Suppliers gearing up for launch of Apple's new MacBooks in June - report

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Apple's long-awaited update to its MacBook lineup will be announced by the company in June, when suppliers are currently preparing for their shipments to significantly rise, according to a new report.

Citing sources in the upstream supply chain, DigiTimes reported on Monday that component shipments are expected to pick up significantly in June as Apple ramps up production. Those shipments are forecast to peak in July once full capacity is realized.

Industry sources expect Apple will see year-over-year growth of as much as 50 percent in MacBook shipments in 2012. That would easily best the average 8 to 10 percent growth seen by the rest of the notebook PC market.

Monday's report indicated there is a "high chance" that Apple will announce its next-generation MacBooks at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, set to kick off on June 11. The new notebooks could also debut with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple's next-generation operating system, as AppleCare training data has pointed toward a June launch.

The supply chain reportedly began providing components to Apple for its next-generation MacBooks in March, and orders continued to increase in April and May. That pattern is expected to continue over the coming months as the notebooks hit the market.

Earlier reports had indicated Apple would revamp its MacBook lineup in April, while some claimed they would launch as early as March. But Monday's report suggests that Apple plans to hold off until mid-June, allowing the company to potentially introduce the devices at a keynote presentation to kick off WWDC.

The new MacBook lineup is expected to feature Intel's latest-generation Ivy Bridge processors, while the MacBook Pro lineup will receive a major redesign giving it many of the characteristics of Apple's thin-and-light MacBook Air. The new MacBook Pros are expected to lose the built-in optical drive and rely largely on solid-state flash memory to allow for a thinner design along with faster performance and greater reliability.

Intel formally launched its Ivy Bridge line of processors late last month with 13 quad-core models from the high-end Core i5 and Core i7 families. New dual-core models are set to be launched later in the spring.

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