Along with a new report on the next-gen iMac-in-test, Bloomberg’s Markus Gurman shared details on expectations for the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops like chips and launch dates, as well as when Apple could launch the M3 OLED iPad Pro.
After focusing on some exciting news about the next-gen iMac, Mark explained more about Apple’s laptop and tablet plans in his Power On newsletter.
New 13 and 15 inch MacBook Air
The report highlights that MacBook Air updates are imminent, but some of the specifics, like the chip used, are “a little less clear.”
While putting the older M2 chip in the all-new 15-inch MacBook Air might work, Mark believes Apple is more likely to put the M3 in the refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air.
He says, “A 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip might still excite consumers, but a new M2 13-inch MacBook Air is unlikely to impress. So it’s plausible that Apple is preparing for at least the new 13-inch model to be an M3 machine.”
Interestingly, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple will offer the M2 or M2 Pro in the upcoming 15-inch MacBook Air (although he thinks it could just be called “MacBook”).
However, given how close those launches could be, it’s possible that Apple has decided to put the M3 in both the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops.
If Apple is trying to launch the 15-inch MacBook Air as early as April – or at least before June – that could make sense if it ships with the M2/M2 Pro while the 13-inch version is up being held back to WWDC when it announces the M3 chip.
However, Mark doesn’t give an expectation for the launch date for any of the new MacBook Air laptops, other than that they should arrive between “late spring and summer.” That’s in contrast to Ross Young, who believes the 15-inch model could launch as early as April.
Mark says the M3 will be an important change as Apple moves from a 5nm to a 3nm chip design that will bring a “significant boost” in power efficiency and performance.
While we just saw Apple launch the M2 Pro and M2 Max with the latest MacBook Pro, Mark says it will likely be 2024 before Apple launches the M3 Pro and M3 Max.
M3 OLED iPad Pro and MacBook with touchscreen
Looking ahead, the report expects the M3 chip to end up in a new OLED iPad Pro in the first half of 2024. That fits with Apple’s trend of spring refreshes on its tablets, and confirms what we’ve heard from Ross Jung.
And in two years, Mark says, “Even more exciting Mac upgrades are coming as early as 2025.” As he previously reported, this could be Apple’s first MacBook with a touchscreen and OLED display.
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