We call this a plausible rumour rather than solid fact, but well-connected Taiwanese tech site Digitimes is reporting that Apple is to release an 11.6-inch MacBook Air later this year that uses Intel's Core i-series ultra-low processors.
Mingchi Kuo, the senior analyst at the presumably related Digitimes Research, claims it will be manufactured by Quanta Computer. However the volumes are likely to be low, with only 400,000 units being shipped initially.
These are all the scant details offered, but the concept of an 11.6-inch MacBook Air is sound. Intel's new Core i5 ULV processors are going on sale now, and the form-factor is one that Apple doesn't offer as yet and arguably makes more sense than the current MacBook Air, which has the same 13-inch form-factor as the significantly more powerful MacBook Pro 13-inch.
Pricing could be an interesting subject. Would Apple undercut the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and Air, or will it be priced above the Pro so as not to cannibalise its sales? Either way, one thing is for certain: it's not a netbook! Call it that and anger will ensue.