With Intel's Haswell chips now in the MacBook Air, people are wondering when the MacBook Pro will get a similar update. Based on new rumors, that won't happen until October, but that doesn't mean updated Retina MacBook Pros are delayed.
A report in China Times sites sources targeting October for the Retina laptop update, which would put it after the late September time frame expected for the release of iOS 7, new iPhones and iPads, and possibly OS X Mavericks, too.
Intel's Haswell chips are currently available in the MacBook Air that was introduced during Apple's World Wide Developer Conference in June. Thanks in part to the new processors, the MacBook Air runs faster and has a longer battery life, which are both enticing features MacBook Pro users would enjoy. The new Airs also support 802.11ac WiFi for faster and more robust wireless network connections, also a feature that would be nice to see in the MacBook Pro.
Launching Haswell-based MacBook Pro models in October would give Apple time to put focus on its big operating system updates, as well as keep the media talking about new iPhones and iPads -- assuming we do see an end of September release. Wells Fargo analyst Shaw Wu is predicting a September 27 launch since that's technically fall and a Friday. Apple's last iPhone launch fell in the same time frame, and the company has a track record for Friday iPhone releases.
If Apple is working on a major update for the Retina MacBook Pro line, waiting until October would help keep the new models from getting lost in the iPhone and iOS 7 hype. It also would give Apple more time to ramp up pre-launch inventory and take care of last minute details like pre-installing OS X Mavericks, all of which would help to boost initial sales.
An October launch also gives Apple almost a full quarter of sales to report in its earnings conference call, and drops the new models on store shelves just in time for the holiday buying season.
All that said, there isn't any guarantee Apple really is planning an October launch. Apple could simply update its website, release a press announcement, and start taking orders instead of making a big announcement, and if so, new Mac laptops could unceremoniously show up any day.
Apple releases new products on its own schedule, and unless we're promised a ship date that's missed, they aren't late. Even still, with Haswell processors already available in the MacBook Air, they would be a welcome addition to the MacBook Pro line as well -- and sooner instead of later.