According to reports from Taiwanese news site DigiTimes.com Apple is working with manufacturers to ready production for a 15.4" widescreen MacBook. Apple currently makes a high-end $1,999 MacBook Pro in a 15.4" size but this new laptop would cost much less at around $1,000.
Nearly all name brand laptops bought today are manufactured by a Taiwanese company. The current 13.3" MacBook is manufactured in Taiwan by Asustek and DigiTimes reports that the 15.4-inch model will be produced by Quanta Computer that makes the current MacBook Pro notebooks. Production would begin in April or May of 2007.
Apple MacBook 13.3-inch (view large image)
Because of the fact LCD screens for 15.4-inch notebooks are cheaper than 13.3-inch, it is likely the MacBook 15.4-inch will be about the same price or possibly even cheaper than the current 13.3-inch MacBook that sell for $1,099 – $1,499.
It is interesting to note that Intel plans on rolling out their next processor line in April/May of 2007, dubbed Santa Rosa. It could be that Apple would offer the new Santa Rosa chipset in these new notebooks given the timing, or they might simply make a budget play and put current Core 2 Duo processors inside as they will be cheaper by that time. Either way, it’s a sign Apple is being more aggressive in the notebook market and will continue to make gains.