In Brief

New 'ultra-thin' MacBook coming later this year

Apple to win back the title of 'world's slimmest laptop' before July, says report

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Apple could this year introduce a MacBook so thin that it makes use of iPhone and Apple Watch production techniques, according to the latest rumours.

9 to 5 Mac has picked up a report from DigiTimes suggesting that an "ultra-thin" MacBook is on the agenda, with a highly specialised process being used to manufacture some of the external parts.              

Specifically, the hinge will be an all-new design created through metal injection moulding, strongly suggesting that the laptop will be so slim that it is necessary to inject the hinges into place.

It's said the part will come from Amphenol, the same company which currently manufactures components for Microsoft's Surface range of tablets, which also make use of a special hinge.

Elsewhere, there will be a "major change" in terms of the external ports. The next MacBooks are rumoured to feature only USB-C ports in a bid to slim the side profile down as much as possible.

The ultra-thin MacBooks are due some time before July, according to rumours, and should resemble 13ins and 15ins versions of the 12ins MacBook Retina.

At the moment it is unclear if these rumoured products will be new additions and essentially larger MacBook Retinas, or true replacements for the MacBook Pro. However, they could signal the death of the MacBook Air range.

Stuff notes that whatever product the rumours eventually translate into, it appears Apple is trying to win back its "thinnest in the world" crown after its rival, HP, introduced the 0.4ins thick Spectre last week.

"It's the tech rumour equivalent of Apple giving HP the finger," says the site.

There's been no word or indication from Apple as to when it may introduce the new MacBooks, but many rumours have this summer down as a likely timeframe, possibly at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

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