The 15-inch MacBook Air won't have the chip you wanted

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
(Image credit: Android Central)

At this point, there's a very good chance that Apple is going to announce the 15-inch MacBook Air during the WWDC23 opening keynote in June. The only real questions are about specifics. Like which chips will be on offer.

We were already pretty resigned to the fact that we wouldn't be getting anything too fancy, with the M2 Pro and M2 Max unlikely to find a home in such a device. The M3 chip also seemed unlikely based on previous reports, but now that's been backed up by supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuuo not only says that we won't see an M3 in the 15-inch MacBook Air, but that we will get two versions of the M2 much like the configuration options available for the 13-inch MacBook Air. The M2 is available in 7 and 8-core GPU options in that laptop. But if you're still battling between a MacBook Pro vs a MacBook Air, the 15-incher isn't going to shift the dial when it comes to power in Apple's most portable range.

No M3 just yet

In a post to Twitter Kuo said that the M3 chip is expected to begin mass production in the second half of 2023, "slightly ahead of M3 Pro and M3 Max." He goes on to say that the 15-inch MacBook Air is expected to ship up to six million units.

When it does arrive the 15-inch MacBook Air could be the best Mac for most people thanks to its combination of portability and screen size. That might depend on the price that the laptop is sold at but that isn't something that we have seen reported so far.

Kuo also confirmed that the 15-inch MacBook Air will use that particular moniker. That wasn't something that was always nailed on with some wondering if Apple would start a whole new lineup of laptops to cater for this particular model. With that in mind, it would appear we can expect this machine to just be a super-sized version of the model already sold.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Up_And_Away
    Not a deal breaker at all imho. If you are buying an “Air” then your target workload is moderate. The M2 is much more than sufficient to handle that workload. If you need something to handle a bigger workload then the Air is the wrong choice. The 14 or 16 Pro is your target.