New 12-Inch 2017 MacBook Release Date & Updates: Kaby Lake Processors, Rumor Roundup, Pricing, & More

Mar 15, 2017 10:10 AM EDT | Andrew Davis

The new 12-inch 2017 MacBook could see some notable upgrades this year and could finally turn heads of those loyal to the MacBook Air. It is almost a year following the release of the 12-inch MacBook in 2016, and we have yet to hear from the Cupertino-based giant regarding its most polarizing devices. So, we have rounded up the latest speculation regarding the upcoming MacBook.

Release date. Since Apple didn't update either the MacBook or the MacBook Air during the 2016 October event, we instead saw the launch of the now-popular MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's predictions, the production of 12-inch 2017 MacBook could go as early as the second quarter of 2017. Thus, we could be seeing them by June or July, reports MacWorld UK.

Meanwhile, production of the 13- and 15-in MacBook Pros could begin in the third quarter (probably July). And the high-end 15-in MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM could see production in the fourth quarter, "the most significantly redesigned product this year."

 Pricing.  While the official and exact release date has not been confirmed as of this writing, speculating the pricing of the device is indeed getting way ahead. But Apple rarely changes the pricing of their lineup from one generation to the next unless there is a fairly heavy upgrade in the unit.

The current base price for the 12-inch MacBook is $1299. But reports have it that if the Cupertino-based giant does cease production of the MacBook Air and the new MacBook will replace its lineup, then consumers could possibly see price reduction.

New 12-inch 2017 MacBook specs. The most highly talked about upgrade for the new MacBook is its processor, with reports citing that this will be equipped with the latest in Intel, Kaby Lake. This is the next-generation of processors following Skylake offering support for DisplayPort 1.2, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3.1.

Adding fuel to the fire is a February 2017 report by Bloomberg pointing out that Apple is "working on a chip" with a code name "T310." It is reported that these chips could take on more of the functionality currently handled by Intel processors.

In fact, these chips went into development in 2016 and are similar to the ones used in the latest MacBook Pro powering the Touch Bar feature. The report furthered that it is built using ARM technology and will work alongside an Intel processor.

A 15-inch model of the MacBook could possibly be unveiled for this year, according again to Kuo, hence a bigger screen size. If Apple is indeed planning to remove the MacBook Air, adding a bigger screen size makes sense.

Another is the use of the USB Type-C port, thus supporting Thunderbolt 3. But rumors noted that Apple could turn its back on the Thunderbolt if it does cease using Intel chips since Intel is the giant behind the Thunderbolt. And it needs Intel chips to function.

Now, the grandest speculation by far would be that the new 12-inch 2017 MacBook could support LTE. This news comes at the heels of a patent approval describing the use of use of Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, and satellite connectivity and boosting signal without interference. However, this idea was originally filed back in 2015 and was rejected by Steve Jobs.

None of these so-called speculations have been confirmed yet and some are predictions for the new 12-inch 2017 MacBook. But it looks like this will be an exciting year for MacBook fans. We will keep you updated until Apple officially announces the release date and pricing and every single detail in between.

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