Rumor: 12-inch Retina MacBook Air

Neil Hughes, AppleInsider:

Though the new MacBook Air will apparently be minimalist, it will continue to offer a physical keyboard in addition to a modified trackpad, Kuo said. And the 12-inch model, sandwiched in between the 11.6- and 13.3-inch sizes Apple current offers in its MacBook Air lineup, is expected to feature a high-resolution Retina display “thanks to advanced panel technology.”

That’s KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo.

From time to time I go back to the story of Steve Jobs when he returned to Apple and drew a 2×2 table on the board: Consumer and Professional on one axis and Portable and Desktop on the other. Now Apple’s product lineup has become quite a bit more complex than that.

For notebooks Apple has the MacBook Air in two sizes and the MacBook Pro in two sizes. If Kuo is right, a 12-inch retina MacBook Air could concentrate the consumer line of Apple notebooks to just one model. Maybe the MacBook Pro line can be focused into just a single 14-inch model. That would streamline Apple’s supply chain and help the company concentrate. A single consumer notebook model and a single professional notebook model can bring down cost, increase quality, and be more price competitive.