There have been a lot of rumors floating around that we’re going to get a major new product launch at the developer event, and it wouldn’t be out of character for Apple to mix it up and introduce a consumer product rather than one that is geared more towards the industry professional set. Apple WWDC 2023 is just around the corner.
After all, the Apple M2 chip, the brand-new MacBook Pro 13-inch, and the completely rethought MacBook Air were all unveiled at the Apple WWDC 2022 conference. Now, there are rumors that Apple is planning to release an even larger 15-inch MacBook Air in the next two months. If this turns out to be true, then I’m sure that there are going to be some people who are going to be excited by the new, larger Mac ultraportable (or at least something that resembles an ultraportable).
I, on the other hand, would not be one of them, and I believe that it would be a massive mistake for Apple to try to meddle with what is undoubtedly the best laptop available on the market for the majority of people — particularly if it comes with a price increase to go along with its ever-so-slightly larger display.
The MacBook Air with a 13-inch display is almost ideal in every way
The disadvantage of Apple releasing a MacBook Air with a screen size of 15 inches is that the company currently offers what is perhaps the best-sized ultraportable notebook on the market. In general, a laptop with a screen size of 15 inches is considered to be about the perfect size for a higher-performance model, and many of the best Windows laptops have this screen size.
However, because the improved technology of a 15-inch laptop takes more power than that of a 14- or 13-inch laptop, the batteries in those laptops are typically larger and heavier. This makes it difficult to transport such machines.
You get a magnificent 13-inch display with the MacBook Air, which is more than sufficient for 98% of the work that nearly any user of a MacBook Air is going to put it through. In the meantime, the MacBook Pro comes with a 15-inch display. You will also obtain a substantially more compact chassis that can be carried in a tote bag or a backpack without difficulty.
Additionally, the keyboard, trackpad, and speakers are quite well-engineered, which means that you scarcely notice that you are typing on a 13-inch laptop rather than something much larger than that. Even while you won’t receive the same level of performance as you would from a 15-inch laptop, that’s not the point of the best 13-inch laptops. The objective of these laptops is not to be high-performance computers; rather, they are intended to be versatile computing devices that can be used for a variety of purposes, including business, education, or even simply for pleasure.
When it comes to this, there is no other laptop that compares to the MacBook Air. It’s the perfect balance of portability and convenience for a MacBook. This device is doomed to fail if it tries in any way to emulate a laptop with a screen size of 15 inches. No matter what Apple has cooking with the M3 chip, it wouldn’t be ready for this MacBook Air if it’s released in June, and an M2 chip just isn’t going to hold its own against an Intel i7 or i9 processor in a competing 15-inch Windows laptop — especially not if it’s paired with a hefty Nvidia 4000-series GPU. This is because the M3 chip will not be ready for this MacBook Air until later this year.
The 13-inch MacBook Air is wonderful the way it is (other than the color choices, but that’s a whole other subject), and introducing a 15-inch model is only going to drive people to buy it over the 13-inch model because “bigger is better!” when, in this situation, it really is not better at all.
A MacBook Air that is more expensive and powerful would contradict the device’s purpose
We are aware that the price of the 15-inch MacBook Air will be higher than the price of the 13-inch model, which presents yet another potential issue with this laptop. It may only be an increase of $100, but with the M2 MacBook Air already increasing the price over the M1 MacBook Air, you’re starting to get up to the price of a MacBook Pro if the new MacBook Air 15-inch comes in at a higher price than the new MacBook Air 13-inch. This is because the M2 MacBook Air already increased the price over the M1 MacBook Air.
The price of the MacBook Air is not intended to be high; rather, it is designed to be affordable for a diverse range of customers. If Apple were to release a MacBook Air with a 15-inch display, the price would almost definitely become too expensive for the vast majority of consumers, and the device’s performance would fall short of the standards expected by more experienced users.
The types of consumers who are likely to opt for a 15-inch laptop because it offers more performance are just going to purchase themselves a new 14-inch MacBook Pro or a 16-inch MacBook Pro, and there is no amount of price advantage on a 15-inch MacBook Air that is going to convince those buyers to go with the Air.
And a MacBook Air with a screen size of 15 inches is not going to help those individuals who believe they need a little bit more than what the 13-inch model of the MacBook Air can provide for them. If it comes pre-installed with the M2 chip, its performance in comparison to that of the 13-inch model will be almost exactly the same. In addition, even if the display will be larger, it won’t be significantly larger enough to warrant the higher price.
If it does wind up launching with an M2 Pro processor as an option, it will lose some of the best features that the MacBook Air has to offer, such as fanless cooling, and it is likely that Apple will need to disable certain GPU cores in order to meet the power requirements. This would result in an experience that is inferior to that provided by an M2-Pro processor when, at that point, you could simply pay a little bit more money and purchase a MacBook Pro 14-inch model equipped with an M2-Pro processor instead.
Apple may introduce a number of other items that are significantly more intriguing in their place
If Apple truly wants to make a splash at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), it could introduce a few products instead that would make a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things.
First on the list would be a brand-new Mac Pro, of course. The Mac Pro (2019), the most recent iteration of Apple’s professional workstation, will soon turn four years old. It is also the only Apple product that is still being manufactured that does not have Apple’s own silicon components. The Worldwide Developers Conference in 2023 would be an ideal moment to introduce a new Mac Pro that is powered by an M2 Ultra chip.
Alternately, there is one device, the iMac, that has been languishing without much affection for nearly two years and could benefit from getting an update to M2 Pro. This is the case since the iMac has the potential to run more advanced software. Even though the M1 chip that will be powering the 2021 iMac is amazing, we have already shown that an M2 Pro chip can run a Mac Mini, so it is a no-brainer to put that chip into the iMac. The iMac is without a doubt the best all-in-one computer that is currently available on the market.
Either one of these, or even both of them, being introduced at WWDC 2023 would make for a far more interesting event, and it would genuinely give us something refreshing rather than a slightly larger copy of the MacBook Air that is unlikely to please anyone in particular. The event would be held in 2023.
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