A bigger MacBook Air should utilize Apple’s upcoming M3 chip, but what’s slightly less clear is whether the 13-incher might get this chip, too.
- What’s happening? Apple will launch some new Macs this year, including a new 15-inch MacBook Air that could be unveiled by the summer.
- Why care? The MacBook Air is Apple’s best-selling laptop. Equipping the computer with a 15-inch display could make it an even better sell.
- What to do? Imagine the difference between the 13.3-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro—that’s how the rumored 15-inch MacBook Air should feel.
Apple’s first 15-inch MacBook Air could launch at WWDC
Apple currently offers the MacBook Air in just one screen size, 13.6 inches, but a new model should take the laptop into the 15-inch territory. In the newest edition of his newsletter on Bloomberg, Mark Gurman claims Apple is prepping to launch a long-rumored 15-inch MacBook Air, codenamed J515, “between late spring and summer.”
Apple will probably unveil the machine at its annual developer conference in June.
Last year, Apple introduced the first M2 chip at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. If Apple were to stick to last year’s schedule, an M3 chip alongside a new MacBook Air at WWDC 2023 would make sense.
Another possibility would be an early launch in March or April. It doesn’t look like there will be an Apple event this spring though that shouldn’t stop the company from launching a 15-inch MacBook Air with a press release and a website update.
What if the 13-inch MacBook Air stayed on the M2 chip?
Gurman isn’t sure whether the new MacBook Airs will ship with Apple’s upcoming M3 chips or retain the current M2 silicon. The M3 will be reportedly fabbed on TSMC’s latest 3-nanometer process, bringing markedly faster performance and improved battery life, but that chip could be an overkill for the MacBook Air.
But the chip destined for the new MacBook Air models is slightly less clear. If those machines launch in a few months with the M2 chip, they’ll quickly become outdated. A 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip may still excite consumers, but a new M2 13-inch MacBook Air is unlikely to be compelling.
The current 13-inch MacBook Air runs the M2 chip. Putting an M3 chip inside a 15-inch MacBook Air would make that computer a new flagship model in the family. In that case, keeping the 13-inch model stuck with the M2 chip would make sense.
Such a move wouldn’t be unheard of—the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus have the iPhone 13’s old A15 chip, but only the iPhone 14 Pros run the latest A16 Bionic.
Other Mac updates in tow
Alongside a brand-new MacBook Air, Gurman claims the Cupertino company is readying to release an updated 13-inch MacBook Air (J513) and an Apple silicon Mac Pro. Those two launches should also happen between late spring and the summer.
Apple has reportedly started production testing for an updated 24-inch iMac which should launch in the fall. The all-in-one should receive a faster M-series chip, but there won’t be any changes to its screen size, nor will there be new colors. In 2024, Gurman expects Apple’s first tablet with a display based on OLED technology.
The MacBook Pros featuring M3 Pro and M3 Max chipsets should also arrive in 2024, Gurman speculates, with “even more exciting Mac upgrades” possibly following as early as 2025, including the first OLED-based touchscreen MacBooks.