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Apple plans to overtake microsoft in laptop upgrade

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Apple Inc. plans to an­nounce an update to its laptop lineup at an annual conference for app de­velopers in early June, a move that could help offset new competition from Microsoft Corp. as well as declining iPad sales.
 
Apple is planning three new laptops, according to people familiar with the matter. The MacBook Pro will get a fast­er Kaby Lake processor from Intel Corp., said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal planning. Ap­ple is also working on a new version of the 12-inch Mac­Book with a faster Intel chip. The company has also con­sidered updating the aging 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor as sales of the laptop, Apple’s cheapest, re­main surprisingly strong, one of the people said.
 
Apple and Intel declined to comment.
The Mac lineup generates just 11 percent of the Cuper­tino, California-based com­pany’s $216 billion in an­nual sales, with the iPhone accounting for almost two-thirds of the total. But Macs are key to retaining the busi­ness of loyalists and the cre­ative industries — the corner­stone of Apple’s resurgence at the turn of the millennium under Steve Jobs.
 
The MacBook refresh would also come at an im­portant time for the iPhone-maker. This month, Micro­soft Corp. debuted the Surface Laptop, which boots up in sec­onds, has a touch screen and runs on a more stable version of Windows. Microsoft’s first real laptop is widely consid­ered a viable rival to the Mac­Book Air. By refreshing its computers, Apple could un­dercut that competition and continue the Mac’s recent mo­mentum. In the second quar­ter, the company sold 4.2 mil­lion desktops and laptops and generated 14 percent more revenue on Macs than in the quarter a year earlier.
 
The updated MacBook Pro would look much the same as the latest model and most­ly differ in internal architec­ture, one of the people said. While unclear if it’s ready for this generation, Apple has been working on a new in-house chip for a future Mac­Book Pro model that manag­es the computer’s low-power mode, Bloomberg News has reported.
 
The planned upgrades wouldn’t mark a major step forward for Apple’s notebook lineup, but they will demon­strate the company’s dedica­tion to a product that has been criticized by the Mac faithful over the past few years. It has been almost seven years since Apple last redesigned the MacBook Air. The most re­cent MacBook Pro, released more than 500 days after its predecessor, added a Touch Bar keyboard strip for quick access to app functions, a larg­er trackpad and a fingerprint log-in sensor.
 
Apple last updated the 12-inch MacBook in the spring of 2016 with a rose gold col­or option, while the MacBook Air has not received a speed boost since 2015. The stall in Mac updates has not been lim­ited to laptops. Apple’s desk­tops have lagged too, and ear­lier this year, Apple pledged to release major upgrades to the Mac Pro and iMac with better specifications for expert users in the future.

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