Thunderbolt MacBook Air Could Ship by July

Apple is apparently working on an update for the MacBook Air that includes the new Thunderbolt port along with Intel’s Sandy Bridge chip set. The refreshed laptop is said to be on schedule for a June or July release.

MacBook AirApple’s MacBook Air may get an update soon

Word of the supposed refresh comes courtesy of parts suppliers that are ramping up for production in May, according to DigiTimes. Assuming the sources are correct, the update will extend Apple’s Thunderbolt support beyond the MacBook Pro and iMac.

Thunderbolt is a new expansion port that offers 10Gbp/s bi-directional data transfer speeds. It uses the same Mini DisplayPort connector that Apple relies on for external displays, but also supports hard drives and other peripherals.

Currently, the MacBook Air only offers USB 2.0 for connecting external devices. Adding Thunderbolt would offer users a substantially faster data throughput option, making the ultra-light laptop useful for even more portable Mac users.

Apple hasn’t announced an upcoming MacBook Air refresh, nor does the company comment on rumor and speculation.