MacBook Pro spring, summer release date rumors

Apple

Apple

(CBS News) Rumors of Apple's next MacBook Pro line are re-surfacing. This time, it's being reported that the current 15-inch models are running low on stock. Speculators are taking that as a clue that Apple is getting ready to release the next upgrade of their laptop line.

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According to SlashGear, suppliers claim that Apple will release 200,000 15-inch MacBook Pros this month and 400,000 13-inch units in June, with the 17-inch model following later this year.

The Economic Times of China allegedly reported that Foxconn is already working on producing the next MacBook Pro, according to the blog Planet Insane.

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Take these rumors with a grain of salt, however. It seems a little early for another MacBook refresh. We reported in October 2011 that the MacBook Pro got a quiet update. At that time, 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models got slight tweaks to their CPUs, hard drives and graphics cards.

So what are some of the rumored upgrades?

Last December, DigiTimes reported that "sources in the upstream supply chain" claimed the new MacBook Pro screens would have 2,800 x 1,800 pixel resolution. That's twice the 1,440 x 900 display of the current 15-inch model.

A report by Apple Insider in February alleged that the entire notebook lineup will be revamped by the close of the year. According to Apple Insider's source, all existing MacBook designs will be phased out in favor of a slim MacBook Air look.

Other rumored upgrades included a switch to solid-state drives and omission of optical disk drives and integration of Intel's Ivy Bridge processor. The chip supports displays up to 4,096 x 4,096 and has a rumored  released date of June. Apple has already prepared OS X Lion for an upgrade with "HiDPI," which supports resolution-doubling mode.

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