Apple unveils new operating system, MacBook Air (2)

10:58, October 21, 2010      

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the latest Mac operating system software named "Lion" during a news conference at Apple Inc. headquarters in Cupertino, California, October 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

In another indication of how Apple is bringing inspirations from iPhone and iPad to its Mac products, the company introduced new MacBook Air notebooks that replace hard drives with solid state flash storage technology used in iPad.

"MacBook Air is the first of a new generation of notebooks that leaves behind mechanical rotating storage in favor of solid state flash storage," Jobs said in a statement.

"We've taken what we have learned with the iPad -- solid state storage, instant-on, amazing battery standby time, miniaturization and lightweight construction, to create the new MacBook Air. With its amazing responsiveness and mobility, it will change the way we think about notebooks," the Apple CEO noted.

With its aluminum unibody enclosure, the new MacBook Air measures 0.68 inches (1.73 cm) at the thickest point and 0.11 inches (0.28 cm) at the thinnest point, weighing just 2.3 pounds ( 1.0 kg) for the 11.6-inch model and 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) for the 13. 3inch model.

The new MacBook Air starts at 999 U.S. dollars with the 11.6- inch model and is priced as high as 1,599 dollars for a 13.3inch model that has 256GB of flash storage. Apple said the new notebooks went on sales on Wednesday.

Despite the popularity of iPhone and iPad, Mac computers remain a steady source of revenue for Apple, which on Monday posted record quarterly sales of over 20 billion dollars.

Apple reported that it sold 3.89 million Macs during the quarter ended on Sept. 25, up 27 percent over the same period a year earlier. Macs accounted for about a quarter of the company's revenue in the quarter.

Latest numbers from research firm IDC showed that Apple became the third-largest personal computer seller in the United States in the third quarter behind Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Dell with a market share of 10.6 percent.
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