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New rumor adds to 15-inch MacBook Air chatter

Apple's thinnest notebooks are once again said to be getting a size upgrade, at least in the screen department. A new rumor adds to talk of a 15-inch model in the works.

Apple's current MacBook Air model
Apple's current MacBook Air model

Apple is once again said to be on the brink of releasing a larger version of its thinnest notebook computer.

Adding to the chatter of new sizes for the MacBook Air, Electric Pig weighed in today, saying Apple has a 15-inch version due next month. That information comes courtesy of a "premium Mac accessory maker," which the outlet talked to at the Computers Unlimited: Exposed show in London yesterday.

That company was not named, but is apparently a "key player in MacBook docking solutions." Looking at the show's exhibitor list, it's likely Henge Docks, which has docks for both of Apple's Air models, as well as Apple's MacBook Pro line.

First things first, Apple accessory makers have typically not been in the know about the gadget maker's plans, even just weeks ahead of a release. Besides the latest iPad, that's most clearly been seen from some of the cases that turned up ahead of the iPhone 4S that did not match up with the final result.

That said, this is the latest in a series of rumors about Apple expanding its line of thin notebooks, which currently come in two sizes: an 11.6-inch version, and a slightly larger 13.3-inch model. By comparison Apple's MacBook Pros come in 13.3-, 15-, and 17-inch configurations.

Two anonymously sourced reports in Macrumors and TUAW last July claimed Apple was working on both a 15- and 17-inch model of the Air, with the TUAW report going so far as to say one of those would be out in time for last year's holiday shopping season. Following that, a pair of reports from Taiwanese component news site DigiTimes in November claimed Apple was already working to source parts for a 15-inch Air, with plans to release it in the first quarter of this year.

Electric Pig's report follows one from Apple Insider last month that said Apple was working on both 15- and 17-inch models that would replace the "Pro" versions in Apple's MacBook line. That report called into question the future of the MacBook Pro line, which offers more storage on hard disk drives, optical disc drives, extra ports, and beefier processing and graphics cards at the expense of size and weight when compared to Apple's Air line.

Apple completely overhauled its MacBook Air line in October 2010, doubling down with both a 13.3-inch and smaller 11.6-inch model. The company's MacBook Pro line has not seen a massive external overhaul since the company switched to its unibody design in 2008.