Apple is planning a refresh for its MacBook Air line in 2012, according to DigiTimes.
The technology publication revealed that the company is looking to expand its ultra-thin notebook family with a brand new machine.
Apple is expected to update the existing 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models and release a new 15-inch model in the first quarter of next year, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
“The sources noted that related upstream players have already started pilot production of the MacBook Air models and will add a 15-inch model into the product line to expand its reach in the ultra-thin notebook market,” said DigiTimes.
DigiTimes added in its report that Apple may lower the prices on the current lineup of MacBook Airs before the refresh is launched.
An update for the current model should include a new Ivy Bridge processor that consumes less power while giving the device a speed boost in the CPU and GPU departments.
This processor may also be added to the MacBook Pro during its refresh.
Apple originally planned to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air model in late 2010, but due to production and engineering issues, those plans were scrapped and the device was pushed back.
Prototypes of the 15-inch Air have floated around Apple’s Cupertino headquarters that feature problems, such as weak hinges, according to technology website 9to5Mac.
The company used the same hinges present on other MacBook Air models; however, they were not strong enough to hold the weight of a larger bezel and screen.
Apple decided to change its design by creating a new hinge for the larger models.
Some employees of the company even maintained an “unhealthy amount of affection” for the faulty notebooks, and they are still holding on to them.