When it comes to rumors pertaining any one of Apple’s vast Mac range, we often find ourselves churning up the same reported specifications as the previous year, minus the one or two exceptions that actually made the cut last time around. That is certainly the case with the latest report, which suggests the Cupertino will pack a new chipset into its updated Mac models this year, offering ridiculously-speedy 802.11ac network speeds. For those of you that remember, a similar notion was present prior to last year’s refreshes, and although it never did materialize, it’s none too surprising to see the same rumors crop up once more.
Last year saw a redesigned MacBook Pro and iMac, so it’s unlikely this year will see any significant aesthetic alterations to the key OS X machines. As such, Apple will probably fill the current range up with better hardware, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi would certainly be a great place to start. According to a report over at TheNextWeb, Apple has teamed up with chip maker Broadcom to bring the improved Wi-Fi to the Mac at some point in 2013, so if you’re a speed fanatic, your Mac experience will be greatly enhanced by this implementation.
For the uninitiated, 802.11ac is to Wi-Fi what 4G is to cellular, offering vastly niftier coverage, faster throughput, higher capacity and better battery life. It’s often labeled 5G Wi-Fi, and although we’d love to have seen them back in 2012, the lack thereof would all-but confirm some 802.11ac this time around.
Apple and Broadcom have already reached an agreement to bring new Wi-Fi chips to the Mac this year, but since Broadcom has yet to finish with the development of the 802.11ac chips, it’s anybody’s guess when they’ll be available. Still, following on from last year and Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, it looks like Apple has seized the initiative over PC manufacturers, and 5G Wi-Fi will be a real trump card versus the growing number of competitors on the market.
Among other hardware improvements, the MacBook Air may also be getting a Retina display, although if this is to be the case, it will be intriguing to see if it can be done without bulking the form factor – as was the case with the first Retina iPad.