Apple could launch new 15-inch MacBook Air with two M2 options
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that the company is prepping two versions of the MacBook Air. Both models will be equipped with a 15-inch display.
Kuo's latest prediction says that Apple's next laptop is a 15-inch MacBook, and it will belong to the MacBook Air family. Last year, he had said that the laptop would go into production in the 1st half of 2023, and would be unveiled in the 2nd half of the year. He had also mentioned that Apple would launch a 15-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chipset. He was slightly off the mark with that analysis, as Apple did announce a MacBook Pro, only it didn't have a 15-inch screen. The laptops come with a 14-inch display and a 16-inch panel (pictured above).
Apple may launch two versions of the 15-inch MacBook Air
The interesting bit in Kuo's Tweet is that the new 15-inch MacBook Air models could come in two M2 options. The analyst says that 2 spec options will be similar to the 13-inch model of the M2 MacBook Air, the only difference being that the higher-end version will have more cores. For context, the base version of the M2 MacBook Air has an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. The more expensive model of the laptop has two extra cores for the GPU, i.e., a 10-core GPU.
As you may know, Apple halted the production of its M2 processors earlier this year. There is a possibility that it did so to cut down on the M2 MacBooks, which have not been selling well. The Cupertino company saw its biggest drop in revenue in over 23 years, during the first quarter of 2023. Apple wasn't the only one impacted, many PC makers also took a hit. Experts believe that a 15-inch laptop powered by an Apple Silicon M2 would appeal to consumers, more than the smaller-sized notebook.
It would make sense for Apple to resume the production of the M2 SoC once the final design of the 15-inch model is ready for the factory floor. Of course, it may also opt to use its current stocks of the chipset to manufacture the new laptops until the next-gen chipset is ready. Speaking of which, Kuo says that Apple will only begin mass production of the M3 chips in the 2nd half of the year. It could be done ahead of the M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max.
Apple could ship 6 million units of the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air
This in turn could mean that Apple is prepping to launch a new MacBook Air with the M3 later this year, around September, alongside the iPhone 15 series. The company may not want the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air to compete with the M3 MacBook Air, so the latter could be a 13-inch model. That is what some rumors have suggested so far.
Kuo says that the shipment estimates for the 15-inch MacBook Air are reportedly expected to be around 5-6 million units. Sales of the devices are expected to peak between early Q3 2023 and late Q3 2023. That is around the same timeframe when the next-gen iPhone and Macs are expected to be unveiled, after which consumers may opt to buy the newer models.
Apple is set to host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2023), at Apple Park from June 5 to 9. We can expect more information about the 15-inch MacBook Air, and possibly refreshed versions of the iMac, and Mac Pro. The Silicon Valley giant is also set to introduce the next iterations of its operating systems; iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14.
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