Usually there are some leaked photos, highly realistic renderings and detailed (even if imaginary) specifications, but not this time. The rumors are actually so sparse, that at times I wonder if I am reading and reporting on a modified version of a rumor that I started myself. The only thing that seems to be for sure is that the (plastic) MacBook looks out of place next to the aluminum uni-body MacBook Pros, and that the low-end MacBook is still one of Apple’s best selling computers. So what would you do, if you were in charge of making decisions at Apple?
Here is a list of a few of the rumors:
1. The New MacBook will be cheaper - this makes a lot of sense in light of the success of the low cost “netbooks”. My guess is that the New MacBook 12 or 13-inch model will sell for around $699 and if Apple is real smart they will also offer a 10 or 11-inch model for $599.
2. The New MacBook will have the same aluminum uni-body construction as the MacBook Pro – sorry but I think that would be a huge mistake and would make people wonder why they are paying the big bucks for the MacBook Air.
3. The New MacBook will remain plastic – yes absolutely, it may be some new kind of plastic, and I would guess that it may be a plastic uni-body type of construction.
4. The New Macbook will be thinner and lighter – it would be a big mistake if it wasn’t and it wouldn’t be the first time that Apple made a laptop type computer that relied on an external DVD drive. I do expect Apple to make a very strong thinner and lighter, plastic MacBook though.
5. The New MacBook will use a previous generation Core 2 Duo chip to keep down the cost and avoid the performance trade off of using the Intel Atom processor made popular in the PC Netbooks – agreed but I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple had some sort of Ace up their sleeve for this one.
6. Apple will use the existing MacBook enclosure with cheaper internal components (like the Intel Atom processor) to offer a cheap interim solution – that just does not sound right, it makes me cringe just to think about it).
My biggest fear is that we are going to get a plastic version of the MacBook Air, with a highly stylized enclosure and a single USB 2 port, with an assortment of dongles available for connectivity. I would much rather see something resembling the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, just a bit thinner and made out of some new NASA or Formula 1 developed plastic.