Apple is expected to release an updated MacBook Air powered by Intel’s latest ultra-low voltage Sandy Bridge processors any day now, but it appears the company is waiting for the next version of Mac OS X to be finalized before launching the new version to the public. Apparently the reason for the wait is that Apple wants users to adopt Lion with its support for Apple’s new iCloud services and holding off on releasing one of its most hotly anticipated laptops will ensure that more users are using Lion as soon as the operating system is available…………
Apple may be waiting for Mac OS X Lion to be ready before shipping them out, makes sense for many reasons, with the Snow Leopard to Lion upgrade plan now happening, any newly bought Mac is eligible for a free Lion upgrade when it becomes available and many general consumers are not aware of this and may stick with Snow Leopard if they think they have to pay $30. New Thunderbolt-enabled Sandy Bridge MacBook Air models expected to go into production this month have been ready and waiting for some time, but management is currently unwilling to usher the new models into the market with the current Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system. The Mac maker is said to be locked on waiting till it can image the new notebooks with a Gold Master build of Lion so that buyers are afforded the latest and greatest Apple experience. This includes complimentary iCloud services that will come built into the software, offering a means of automatic data synchronization that is both unparalleled in the computing industry and paramount in an age when consumers are adopting a digital lifestyle in which they own and operate multiple mobile devices.
The same methodology is believed to be in place for Thunderbolt-equipped versions of the Mac mini and LED Cinema Display and will carry over Apple‘s forthcoming iOS devices like the next iPhone and iPod touch, which the company is similarly unwilling to ship without the iCloud-enabled iOS 5.0 software due this fall. Any decision to relent on this approach would need to be prompted by unexpected delays in the release of either operating system that would prove disruptive to the company’s fundamentals by preventing it to push out new hardware in-line with its internal models, according to other people familiar with Apple’s thinking. This strategy follows a company objective first revealed by AppleInsider prior to Apple‘s disclosures regarding Lion and iCloud at this month’s Worldwide Developer Conference, in which it reported that management was determined to price Lion extremely aggressively and give away iCloud features for free in an effort to get the software into the hands of as many consumers as quickly as possible.
During his keynote at the conference one week ago, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple would price Lion at $29.99, rather than the company’s historical $129.99 fetching price for new versions of the Mac OS X operating system, and that users would receive the majority of its iCloud features at no cost, the exception being some enhanced storage and music functionalities that will cost a nominal fee. All said, while the Cupertino-based company’s strategy continues to evolve with the times, it remains rooted in the same principle that Apple is a software-driven company that makes its money on the sale of proprietary hardware designed to best leverage its software expertise. Apple‘s investment in unique, cutting-edge notebook designs has paid off for the company, and in particular with the redesigned MacBook Air released last fall. In February, a person familiar with Apple‘s supply chain told AppleInsider that the thin and light notebooks were selling in volumes roughly half that of MacBook Pros — a major change from the relatively niche status the MacBook Air previously held in the company’s product lineup. Expanding further on its software and services, Apple is also looking to increase the value proposition of its product line and surrounding ecosystem with the new iCloud service, which will be free when it launches in its entirety this fall. Some features of iCloud, including the ability to redownload content, is already available using iTunes 10.3, or the App Store for iOS devices.