MacBook Air Supplies Run Low: New Model on the Way?

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If you were waiting for Apple to finally update the MacBook Air before you bought a new notebook, you’re in luck. AppleInsider’s discovered that stock of the current versions of Apple’s ultra-portable is depleted, a good sign that something new is on the way.

AppleInsider regularly checks stock levels of Macs with Apple’s officially authorized resellers in order to maintain its Mac Price Guide. In its most recent check, it found that Amazon.com, MacConnection, MacMall and J&R had all run out of the 1.83GHz MacBook Air, and at least two were also completely without the 2.13 GHz stock configuration, too.

Apple will generally allow stock of products approaching an update dwindle, so that retailers aren’t left with obsolete product in their inventory. Stock of the MacBook Air has been slowly dwindling for weeks, and this is the first time in over two years that the Air has shown depleted stock levels, so it’s unlikely that it’s just poor supply chain management on Apple’s part. Unprecedented demand also isn’t likely, since the price remains the same and the Air hasn’t seen an update since 2009.

In addition to low stock levels, there are also reports that Apple has told retailers that it won’t be replenishing stock levels of the MacBook Air until Oct. 12 or 16. It’s the kind of delay that almost always precedes a product update, according to people working on the buying side of major retail chains.

The MacBook Air is long due for an update, and rumors about what that might include say that a new, smaller form factor based around an 11.6-inch display is in the pipeline. That news came via DigiTimes, citing parts suppliers in Asia. As someone who still uses his 12-inch PowerBook G4 frequently and with great satisfaction, I’m very much looking forward to what a smaller screen might do for the ultra-portable.

Will a MacBook Air redesign start a fire in the hearts and wallets of consumers the way the new Apple TV has? Sound off in the comments.

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