple's fifth-generation iPad is expected to feature a similar design to the current iPad mini, making it thinner and lighter.

The report claimed that Apple has begun lining up suppliers for its next iPad, with companies including Nitto Denko, TPK, and Japan Display Inc., with assembly by Apple's regular partner Foxconn. It was suggested that Wintek could lose out on iPad orders for the next-gen model.