Apple 12-inch MacBook Air release date pegged for Q1 2015

Apple's next release looks set to be a brave redesign of the MacBook Air that features a single USB Type C port to make it ever smaller than previous models, a new leak by 9to5mac suggests.

New reports have suggested that the new MacBook Air could be released in 2015's first quarter. This follows news that Apple supplier Quanta Computer is recruiting for its production team, in addition to the 30,000 employees recruited to work on the Apple Watch during the same period.

The 12-inch MacBook Air, expected to sport a high-res Retina display, will be much thinner and narrower than either the 13-inch and 11-inch models, according to "sources within Apple". Meanwhile, features such as the keyboard, trackpad and speakers have also undergone significant redesigns in order to make this a reality.

The keyboard will spread across the entire width of the laptop, according to the site, with keys pushed closer together. This mean the MacBook can be narrower, with the trackpad made taller. The clicking function may also have been removed, which allows Apple to maintain the laptop's thinness.

Four speaker grills will allegedly be placed above the keyboard, and these will also act as ventilation in the absence of a cooling fan.

The number of ports will be scaled down significantly as a result of the smaller size, with just one USB Type C port on the left, removing standard USB ports, the SD Card slot and others.

The images on 9to5mac show the 12-inch MacBook Air in its "Space Gray" variant, with speculation suggesting the device could start shipping in mid-2015.

This article was originally published on 07/01/15 and has been updated multiple times (most recently on 13/01/15) to reflect new information that has become available since publication.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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