Apple is tipped to launch a new MacBook Air series in retaliation to Intel’s Ultrabook crusade, with a 15 inch variant joining the ranks.


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Apple’s MacBook Air has stirred the notebook industry just as much as the company’s iPhone shook the smartphone market. It was one of the first notebooks to omit a disk drive in favour of a super slim (3mm-13mm) physique, a unibody encasing and little compromise on performance. In fact, its popularity spurred Intel’s Ultrabook crusade.

Intel’s Sandy bridge processors helped manufacturers of Windows computers catch up to Apple’s super light Air. Looking at Acer’s Aspire S3 and Asus’ Zenbook, it’s obvious they’re simply Air imitations that have finally found the level playing field. But what will happen when Apple’s Air endures another upgrade? Will they be able to compete?

Digitimes reports Apple will be launching a new MacBook Air series in the first quarter of 2012. The new series will feature 11.6 inch and 13.3 inch model equivalents, with the addition of a 15 inch MacBook Air.

According to the report, ‘upstream players’ are already working on pilot production of the new Air series and as a result, the existing line of Air products will experience a price drop. Lowered prices will provide stiff competition against Ultrabooks as the new series nears.

 

Currently Ultrabooks are priced similarly to Apple’s Air, with each category hovering just above the $1000 price mark and spiking until $2,000.

It was only until yesterday Acer’s base Aspire S3 cracked the sub-$1,000 mark (RRP $999). With a new MacBook Air in the pipeline, and the current range’s expected price drop, it looks like their celebrations will be short lived.