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15″ MacBook Air is coming with bittersweet news, according to rumors

Recalibrating expectations

15″ MacBook Air is coming with bittersweet news, according to rumors
David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

  • Updated:

The expected 15-inch MacBook Air is approaching at full speed. According to rumors we will see its presentation at the WWDC 2023 that will start this coming June 5. While we wait, however, the news accompanying this launch is somewhat bittersweet, according to rumors shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

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With the best of M2, but without M3

The good news is that the new 15-inch MacBook Air is expected to be available with two M2 chip configuration options, but there won’t be as many options as previously predicted. Kuo has revised, in a tweet, his previous forecast that the 15-inch MacBook Pro could be configured with either M2 or M2 Pro chips to leave out the latter.

Recall that the 13-inch MacBook Air launched last year with the M2 chip is available in two GPU variants: 8-core and 10-core. Something similar to what happened with the 2020 M1 model, which had 7-core and 8-core GPU options and the same is expected to happen with the 15-inch MacBook Air. A computer that will allow us to choose between the 8-core M2, the 10-core M2, but not the M2 Pro.

Nor the M3, in fact. In another tweet, Kuo claims that the M3 chip, which was rumored to be available for this launch, is still months away. According to the analyst, mass production of the M3 chip will begin in the second half of 2023, a bit earlier than the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.

As far as we know, Apple would use the M3 chip for future models of the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the refreshed 24-inch iMac and the Mac mini. Meanwhile, the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips would be destined for the upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which Gurman expects to launch during the first half of 2024, probably during a spring event.

Recall that we expect the M3 chip to be manufactured using TSMC’s latest 3 nm process, compared to 5 nm for the M2 chip. As a 3 nm chip, the M3 should offer significant improvements in both performance and power efficiency. A much more far-reaching evolution than the leap from M1 to M2 and one from which all machines will benefit greatly.

So, while we are counting on the M2 chip – both 8-core and 10-core – for the new MacBook Airs, the rest of the chips would be left out of the equation for this launch. A launch for which Kuo confirms that the new model will be marketed explicitly as a 15-inch MacBook Air, rather than as a new product line. With very little traction, some rumors of the naming “MacBook” had sounded.

Regardless of the name, this device is expected to be a hit, with Kuo claiming it will reach roughly five to six million units sold in 2023 alone. Now, whether we will see it right during WWDC or a little earlier, perhaps via press release, is a mystery. More if we take into account that we expect a lot of news at this developer conference, so clearing part of the release schedule is a possibility.

In any case, while we wait for the date, it is worth remembering that we are always talking about rumors. Whether it’s the timing of the M3 chips, naming or configuration options, Apple could change plans at fairly short notice. It’s something we already saw last year with the Mac launch delayed to January 2023 and we can’t rule it out. What we do know for sure is that this WWDC 2023 is going to be bumpy in the best sense.

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David Bernal Raspall

David Bernal Raspall

Architect | Founder of hanaringo.com | Apple Technologies Trainer | Writer at Softonic and iDoo_tech, formerly at Applesfera

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