Kuo: The next MacBook Air will have a new design and the same old M1 chip

The current M1 MacBook Air should soon get a new design and more color options but don’t expect Apple to swap the M1 chip for an upcoming M2 processor.

A still from Apple's event video showing software chief Craig Federighi opening the lid of a MacBook Air
  • Apple is supposed to refresh its MacBook Air notebook later this year.
  • The computer should run Apple’s M1 chip and sport a new design.
  • The update may also include some new color options.

2022 MacBook Air said to feature the Apple M1 chip

That’s according to revered Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who in a post on Twitter shared some interesting tidbits in terms of what to expect from the next MacBook Air update. The computer is scheduled to launch later this year, Kuo says, but don’t expect Apple to swap the M1 chip from the current Air for its upcoming second-generation Mac chip, the Apple M2.

That’s kind of strange considering the current M1-powered was released more than two years ago in November 2020. While we’re not sure what could be going on, we’re smart enough not to bet against Kuo, who is the most reliable Apple analyst on the planet. When the Apple M2 silicon platform does make its debut, we expect the M2-branded chips to eventually make their way into all Mac models, including a redesigned MacBook Air. Read: New to Mac? 15 tips and tricks for macOS beginners

Our take: Let’s wait and see what happens

It sounds like a mild refresh for the MacBook Air, with an updated design and new colors supposedly being the only enhancements. But even the almighty Kuo isn’t 100 percent reliable so it’s possible that he could bet wrong about the next MacBook Air retaining the M1 chip. Read: Things to do after setting up a Mac

Another feature you shouldn’t be holding your breath for, as per Kuo, is a mini-LED backlight. Apple uses mini-LEDs in its high-end iPad and MacBook Pro models but we’re not expecting a mini-LED MacBook Air anytime soon. According to Kuo, Apple’s suppliers should kick off mass production in the late second quarter or the third quarter, meaning the next MacBook Air should be ready to launch this fall.

The current MacBook Air is provided in two basic configurations: A baseline model costing $999 and a more-powerful version priced at $1,249. Both of these notebooks include Apple’s M1 chip with an eight-core CPU, a 16-core Neural engine and eight gigabytes of unified memory but the $1,249 model buys you twice the storage (512GB) along with an additional GPU core for a total of eight.