Apple Releases MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.1 with Thunderbolt Display Support

Thunderbolt Display MacBook Air

Today, Apple released  a new EFI Firmware Update (version 2.1) for the MacBook Air. The 3.99 MB update  enables support for the yet unavailable new Thunderbolt Display.

In addition, the update addresses a few issues on the latest MacBook Air models. The fixes include enhanced stability for Lion Recovery over the Internet and improvements for Thunderbolt-related issues.

This update includes fixes that enhance the stability of Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, and resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Air (mid 2011) models.

For more information about Lion Recovery, please visit

The MacBook Air EFI Update will update the EFI firmware on your notebook computer. Your computer’s power cord must be connected and plugged into a working power source. When your MacBookAir restarts, a gray screen will appear with a status bar to indicate the progress of the update. It will take several minutes for the update to complete. Do not disturb or shut off the power on your MacBookAir during this update.

Apple notes that “After this update has successfully completed, your Boot ROM Version will be: MBA41.88Z.0077.B08.1109011050.”

The new 27 inch display is the first to include Thunderbolt cabling, which it uses to provide a single signal cable that supports video, audio for its built in speakers, and a digital interconnect for the display’s three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port for connecting up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.

Apple announced the new Thunderbolt Display back in July with a shipping date of “within 60 days”. Currently,  Apple’s  order page  for the $999 display is showing a 2-3 week estimate for new orders.

[source for quote: Apple]

Apple on Track to Sell Record 4.5m Macs This Quarter

According to a new  report from analyst Gene Munster and Piper Jaffray says that the latest data from NPD suggests that Apple will sell between 4.4 million or 4.6 million Macs in the September quarter.  His figures are based on NPD’s U.S. data, which increased Mac sales up 22 percent in July and August.

MacBook Air 2011 side

Munster said that Mac sales in August benefitted from a  month of Mac OS X Lion being available, after its launch in July.    In addition, Mac sales were also up due to the newly refreshed MacBook Air and Mac mini models. He also estimates that the MacBook Air will represent between 10-20 percent of total Mac units in the September quarter.

Wall Street expects Apple to sell about 4.5 million Macs this quarter, which Munster said aligns with the latest domestic NPD data.  Apple’s current quarterly record for Mac sales was set in the  holiday quarter  last year with 4.13 million Macs sold. Also,  Wall Street expects Apple to report sales of about 7 million iPods, which would mean the company is trying to beat estimates on its portable media players.

NPD has also reported iPod sales down by 16% year-over-year for the first two months of the quarter.

Apple Working on 15 Inch Ultra Thin Mac Notebook

MacRumors has reported that Apple is finishing up work on a brand new 15″ Mac notebook in a form factor similar to the current generation of Macbook Airs. TUAW reports that this new laptop, along with a 17 inch version, will hold the Macbook Pro branding.

Apple has made some significant changes in its laptop line in the past couple years. First came the original MacBook Air, which changed how we thought a laptop could look. With the most recent update, the Air has replaced the old White MacBook that was the long standing low end Mac laptop.

A large number of us in the industry now expect the standard features of the MacBook Air to make their way to the high-end MacBook Pros. The key items that are mentioned are the integrated SSDs and the lack of optical drives. Those two changes make it possible to take a large amount of the size from body of the computers.

These changes would mark a dynamic shift in Apple’s attitude towards physical media. While it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Apple to completely ditch a format (floppy disk), that would mean skipping the BluRay altogether. However, due to the popularity or the thin machines, it would make sense for Apple to slim down the MacBook Pros.

The timing for the supposed ultra-thin notebook is still unknown. Apple did just release new versions of the MacBook Air a few weeks ago. The MacBook Pro line was just refreshed in February, so any release for that product would have to be at least towards the end of the year.

Apple Updates MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, and Cinema Displays, Drops the White MacBook

In conjunction with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has made a few changes to their product line. If you go take a look at the Apple Store, you will notice that a couple of products have the little bluw “new” tags over head, and that the Mac line is one computer shorter now.

Apple is now offering upgraded versions of the MacBook Air and Mac mini, as well has a their first Thunderbolt display in the new Cinema Display. Lets take a look at the Specs for each new product, then we will look at what has gone missing form the Apple Store page.

The MacBook Air comes in two sizes, the 11.6 and 13.3-inch beauties we knew before, but each packs a couple major changes. First, they have been given Intel Sandy Bridge chipsets, like the recently updated MacBook Pros. This brings better overall speed to the SSD-powered ultra portables. They have also been given Thunderbolt ports on the right hand side, which looks to be Apple’s new standard feature.

There were two other predicted upgrades to the Air that have indeed come true. First,  backlit keyboards have returned, bringing joy to all of us who type in dark rooms. Second, the Air will now ship with Lion, making it the first of Apple’s laptops to do so. The cheapest Air is now only $999.

The next product that saw an upgrade on Wednesday is the Mac mini. It received the same basic upgrades as the Air, bringing the Sandy Bridge architecture, Thunderbolt, and Lion to Apple’s cheapest desktop option. Unfortunately, you can no longer get an optical drive with your mini. You can pick up the lowest end option for $599.

There is also a new version of the Mac mini server, which is running the new server version of Lion. It comes packing Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, and 2 500GB HDDs. You can pick it up in the Apple store starting at $999.

The last product that got an upgrade this morning is the Cinema Display. With the inclusion of Thunderbolt support, Apple has renamed the 27-inch LED powered display the Thunderbolt Display. You can buy it now for $999. Be warned that this new display will only work if your Mac has a Thunderbolt Connector.

The last update to the Apple store is easily the saddest. There were rumors going around the tech community that Apple was planning to end the life of the polycarbonate white MacBook. It seems as tho those rumors are turn, as it is no longer listed on Apple’s website. If you want to buy one of the entry-level notebooks, some are still available in the Apple Refurb store, but there is no guarantee on how long they will last.

Those weren’t MacBook Air and Mac Pro part numbers, but instead Mac Mini and white MacBook

White MacBook and Mac Mini


Yesterday, a report suggested that the new MacBook Air and Mac Pro part numbers had leaked.  A correction has been made my 9to5Mac, and it seems that these numbers are  for new Mac minis and White MacBooks and not for MacBook Airs and Mac Pros.

The new part numbers are:

MC914LL/A J59, BEST USA – White MacBook
MC936LL/A J40, ULTIMATE USA Mac mini Server
MC815LL/A J40I, BETTER USA Mac mini standard configuration
MC816LL/A J40, BEST USA Faster Mac mini

According to the original report, these were Mac Pro numbers. In addition,  the MacBook Air part numbers in the original report are still considered to be accurate and are believed to be launching soon.  We can assume that the new Mac Mini and white MacBook will adopt the latest Intel processors and Thunderbolt.

Backlit Keyboard To Return In New MacBook Air?

MacBook Air backlit keyboard

When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, they offered a backlit keyboard. According to a new report, the backlit keyboard will be making a return to the MacBook Air with the new 2011 models that are expected to be released soon.

AppleInsider reports that, that the MacBook Air refresh will bring back this popular feature.

According to people familiar with the matter, backlit keyboards will join the string of hardware enhancements planned for the new 11.6- and 13.3-inch notebooks, which are also expected to adopt high-speed Thunderbolt ports, an upgrade to Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture, and possibly high-speed 400MBps flash memory.

The backlit keyboard makes it easier to type in low light areas. Apple currently offers the backlit keyboard in their MacBook Pro notebooks. New MacBook Airs are expected to be released soon with part numbers already leaked.

New MacBook Air and Mac Pro Models Coming This Week?

OS X Lion

Rumors have suggested that a MacBook Air and Mac Pro refresh is imminent. Today, 9 to 5 Mac reports  that a tipster  has revealed that Apple will be releasing new MacBook Air and Mac Pro models this week along with OS X Lion. “Mr.X” is supposed to be a reliable tipster.

According to their tipster,  Apple will be releasing four new MacBook Air models and will match up with the current lineup of two stock configurations each in the 11-inch and 13-inch sizes. The models numbers for these new MacBook Airs are:


The Mac Pro is also expected to get a refresh. Apple is expected to offer three standard stock configurations alongside a dedicated “server” configuration. The model numbers for the new Mac Pros are:

MC816LL/A – J40, BEST – USA
MC914LL/A – J59, BEST – USA

Mr.X has not provided a specific release date, but according to rumors a launch date for July 14th is expected.

Apple Retail Stores Making Preparations For OS X Lion and New MacBook Airs Launch Next Week?

A number of reports today suggest that Apple may launch OS X Lion next week. In addition, new MacBook Airs and other hardware updates are likely to follow on or soon after OS X Lion debuts.

9 to 5 Mac reports that Apple has scheduled “overnights”  for July 13th where store layouts and promotional materials are tweaked and store management is briefed on new products. The source offered no information on exactly what will take place during next week’s overnights.

OS X Lion

Also, AppleInsider backs up the claim with its own report by mentioning “overnights” scheduled for next week, however the source  did not offer a specific day for the changes. Also, sources say that Apple is requiring that a number of display machines in its retail stores have their RAM upgraded by this Sunday, possibly for the OS X Lion launch.

Different sources  for the report indicate  that Apple is preparing OS X Lion for a launch next week, with new MacBook Airs possibly set for an introduction the following week. Retail sources have also indicated that  Apple may be inviting some customers to download Lion at their local retail stores next week in order to receive assistance if needed.  No other updates for the Mac lineup is expected since they have been recently updated.

Apple MacBook Air Getting a Refresh Soon ?

According to a new  rumor  from DigiTimes, MacBook Air’s production will run in full gearbeginning in July. If true, this report suggests that new MacBook Air could be launched after the release, or more likely alongside with the release of Mac OS X Lion, which is scheduled to be released this July.

Apple MacBook Air

Digitime says, Apple is expected to take deliveries of over eight million MacBook Airs in the third quarter, nearly doubling from the previous quarter, the sources in the supply chain estimated. This is in line with a previous rumor from Taiwan’s Economic Daily newspaper that Apple will ship 380,000 new MacBook Air units within the next month.

Shipments of parts and components for MacBook lineups totaled an equivalent of 2.2-2.4 million MacBooks in June, and orders for July are likely to top 2.7-2.8 million units, said the sources, noting that the increase is in line with Apple’s previous strategy to ramp up deliveries prior to the launch of new products.

Last time Apple refreshed the MacBook Air range, they added a new size(11.6), upgraded processor to Core 2 Duo, and used SSD for storage. This time we are expecting Thunderbolt ports, either Core i5 or Core i7 chips, or maybe Intel’s new ULV processor. Few rumors suggesting option of a black color have also surfaced.

New Apple MacBook Air(s) Revealed!

Apple has finally announced the successor to the MacBook Air. This time the MacBook Air will come in two screen sizes of 11.6-inches and 13.3-inches. The 13.3-inch MacBook Air will sport a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics card and an SSD for all your storage needs. The 13.3-incher is only 0.68-inches thick at its thickest point and only 0.11-inches thin at its thinnest point. Apple quotes the battery life of the 13.3-inch Air to be around 7 hours of wireless weband a whopping 30 days on standby. Apple_MacBook_Air

The smaller MacBook Air the one with the 11.6 inches of screen size will sport a resolution of 1366×768. The smaller Air will sport a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo which is upgradeable to 1.6GHz. Like the 13.3-inch Air, the smaller Air also packs 2GB of RAM and the GeForce 320M graphics card. Both the Airs have sport a full unibody aluminium construction. The smaller Air will have a smaller’ battery of up to 5 hours.

The 13.3-inch MacBook Air will set you back by $1,299 with 128GB SSD while 256GB of storage space will set you back by $1,599. The 11.6-inch Air with 64GB of storage space will cost $999 while the 128GB version will cost $1,199. Both the Airs are available from today at all the various Apple retail stores.