Apple’s sexy ultrathin MacBook Air is expected to lead the way for Mac sales. The company may ship over 8 million MacBook Air units in this quarter, double the 3.76 million combined Mac sales it had in the second quarter, Taiwanese news site Digitimes reports.

Sources in the Taiwanese Apple supply chain tell the site that their production lines will be running in full gear throughout July to keep up with demand. The MacBook Air is expected to be refreshed within the next month with Apple’s new high-speed Thunderbolt interface, more efficient Intel Sandy Bridge processors, and Mac OS X Lion.

It’s not difficult to imagine why the new MacBook Airs will be a smashing success — although having the computer double all Mac sales from last quarter is certainly hard to believe. Last year’s redesign of the computer brought with it a razor-thin frame and lower price ($999 for the 11-inch model, $1299 for the 13-inch). There’s also plenty of pent-up demand for a new Air, as many expected it to be released this month, but Apple is reportedly holding it back until July for the release of OSX Lion.

I’m in the market for an ultraportable myself, and I’ve already decided that I’ll pull the trigger on a new Air as soon as they’re available. Samsung’s recently released Series 9 ultraportable was a worthy competitor, but it’s more expensive than the Air at $1,699. It’s tough to imagine that we’re in a world where the Apple alternative is a better deal, but here we are.


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