Ultra-portable Mac laptop coming later this year?

The folks at AppleInsider have word that Apple plans to introduce a new, ultra-portable notebook some time in the second half of this year—or perhaps in early 2008. The machine may have been scheduled to launch at the World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco in June, AppleInsider says, but "people familiar with the initiative" now claim that Apple's maturing timeline places the notebook's release in the latter part of the year. The machine's launch could even be postponed until the next Macworld show in January 2008, should engineers require the extra time to finish polishing the system.

AppleInsider suggests that the delay is tied to the official postponement of Apple's next operating system, MacOS X 10.5 Leopard, which is now scheduled to appear in October. Some of the purported ultra-portable notebook's features, including integrated NAND flash memory, may require the upcoming OS.

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