MacBook Air Update Waiting on Lion Launch

The rumor mill claims Apple’s updated MacBook Air models are apparently ready to roll, but the company is holding the release to coincide with the launch of OS X Lion in July. Word of the hardware update schedule comes courtesy of the usual unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s plans, according to AppleInsider.

MacBook AirMacBook Air update may include Lion pre-installed

Apparently Apple wants the new laptops to ship with Lion pre-installed instead of making users install the OS upgrade later. The move will help get Lion into more user’s hands quicker, and lets MacBook Air users start using iCloud’s data syncing features sooner.

The new MacBook Air is rumored to include the new Thunderbolt data port that’s available on the MacBook Pro and iMac, and is expected to use Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and more powerful graphics chips for better performance.

Apple unveiled iCloud and showed off Lion during its annual World Wide Developers Conference earlier in June. iCloud will replace MobileMe and includes the ability to sync files between Macs and iOS devices automatically, and Lion makes iCloud’s features available at the system level.

The company confirmed Lion will ship in July, although a specific date wasn’t given.