Keep in mind this is a rumor!
MacScoop is reporting that Apple is going to release an ultra-thing, ultra-light Mac notebook before the end of this year.
They are talking about an ultraportable from Apple with a 12.1-inch display and that weighs in at around three pounds and is 0.6 – 0.7 inches thick. The previous 12.1-inch Mac notebook from Apple, the PowerBook, weighed around 4.5 pounds and was over an inch thick.
As Mac Rumors points out, these rumors have been floating around for some time.
I personally would find it very interesting if Apple jumped into this market. At one time they had The ultraportable that people wanted (back when ultraportables weighed five pounds or more). I don’t know about this year, but I don’t think it’s too far fetched. After all, Intel has something to offer Apple, that Apple hasn’t had in a while, a truly powerful CPU/chipset package that could be squeezed in something this small – with the performance of the Santa Rosa-based CPUs going up while power consumption is staying the same or going down…that has to be very appealing to Apple.
Combine that with all of the patents that they’ve recently applied for and/or received in regards to touch screens (I have a hard time believing that they would keep those patents confined to iPods/iPhones) and something has to emerge. Apple has no problem going into an established market and shaking things up (see the afore-mentioned iPhone), and considering that Dell is moving into the ultraportable, convertible Tablet PC market with the Dell Latitude XT, and with all of the other convertible Tablet PC offerings that have come up in the past six months or will be coming out, and you are looking at a market that is ripe for Apple to move in.
Here’s the thing though, sometime late late this year or more likely next year, Intel is moving to a 45 nanometer process (aka Penryn). Penryn adds a new instruction set (SSE4) which may or may not appeal to Apple and Mac OS X, it has a new chipset which supports DDR3 SDRAM. Intel has stated that DDR3 will be important in regards to power requirements and heat generation in mobile computers (i.e. lower power requirements and lower heat generation).
I would expect them to go ahead and wait for the 45nm Penryn CPUs from Intel, since the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines are selling incredibly well right now (and the MacBooks haven’t even moved to Santa Rosa yet). I would also add that it wouldn’t surprise me if such a machine were using flash memory (aka Solid State Drive – SSD) instead of a mechanical hard drive. You never know though.