Updated March 5: Article originally published on March 4.
The launch of the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro, joining the M2 MacBook Air, completes the macOS laptop portfolio, moving from the M1 architecture to the M2. Those looking for something bigger have no choice but to switch to the MacBook Pro, even if they don’t need the extra power and performance in Pro laptops.
This is set to change as Apple prepares for a better option for consumers than the MacBook Pro.
Update: Sunday, March 5: Writing for Bloomberg’s Power On newsletterMark Gurman highlights the controversy that continues to rage within Apple. Should the next MacBook Air stick with the M2 chipset and allow the larger screen to be the main selling point, or should it follow precedent and also pack more expensive Apple Silicon:
But the chip for the new MacBook Air models is somewhat less clear. If these devices launch in a few months with the M2 chip, they will quickly become obsolete. The 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip may still excite consumers, but without The new 13-inch MacBook Air M2 will likely be in disguise.”
Chip selection feels like the good old days of the MacBook when the option of a larger screen was only available if you bought a machine with more power. Will Apple go through with it and raise the price on the new MacBook Air because of the chipset choice?
Back in the days of Intel, there was a natural hierarchy in the MacBook portfolio. Light and thin means less processing power but more comfort. This was where the MacBook Air was. Since you asked for more power, I raised the wallet to the MacBook Pro, which is bigger and bulkier, with better thermal options and, of course, more expensive.
Apple Silicon turned all of that around. The launch of the M1-powered MacBook Air delivered more power than today’s Intel MacBook Pro by a significant margin. The Mac owner’s consumer level could no longer rely on larger, more expensive laptops, because the MacBook Air had more than enough for the amount of display and software development that the enthusiast hobbyist or small business owner needed.
For the MacBook Pro, the M1 Pro and M1 Max have pushed the performance envelope even higher, and the M2 Pro and M2 Max are building on that. Pro laptops have workstation-like power and performance. While some will continue to buy a MacBook Pro because of its “Pro” name status (and perhaps old habits from the Intel days), those who really need a MacBook Pro are a smaller portion of the addressable MacBook crowd.
The launch of the next generation M2 chipset has expanded the flexibility of the MacBook Air to a level like never before. In an instant, the MacBook Air became fit for purpose for countless users (the less said about the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 the better).
All that’s missing from the mix is something loyal macOS users have asked Apple for many times…a MacBook Air with a larger screen to match the options available on Windows machines.
The long-awaited Big Air On her way. Proposals have been requested, certificates requested, and Production lines started. At some point over the next few months — presumably, before the augmented reality festival that will be WWDC 2023 — Apple will introduce a 15-inch MacBook Air with power that will rival the fastest and most expensive MacBook Pro from Intel’s days of old.
You’ll hit the sweet spot for performance, size, and price. This is the laptop you’ve been waiting for.
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and AirPods headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop news roundup…
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