The MacBook Air could be making an appearance in beefier form next year, with there being rumours of a 15-inch model planned. 

The bigger Air comes as a reaction to Intel's push of the Ultrabook platform, essentially Windows-powered versions of the Apple hardware. Digitimes sources are pointing to new 11-, 13- and 15-inch versions of the MacBook Air. 

Retailers are also suggesting a MacBook Air price cut could be planned prior to the new hardware. This would make sense, as with the loss of the MacBook from its lineup, there is no longer a budget Apple portable in its product line up. 

Slashgear is reporting that the new Air could make use of Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors, due out in March 2012. Larger SSD drives are also likely as a custom option for the Air, which currently maxes out at 256GB. 

Rumours of a rethought MacBook Pro design are also circulating, with a thinner disc drive free chassis being possible. Expect greater similarity between the Air and Pro in design terms as well, as Apple unifies its design strategy in its portables. No solid information as of yet, but as always the rumour mill grinds on.

What would you like to see from a new MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments below ...