Along with a new report on the next-gen iMac that’s in testing, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared details on expectations for the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops like chips and launch dates, plus when Apple could launch the M3 OLED iPad Pro.
In his Power On newsletter, after focusing on some exciting news about the next-gen iMac, Mark detailed more about Apple’s laptop and tablet plans.
New 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air
The report highlights the MacBook Air updates are imminent but some of the specifics like which chip will be used are “slightly less clear.”
While it could work to put the older M2 chip in the all-new 15-inch MacBook Air, Mark thinks 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 may still excite consumers, but a new M2 13-inch MacBook Air is unlikely to be compelling. So it’s plausible that Apple is gearing up 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 believes it may just be named “MacBook.”)
However, with how close these launches could be, it’s possible 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 soon as April – or at least before June – that could make sense if it comes with the M2/M2 Pro while holding back the 13-inch version until WWDC when it announces the M3 chip.
However, Mark doesn’t specify an expectation for the launch date for either of the new MacBook Air laptops other than they’re scheduled to arrive between “late spring and summer.” That’s in contrast to Ross Young who believes the 15-inch model could arrive as soon as early April.
Mark says the M3 will be an important shift as Apple moves from a 5-nanometer to 3nm chip design that will bring a “major 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 touchscreen MacBook
Looking ahead, the report says to expect the M3 chip to land in a new OLED iPad Pro in the first half of 2024. That lines up with Apple’s trend of updating its tablets in the spring as well as corroborating what we’ve heard from Ross Young.
And in two years Mark says “even more exciting Mac upgrades will come as early as 2025.” As he previously reported, that could be Apple’s first MacBook with a touch screen and OLED display.
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