p[The long-rumored 12-inch MacBook Air will finally start production in early 2015—or so claims the latest rumor. That news comes from Digitimes, which has a dubious record with its laptop predictions, but will no doubt have many hopeful shoppers holding their breath waiting for a summer launch.
According to the Digitimes sources, parts suppliers say production for the new MacBook model will ramp up in the first quarter of 2015. Those sources also say full-scale production hasn't started yet because of yield issues.
Digitimes has a hit-and-miss success rate with its reports about Apple products, so there isn't any reason to expect that this time its assessment of supply chain reports is spot on. That said, there is often some piece of legit data the publication uses as a thread to weave its tapestry.
In this case, it could be that Apple has been ordering parts to test with prototype laptop, or parts for something they are simply assuming will be an MacBook Air. Assuming production for the rumored device really is about to ramp up—and limited production has already begun—we should be seeing parts leaks about now. So far, those parts haven't been showing up.
[Updated, after taking in a proper caffeine dose, to clarify the report is about an updated MacBook Air]
Assuming the 12-inch MacBook Air is on the way, it'll likely be a device targeted at the high-end market and business users. It would make for a nice addition to Apple's partnership with IBM for enterprise-level sales where companies are looking for alternatives to traditional notebook computers.
Without any solid proof the new big screen MacBook Air is in production, however, it's hard to take this Digitimes rumor seriously. We'll wait for the usual parts leaks and product announcement from Apple before adding it to our list.