Various sites have been abuzz with rumors surrounding the launch of the next-gen MacBook Air, which many speculators expected to hit the market this week. AllThingsD has now weighed in on these rumors, citing "several sources" who claim the MacBook Air will not launch until late next week at the earliest.
AllThingsD's sources also confirmed the widespread rumors that the MacBook Air will feature a return to backlit keyboards, a Thunderbolt port, and more powerful "Sandy Bridge" processors from Intel. The new MacBook Air is also rumored to have its base RAM and SSD capacity bumped up, with 128 GB now the baseline capacity and 4 GB the new minimum RAM. This will be welcome news to potential buyers; the 11" MacBook Air's base specs of 64 GB SSD and 2 GB RAM seemed a little anemic. While you could pay more to upgrade both pieces of hardware, it seems you may not have to with the next-gen product.
The MacBook Air's hardware has reportedly been ready to launch for quite some time, but sources indicated that Apple held off on launching the hardware until Lion's public launch. Alongside rumors that Lion will not launch until next week, AllThingsD's sources on the "late next week" launch of the MacBook Air seem to be on the right track.