In recent years, Apple has been tweaking its MacBook lineup, and nowhere is this more perceptible to consumers than in the size change. The 15-inch has long been the standard in the MacBook Pro lineup, dating back to the PowerBook G4 era, until 2019, when the 16-inch MacBook Pro was introduced and the 15-inch model disappeared.
It's interesting that the 15-inch that was off the MacBook Pro for three years may be on the MacBook Air.
MacBook Air has a new addition
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman mentions in his latest report that Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air that will be released as early as spring 2023, according to people familiar with the matter.
Compared to the 13.6-inch MacBook Air, the 15-inch has a wider screen than the former. The 15-inch version, which was scheduled for release this year, has also been delayed until next year as Apple is focusing all its efforts on the 13.6-inch MacBook Air.
It's unclear whether the 15-inch MacBook Air will also feature the M2 chip. However, the report suggests that Apple plans to launch the MacBook Pro with the M2 Pro and M2 Max later this year, with the M2 Max having 12 main CPU cores and 38 GPU cores.
The inference is that there are two possibilities for the 15-inch MacBook Air chip - one is to continue with the M2 chip; the other is to devolve to the M1 Pro chip.
Apple said at WWDC 22 that the M2 performance is 18 percent better in CPU performance and 35 percent better in GPU performance compared to the M1. The M1 Pro has 30% better CPU performance and 70% better GPU performance than the M1. That still translates into better overall performance for the M1 Pro than the M2.
Following this logic, it's possible that Apple could take the product plans for the MacBook Pro line and transpose them to the MacBook Air line, with the larger size version being more powerful and the smaller size being thinner and lighter.
12-inch MacBook 'Resurrected'
Speaking of smaller sizes, Apple had introduced a 12-inch MacBook in 2015. rather sadly, this was only updated for three generations and was officially discontinued in 2019.
For the ultimate in thinness and lightness, the 12-inch MacBook sheds some of its performance and, at less than 1KG, makes it the best thin and light book of its time.
Apple dropped the 12-inch MacBook for three reasons: 1. overly compact design; 2. limited performance; and 3. overlapping market positioning.
To compress the 12-inch MacBook body to less than 1.3 cm, Apple developed the first butterfly keyboard, keeping only two ports throughout and even removing the logo light from the A-side.
While the 5W Core M-series chip, paired with a fanless design, can keep up with the demands of the 12-inch MacBook's battery life, it also leaves its performance extremely limited. These seemingly thin and light designs have in turn become a cause for criticism by users.
Plus, the 12-inch MacBook was at an awkward stage, with the return of the thin and light MacBook Air on top and the productivity-as-a-main-selling-point iPad on the bottom.
When you look at this product again, you can only say that it was "born at the wrong time. If Apple had introduced its own M-series chips, the 12-inch MacBook's fate might have been reversed.
After years, news of a 12-inch MacBook has finally hit the web again. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says Apple plans to launch a 12-inch MacBook Air in late 2023 or early 2024.
Previously, there were rumors that the 12-inch MacBook would be resurrected. Now it appears that Apple has no intention of rebooting the lineup, but instead has moved the 12-inch directly to the MacBook Air.
Reasons for MacBook Air product line changes
If the news is true, the MacBook Air lineup will be further refined. The reason why Apple is doing this is actually quite simple, thanks to the strong performance of its own M-series chips and lower power consumption ratio, which makes the MacBook series products sell more and more.
According to IDC's 2022 Q1 Global PC Report, Apple ranked fourth with 7.2 million units shipped and an 8.9 percent market share, up 4.3 percent year-over-year from last year. In fact, the first quarter of this year, the PC market as a whole is not recessionary, Apple can achieve growth in such a large environment, indicating that the M series chip to make the credit.
The MacBook Air, Apple's best-selling entry-level notebook, has a refined product offering that provides users with more choices.
For example, the 12-inch MacBook Air is for those who want the ultimate in thinness and lightness but need some performance; the 13.6-inch MacBook Air is the all-rounder of thin and light notebooks; and the 15-inch MacBook Air is for those who need more performance and a larger screen, but also require some portability.
Of course, the three MacBook Air models could also just be different screen sizes, with performance remaining the same and different sizes just to meet the needs of different users of thin and light notebook screens.