Apple working on 15-inch MacBook Air, smaller 12-inch MacBook with M2

Posted:
in macOS edited June 9
Apple is reportedly working on a new 15-inch MacBook Air model, as well as an apparent refresh of its 12-inch MacBook, according to a new report.

MacBook Air
MacBook Air


The expansion of the company's portable Mac lineup is said to be aimed at grabbing a larger portion of the notebook market, sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg.

Both new models would run a version of Apple's next-generation M2 Apple Silicon chip. The iPhone maker announced the new chip at its WWDC 2022 keynote on Monday alongside a new 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is said to be a "wider" version of the model announced on Monday. Additionally, Bloomberg also said that Apple was developing "what would be its smallest new laptop in years," suggesting a device similar to the 12-inch MacBook.

Both models could arrive by the end of 2023 or early 2024, the publication said.

Apple has never had a 15-inch MacBook Air model in the device's 14-year history. The 12-inch MacBook, on the other hand, debuted in 2015 and lasted until July 2019.

Alongside the rumored new MacBook Air and 12-inch laptops, Apple is also reportedly working on high-end MacBook Pro models with so-called M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets but few other changes. Those devices are slated for a release as early as the end of 2022.

This is not the first time that rumors have suggested Apple was considering a larger MacBook Air. Back in March, display analysts said that the company was developing a 15-inch model.

Prior to the release of the first Apple Silicon chip, some leakers and analysts also predicted that Apple could release a version of the 12-inch MacBook with first-party cihps.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,761member
    Now we talking... New Macbook Air doesn't have USB-C port on right(short thinking) so Apple can fix it with 15" Macbook Air. The 12" whatever laptop is just pathetic because many were complaining and asking for Mini iPhone and they didn't even buy so Apple have to axe it in iPhone 14. Same will happen to 12" laptop. Apple, just don't do it. Bigger(screen) is better!
    williamlondonMplsP
  • Reply 2 of 32
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 555member
    I’d be thrilled with a replacement for my 12” MacBook. It’s been my favourite Apple laptop, after the 12” PowerBook. My only issue is that I’ve been holding on for a while and was keenly waiting for this Air refresh to replace my MacBook. Obviously no way of knowing if this is coming - don’t want to hold off needlessly. Then again, don’t want to buy the new Air and then in 12mths wish I’d held off. The pitfalls of reading rumour sites - the ideal machine is always just a few more updates down the line. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Before the 12-inch MacBook from 2015 through 2019, Apple did also sell an 11-inch MacBook Air from 2010 through 2016 … so that's almost a decade of offering a size smaller than 13.x inches.

    I think a 15-inch MacBook Air would be a perfect addition to today's lineup at around $1,499 (slotting it around midway between the 13-inch Air and 14-inch Pro prices). If they could also offer a new 12-inch model for, say, $799 or $899, and close to 2.0 pounds in weight, the product might indeed find a segment of the fan base who are looking either for low price or low weight.
    MplsP
  • Reply 4 of 32
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 454member
    Still loving my 2016 12" MacBook. An up to date M2 version would be a hit. Bring it on.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 32
    My M1 MacBook Pro 13 is humming along nicely but I would upgrade to that new 15 inch MacBook Air for the added screen real estate.  The only part that seems a little off is the timing?  Late 23, Early 24 means the M2 would be 18-24 months old at the point?  Doesnt make sense to debut a 2 brand new models, with an almost 2 year old architecture.  If I was a betting person I would peg them for WWDC 2024 and release it with the new M3 chip and 32 GB of RAM max for the Air.  This will launch it out of the park.  If you are going to build it on the M2 then I think Apple would surprise us all and release it this year, at the late fall event while the M2 is still fresh.  I am no Gurman or Kuo but this sure would make sense to me.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 32
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,761member
    erock3742 said:
    My M1 MacBook Pro 13 is humming along nicely but I would upgrade to that new 15 inch MacBook Air for the added screen real estate.  The only part that seems a little off is the timing?  Late 23, Early 24 means the M2 would be 18-24 months old at the point?  Doesnt make sense to debut a 2 brand new models, with an almost 2 year old architecture.  If I was a betting person I would peg them for WWDC 2024 and release it with the new M3 chip and 32 GB of RAM max for the Air.  This will launch it out of the park.  If you are going to build it on the M2 then I think Apple would surprise us all and release it this year, at the late fall event while the M2 is still fresh.  I am no Gurman or Kuo but this sure would make sense to me.  
    I am right with you replacing my 13" Macbook Pro with 15" Macbook Air. No doubt. Apple please make sure you put atleast one USB-C charging/TB data port on right. Don't use so don't care other ports. God, 15" Macbook Air would be so good that it can be sweet spot GOTO laptop for most. Though Apple, think through. While many many Windows laptop users will switch to 15" MBA; some Macbook Pro upgrade will prefer too. May be self cannibalizing ?
    edited June 9 williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Now I’m torn!

    As a long time (early 2016) MacBook owner, I absolutely love my little laptop. However I do want a more “serious” (powerful) laptop these days. I’ve decided I can’t wait any longer, and am going for the 13.6” M2 MBA.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,582member
    erock3742 said:
    My M1 MacBook Pro 13 is humming along nicely but I would upgrade to that new 15 inch MacBook Air for the added screen real estate.  The only part that seems a little off is the timing?  Late 23, Early 24 means the M2 would be 18-24 months old at the point?  Doesnt make sense to debut a 2 brand new models, with an almost 2 year old architecture.  If I was a betting person I would peg them for WWDC 2024 and release it with the new M3 chip and 32 GB of RAM max for the Air.  This will launch it out of the park.  If you are going to build it on the M2 then I think Apple would surprise us all and release it this year, at the late fall event while the M2 is still fresh.  I am no Gurman or Kuo but this sure would make sense to me.  
    According to Macrumors, that's not what Gurman said;

    "The 15-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ could be released in early 2023 at a planned spring event, and the 12-inch MacBook could come at the end of 2023 or early 2024."

    "High-end MacBook Pro models equipped with M2 Pro and ‌M2‌ Max chips are in the works and could launch at the end of 2022, though Gurman warns that the release date could be pushed back until 2023."

    https://www.macrumors.com/

    edited June 9
  • Reply 9 of 32
    With TSMC producing 3nm chips this fall that will likely find its way into the iPhone Pro as the A16, I find it hard to believe Apple would produce a 5nm based MacBook Pro. I think it is more likely we will see a new MacBook Pro early next year based on the new 3nm chip. The M2 will appear in the new iMac, Mac mini, and iPad upgrades. The new MacBook Pro’s Will likely feature the M3. That is, unless Apple decides to name the 3nm chip in the pro, max, and ultra configuration as the M2 Pro.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    GalfanGalfan Posts: 1member
    I really hope this 12 doesn't make it since what would be the point of the 13 inch MacBook Air. I hope the introduction of the 15 inch brings it more in line that we finally can get rid of the 13 inch MacBook "Pro" and we finally can get rid of the Air naming. Having a 13 and 15 Macbook for the consumers and a 14 and 16 inch Macbook Pro for the professionals is much more clean as a line-up
    jameslwoodurahara
  • Reply 11 of 32
    thttht Posts: 4,434member
    Apple moves so so slowly, at times. A MBA15 should have been announced on Monday, let alone next year. A base model M2 8 GB, 256 GB storage at $1600, and +200 for 512 GB storage, would definitely get a lot more buyers to go from spending $1500 on MBA13 to spending $1800 on a MBA15. A lot of people just aren't going to spend $2000 on a MBP14 as it is basically too much machine for a buyer who just wants a larger screen for light computing tasks.

    I continue to be skeptical of a laptop with a 12" display. It's just too small for modern PC workflows and usage, and it's only getting worse with more time. 20 years ago, a 12" laptop was perfectly fine. Now? Not so much.

    Then, there really isn't a good reason for the Mac mini not to have M2 right now, nor any good reason for it not have an M1 Pro either. Or, no good reason for the iMac 24 to not have an M1 Pro option right now. With the Studio Display, Apple gets basically the same ARPU from regardless of it being an iMac, a Mac mini plus ASD or a Mac Studio plus ASD, or even a MBA/MBP plus ASD.
    Japhey
  • Reply 12 of 32
    Galfan said:
    I really hope this 12 doesn't make it since what would be the point of the 13 inch MacBook Air.
    I would imagine that the 12” MacBook would be thinner, lighter but also less powerful CPU/GPU than the MacBook Air
  • Reply 13 of 32
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,238member
    A bit off topic, but I wished when Apple brought back the MagSafe that it would be a new USB-C type magnetic connector. 
  • Reply 14 of 32
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,582member
    With TSMC producing 3nm chips this fall that will likely find its way into the iPhone Pro as the A16, I find it hard to believe Apple would produce a 5nm based MacBook Pro. I think it is more likely we will see a new MacBook Pro early next year based on the new 3nm chip. The M2 will appear in the new iMac, Mac mini, and iPad upgrades. The new MacBook Pro’s Will likely feature the M3. That is, unless Apple decides to name the 3nm chip in the pro, max, and ultra configuration as the M2 Pro.
    TSMC is a bit behind on their 3nm production.  It won't be until Q2 2023 where their 3nm wafers enter mass production.  If anything, it'll be the A17 that will be using the 3nm process.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,067member
    On some level, the more options available to savvy consumers, the better in regards to getting the right Mac for the job.  But on the other hand, a more complex product lineup makes it harder to choose.  I still wonder what Steve would do if he was here.  When Steve came back to Apple in the 1990's, he took an axe to the Newton and all the complexity of the Mac product line to simply it.  I'm therefore torn in how I feel.  I like options personally, but the Mac landscape seems to be getting overly complex, especially with the existence of the 13" MacBook which hasn't had a design update and therefore still offers the TouchBar, which Apple has largely phased out.  This adds a bit of confusion to the product lineup.
    jameslwoodAniMill
  • Reply 16 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,494member
    Dusted off the 201511 inch  MBA just this week for my son in bed with Covid. Running the lastest OS. It was/is a great little machine it’s only downside being screen resolution.
    I would be interested in a 12 inch MacBook just as long as it isn’t badly port starved like the rMB and isn’t overly expensive for its performance, like the rMB.
    edited June 9
  • Reply 17 of 32
    M68000M68000 Posts: 457member
    Before the 12-inch MacBook from 2015 through 2019, Apple did also sell an 11-inch MacBook Air from 2010 through 2016 … so that's almost a decade of offering a size smaller than 13.x inches.

    I think a 15-inch MacBook Air would be a perfect addition to today's lineup at around $1,499 (slotting it around midway between the 13-inch Air and 14-inch Pro prices). If they could also offer a new 12-inch model for, say, $799 or $899, and close to 2.0 pounds in weight, the product might indeed find a segment of the fan base who are looking either for low price or low weight.
    That air was actually 11.6 inches - it does make a difference.  The 12 inch rumor is really interesting.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    thttht Posts: 4,434member
    jdw said:
    On some level, the more options available to savvy consumers, the better in regards to getting the right Mac for the job.  But on the other hand, a more complex product lineup makes it harder to choose.  I still wonder what Steve would do if he was here.  When Steve came back to Apple in the 1990's, he took an axe to the Newton and all the complexity of the Mac product line to simply it.  I'm therefore torn in how I feel.  I like options personally, but the Mac landscape seems to be getting overly complex, especially with the existence of the 13" MacBook which hasn't had a design update and therefore still offers the TouchBar, which Apple has largely phased out.  This adds a bit of confusion to the product lineup.
    If Apple wants 15% PC unit share, I think they have no choice but to offer a lot more variety. The PC market is much less of a “widget” type market like the phone market is, where a few form factors covers virtually everyone. 

    For the PC market, the usage is much more varied. It’s like a collection of niches with a wide breadth of workflows and wider price range. A laptop designed for the Enterprise market is different from a laptop for a consumer. A workstation is a lot different from a standard PC.

    They shouldn’t go crazy, but they need to fill their current gaps. A MBA15 is one. They need a Mac mini from 1000 to 2000. The iMac fills those prices, but a lot people don’t want an AIO. They need a $800 laptop model. They can probably sell a $6000 workstation laptop. 

    So, still a lot of gaps they can fill before it becomes redundant. 
    Calamander
  • Reply 19 of 32
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,838member
    jdw said:
    On some level, the more options available to savvy consumers, the better in regards to getting the right Mac for the job.  But on the other hand, a more complex product lineup makes it harder to choose.  I still wonder what Steve would do if he was here.  When Steve came back to Apple in the 1990's, he took an axe to the Newton and all the complexity of the Mac product line to simply it.  I'm therefore torn in how I feel.  I like options personally, but the Mac landscape seems to be getting overly complex, especially with the existence of the 13" MacBook which hasn't had a design update and therefore still offers the TouchBar, which Apple has largely phased out.  This adds a bit of confusion to the product lineup.
    Steve did that for two inter-related reasons:
    1. The lineup was a convoluted mess that confused customers 
    2. Apple was having severe inventory management and cash flow problems due to difficulty predicting which models would sell best

    Really, he had no choice as Apple would have died if he hadn’t done it.

    The situation today is different:
    Apple’s user base is massively larger and generally more tech literate; plus there are more free resources available (e.g. YouTube) to help people select the right model. Apple is also in rude financial health so could easily afford a demand mis-prediction, and in any case supply chains are generally more flexible now (excluding temporary Covid-induced hiccups of course) and demand can be responded to more dynamically.

    Finally, having said all that, Apple’s lineup is still a damn sight more intelligible than many competitors. Have you been to the Dell, HP, Acer or Asus websites lately?

    muthuk_vanalingamCalamander
  • Reply 20 of 32
    timmilleatimmillea Posts: 115member
    The current MacBook Air is really the MacBook - the Mac laptop for most people.

    An approx 12" MacBook Air which is smaller, lighter, more luxurious and more expensive would restore the original market segment of the MacBook Air. 
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