Apple is set to release a new MacBook Air laptop alongside a professional-focused upgrade to the Mac Mini desktop, ending a drought of Mac computers that has limited sales of the company’s longest-running line of devices, according to people familiar with the plans.
The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air but will include thinner bezels around the screen.
The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution Retina version that Apple uses on other products, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing products still in development. Apple spokesman Bill Evans declined to comment.
The current MacBook Air, which costs $1,500, remains Apple’s only laptop without a high-resolution screen. The MacBook Air was last updated with a faster processor option last year, but hasn’t seen a major overhaul in several years.
When Apple releases new Macs in the fall, it often does so in October, following the launch of new iPhones. The company is planning to debut three new iPhones, Apple Watches with larger screens, and new iPad Pros later this year, other people familiar with the plans said.
The Mac has been a steady seller, representing more than 11 percent of Apple sales in the last fiscal year, ahead of the iPad. However, some loyal users have complained that recent updates haven’t met their professional needs. Apple has sought to address this by releasing a high-end iMac Pro and a new MacBook Pro with an updated keyboard and faster processor options.
Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac Mini desktop in about four years. The $750 desktop module has been favored because of its lower price, and it’s popular with app developers, those running home media centers, and server farm managers.
For this year’s model, Apple is focusing primarily on these professional users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions, the people said.
In addition to the new Mac models, Apple is preparing to launch macOS Mojave, a new version of its Mac operating system that adds new features for sorting files and the ability to run iPad apps like Apple News. The company is also planning a new version of the Mac Pro, the company’s most high-end Mac, for next year, Apple has said.