A5 Powered MacBook Air Unlikely, But A6 iPad 3 on on the Way
Not too long ago there was a rumor going around that Apple would release an A5 CPU-powered MacBook Air. Presumably, it would be super power-efficient, potentially running some special version of OS X. But it looks like that was a completely bogus claim: According to some Citigroup analysts who spoke to Apple CEO Tim Cook, there likely won’t be such a thing. But the iPad may start to get more powerful …
A tip of the hat goes to CNET, which pored through a report by Citrigroup’s Richard Gardner, an analyst who spoke to Cook and Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. According to the report, Gardner said:
“Tim Cook reiterated his view that rapid innovation on the iOS platform (and mobile OS platforms in general) will significantly broaden the use case for tablets, eventually pushing annual tablet volumes above those of traditional PCs. We have wondered whether Apple might offer an ARM-based version of MacBook Air at some point; we walked away from this meeting with the impression that Apple feels iPad satisfies–or will soon satisfy–the needs of those who might have been interested in such a product.”
If you think about it, it’s a smart move. Apple doesn’t need to offer another version of the MacBook. The $999 MacBook Air strikes a perfect balance between a quality device and an entry-level laptop. The iPad, once like the iPod, has become the entry point into the world of Apple (the gateway Apple drug, if you will) and I believe Apple is prepared to make the iPad even more alluring at the $499 price point.
What kind of rapid innovation and “satisfying” additions will Apple end up making? It’s nearly confirmed that the iPad 3 will come outfitted with a 10-inch retina display and a quad-core A6 CPU, thanks to some leaked debug logs. According to CNET, Apple may look to build an integrated iPad-keyboard dock to better satisfy typing demands, but I’m inclined to believe Apple would like to eliminate keyboards, like it eliminated the stylus, and leave that sort of thing up to OEMs and peripheral makers.
The key takeaway from all this conglomerated iPad evidence? Get your mobile device management portfolio in order. In roughly five years’ time, tablets likely will dominate the computing landscape, with every individual owning one (think: the adoption curve of the smartphone). A MacBook Air or similar laptop will be used pretty much for extended work cycles or, like yours truly, to blog.