Apple could be preparing to launch a new white MacBook and Mac mini around July 26th, potentially opening the door for a launch of OS X 10.7 Lion around the same time. Major US Apple reseller Best Buy has been out of online stock of the Mac mini and the MacBook for some time now but are stating that both models will be back in stock around the 26th July. In addition, Amazon.com, while appearing to have plenty of stock of the Mac mini, are out of stock of the white MacBook and are also citing the end of July for in stock dates for the polycarbonate laptop.
Many people are expecting Lion to launch today, July 14th, with the rumored 1am GMT launch time coming and going without an appearance. Rumors have suggested that Apple had been holding back on releasing new models of the MacBook, Mac mini, MacBook Air and Mac Pro until the new OS was ready for release so that the new models could ship with Lion pre-installed. With Lion due to be released before the end of July, the Best Buy and Amazon dates could represent a good indication of when the new Macs will be released. 9to5Mac has already obtained part numbers for them. It should also be noted that stocks of the MacBook Air seem to be back to adequate levels in most retailers, despite shortages earlier this month.
The 2011 models of the Mac mini, MacBook and MacBook Air are expected to be simple spec upgrades incorporating the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connectivity. However, given that it’s been a while since a refresh of the Mac mini and MacBook, we may see a few external tweaks to the new models.