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New Apple Macbook Pro Models are on the horizon? Intel Ivy Bridge for the 13, 15, 17 inch and MacBook Air models are most likely, with quad core and possibly USB3 ports. There might be a "slim form factor" that would mean MacBook Air-like MacBook Pro Models, with USB3 ports along other features such as dual Thunderbolt ports and Retina Displays (treat this information as rumors!). As macrumors notes, Reseller Shortages Hint at Forthcoming Update for 15-Inch MacBook Pro: "Apple has been said to be ramping up production of new 15-inch MacBook Pro models carrying a thinner form factor, with Intel's rumored April 29 debut of quad-core mobile Ivy Bridge processors undoubtedly driving that timeline."
The 13" MBP still goes for around $1,115.00, the 15" Quad Core i7 15-inch version is still at $1,679.88. Prices for the upcoming models are obviously not known yet.
DigiTimes reports that Intel has notified partners that the company will "fully release" its Thunderbolt technology (previously known as "Lightpeak") in April 2012. Intel is reportedly preparing to launch Thunderbolt-supported motherboards, notebooks and desktop PCs at that time, other mainboard suppliers such as Gigabyte and Asus will follow.
Intel and Apple originally partnered on the new technology which has become standard across Apple's MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iMac. Digitimes reports that the cost of Thunderbolt technology is expected to drop in the second half of 2012, allowing more widespread adoption. While this sure is great for Windows users, that also means Thunderbolt will be available for hackintosh users!
While Apple does offer Thunderbolt across most of its product line, the first Thunderbolt products have been limited to relatively high end devices, such as the Blackmagic Ultrastudio 3D, the Magma Expressbox 3T or the Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID. More widespread adoption should help drive adoption by accessory makers that will benefit both Mac and PC users that use the Thunderbolt technology.
Thunderbolt is not competing against USB3 (Intel said they see both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies) - furthermore there will be USB3 support for Apple devices, since there will be breakout boxes that offer USB3 connectivity.