It appears Apple plans to expand its line of Retina-toting Macbooks, fortifying its line-up with a more portable 13.3-inch Macbook Pro model. Currently, the only Macbook to sport a Retina display is a 15.4-inch Pro model with a steep starting price of $2200.
Apple uses the term "Retina" to denote its own IPS displays with an unusually high pixel density. Retina screens contain double to triple the amount of pixels of ordinary panels, making it difficult for human eyes to discern the individual elements which comprise its output. As an example, Apple's current 15.4-inch Retina display has a resolution of 2880x1800 as opposed to the 1366x786 screens which are standard-issue on most similarly-sized, entry-level laptops.
NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told Cnet that a 2560x1600 13.3-inch display is currently being manufactured by Apple's supply chain partners. Due to the involvement of certain facilities, Shim believes the information is indicative of a Macbook Pro screen and not the Macbook Air.
Shim also says that Apple is also on track to produce 1 to 2 million 13.3-inch units. This is considerably more than the "few hundred thousand" screens produced for the 15.4-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display, suggesting Apple expects to move far more 13-inchers. By implication, this also suggests the new Macbook Pros will be priced considerably lower, but pricing will likely remain a mystery until the new laptop is officially announced.
As a side note, Samsung is the manufacturer for these Retina panels. Interestingly, Samsung and Apple have been embroiled in an enormous lawsuit regarding their phone and tablet designs. It was announced this weekend that Samsung lost the case, leaving the company reeling from more than $1 billion in damages.
Given the timing of production, Cnet believes these new Macbook Pros could hit shelves this fall.