Suppliers prep for new MacBooks, USB 3.0 in MacBook Air
05/14/12, 9:58amApple will finally announce updated MacBooks in June, DigiTimes claims. The site quotes supply chain sources, who say that parts shipments are expected to pick up significantly that month as Apple escalates MacBook production. Shipments are predicted to peak in July, once capacity is reached; industry sources suggest that Apple will grow MacBook shipments by as much as 50 percent in 2012, vastly outdoing the pace of Windows PCs, even if the latter will likely still be the most dominant computer platform by far.
The supply chain has reportedly been delivering parts for Apple since March, with orders increasing during the last two months. If Apple does announce new hardware in June there's a good chance it will be revealed at WWDC 2012, which starts on June 11th. AppleCare training plans may hint at OS X Mountain Lion shipping the same month, and Apple sometimes coordinates OS X updates with new hardware.
One supplier, Genesys Logic, has reportedly signed a deal with Apple to supply USB 3.0 card reader controller chips for new MacBook Airs. The new Airs are expected to ship sometime in the second half of the year; Genesys currently makes the GL3220, a chip which can support various types of memory cards and could be linked to a new Air's SD slot. More importantly, though, such a deal would back the idea of USB 3.0 support in general, something current Macs are missing. Apple has tended to promote the Thunderbolt standard it co-developed with Intel, but the switch to Ivy Bridge processors should make USB 3.0 support relatively easy.