Apple to push back 12-inch MacBook launch over Intel’s Broadwell delays

Intel keeps facing Broadwell delays, which may force Apple to postpone the launch of its rumored 12-inch MacBook, according to a new report.

Apple has not confirmed plans to launch a 12-inch MacBook yet, but the rumor mill nonetheless keeps churning in anticipation and reports peg this model as a successor to the company's popular MacBook Air.

A new report (translated) from Taiwan's Economic Daily News, however, claims that Intel's delays with Broadwell may ultimately force Apple to push back the launch of this MacBook.

More specifically, the publication claims that Apple will not be able to ship its purported 12-inch MacBook Air until late 2014 or early 2015, as it's expected to pack Intel's 14-nanometer Broadwell chips. The chips in question have faced numerous delays and the issues apparently persist. Most recently, rumors indicated that Intel's U series Broadwell chips destined for Apple's upcoming MacBooks may not ship until February next year.

Rumors of a 12-inch MacBook first started to emerge back in October last year, when trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo said the device would combine the portability of an 11-inch MacBook Air with the productivity of the larger 13-inch version. The analyst also claimed that Apple would pack its iconic Retina display onto this 12-inch MacBook.

Subsequent rumors suggested that Apple may unleash this model in the fall of this year, with mass production set to commence in the third quarter. Other rumors also indicated that this 12-inch MacBook will boast a redesigned chassis with an ultra-thin profile, as well as a revamped trackpad that would ditch the fan and the mechanical trackpad button.

Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook, however, will not be the only product affected by Intel's continued Broadwell delays. Several other Apple products may face similar hurdles. The first Broadwell chips designed for iDevices are not expected to start shipping until early 2015, while those designed for the Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac may not ship until mid-2015. This means that Apple may not be able to make any major product launches for a good while if the chips are not ready.

It remains to be seen, however, if this news turns out to be accurate. Keep in mind that nothing is confirmed at this point, so take all reports with a hefty grain of salt for now.

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