Apple is expected to release a redesigned version of its popular MacBook Air later this year, but new reports are suggesting that a 15-inch version could also be in the pipeline for 2023. This would be a first for the MacBook Air family, which used to offer a smaller 11-inch version until 2016.
The information about the 15-inch MacBook Air came first from the latest quarterly report from Display Supply Chain Consultants, which was released earlier this week. DSCC analyst Ross Young has since followed up on Twitter to add that the 2022 MacBook Air may see its screen go from 13.3″ to 13.6″, and that the bigger model expected for 2023 may have come with a 15.2” screen.
This new 15.2” MacBook may actually drop the “Air” brand according to Young, a fact that’s also been confirmed by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The second analyst also believes that the bigger MacBook may use the same 30W power adapter as the current 13.3″ MacBook, and that production could start in Q4 2023.
Predictions for Apple's potential 15" notebook in 2023:
1. Mass production in 4Q23 if all goes to plan.
2. Although a larger display generally consumes more power, the design goal is to use the same 30W power adapter as MacBook Air.
3. It might not be called MacBook Air. https://t.co/R3UfxNWZW1
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 24, 2022
Since Apple discontinued its 12-inch MacBook in 2019, the MacBook Air has remained Apple’s most affordable laptop starting at $999. To get a bigger screen, the current choices include the redesigned 14” and 16” MacBook Pros, which start at $1999 and $2499, respectively. Hopefully, this new 15.2” MacBook/Air will be more affordable than that.
Apple’s MacBook Air has remained a popular consumer laptop for many years, and it’s often being credited for being the origin of the “ultrabook” laptop category. If 13-inch screens probably remain the sweet spot for most consumers, there’s still an audience for bigger laptops. It’s something that a company like Microsoft also believes in, with the company releasing 15-inch versions of its Surface Laptop 3 and 4 in recent years.
Since Apple kicked off its transition to Apple Silicon back in Fall 2020, there’s definitely been a renewed interest in Macs, even though some designs (including the MacBook Air) now look pretty dated. Still, Apple’s focus on vertical integration allows the company to better integrate hardware and software than its competitors, and so far it’s hard to deny that the company has released more impressive Apple Silicon Macs than the Windows on ARM competition.