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Release is expected for the second quarter

By Benjamin Snyder
March 5, 2015

There’s an updated MacBook Air in the pipeline, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Apple is expected to unveil a 12-inch MacBook Air after production began earlier this year. The dominant feature: a higher resolution display, referred to as a retina display, according to the newspaper. The MacBook Air is currently available in 11-inch and 13-inch versions. The computer will reportedly come without full-sized USB ports, the MagSafe connector, and SD Card slot, writes The Verge.

The Journal also reported that suppliers are preparing to begin shipping the newly minted device in “large quantities in the second quarter.” However, the newspaper noted that “Apple’s launch schedule remains unclear.”

Apple’s computer division posts much smaller numbers than its iPhone and iPad arms. Last year, the company sold 18.9 million Macs, compared to 169.2 million iPhones and 68 million tablets. But those figures are partially misleading. Computers, and specifically MacBooks which are by far its most popular form factor, are still enormously profitable for Apple. Their higher average selling price makes the division a relative cash cow. A new, higher-end model could help boost profits in the quarters to come.

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