MacBook Air M3 tipped to get a surprisingly stealthy launch soon

A man presenting new Apple MacBook laptops
(Image credit: Apple)

Update: The rumors were true and Apple did indeed announce the new MacBook Air M3 in both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes.

Original story continues below...

We’ve heard for some time that Apple is on the brink of launching a new MacBook Air M3 in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. But if you’ve been hoping for a glitzy event that'll give you an in-depth tour of the laptop, don't get your hopes up – Apple has apparently shelved plans for a special release show this March.

Instead of the traditional March event that Apple hosts most years, the company will apparently choose to launch the new 13-inch and MacBook Air 15-inch models solely on its website. 

This process will allegedly involve “a series of online videos and marketing campaigns.” That’s according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, whose Power On newsletter has spilled the beans on Apple’s upcoming plans.

Gurman hasn’t cited any sources for this information, but he has a strong track record when it comes to Apple leaks and information. That lends some weight to his claims.

Still, it feels like a strange decision given that the 2024 MacBook Air is set to get Apple’s next-generation M3 chip for the first time. The M3 series has already made a splash in the MacBook Pro 16-inch and iMac 24-inch, where it has brought some impressive performance increases over the previous-generation M2. 

You’d think Apple would want to show that off at a large-scale event, but apparently that won't be the case. Instead, it looks like the new MacBook Air M3 could land either this week or next, according to a separate post on X (formerly Twitter) by Mark Gurman, with shipping potentially at the end of the month.

New products this week?

MacBook Air 15-inch (2023)

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The choice seems even more unusual when you consider what else Apple is expected to announce in the coming weeks. 

There are apparently major changes coming to the iPad, with the iPad Pro getting an OLED panel and the iPad Air gaining an all-new 12.9-inch size. Those are significant changes, but they apparently aren’t going to be granted the launch event treatment either.

And that’s not all. There have also been whispers that Apple is planning on revamping the iPad’s Magic Keyboard and launching a new Apple Pencil. All in all, that’s a lot of new products and surely enough to fill out a show on release day.

But if there’s no event on the horizon, when might we see all these new devices? Gurman’s report claims that “special version of iOS 17.4 with support for the new hardware is scheduled for the end of the month,” meaning new products could appear in late March or early April.

Gurman later clarified on X (formerly Twitter) by saying that Apple Stores are planning a “minor refresh this week (which could be for new accessories like the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil), with a “larger refresh” next week – which might hint at the new MacBooks and iPads.

Whatever the timing, it’s looking increasingly likely that Apple is going to skip its March event for the second year in a row – if it wasn’t, and if Gurman’s timing is correct, Apple would likely have announced its show by now. The fact that it hasn’t seems to tell the whole story.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.