MacBook Air M3 could launch in March, but there's bad news for desktop Mac users

Screenshots from WWDC 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

A new leak has claimed that new 13- and 15-inch models of the MacBook Air equipped with Apple’s new M3 chip will be launching in March 2024, following the release of the M3 MacBook Pro and M3 iMac 24-inch in October.

The M3 model of the MacBook Air has been hotly anticipated for a while now, with some Apple fans surprised to see Apple prioritizing its Pro laptop over the more popular Air when it came to rolling out its new silicon. The new 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 only launched in June of this year, though, so it’s likely Apple didn’t want to oversaturate the market.

The claim comes from Bloomburg’s Mark Gurman in his ‘Power On’ newsletter, which also detailed new iPad models slated for 2024. Unfortunately for Apple’s more professional user base, Gurman also believes that the Mac Pro and Mac Studio desktop computers won’t see an M3 upgrade until later in 2024 at the very earliest, with a 2025 release likely. 

Gurman’s sources have frequently proven correct in the past, so while we should take this rumor with the appropriate saline sprinkle, it’s probably accurate.

Opinion: The M3 MacBook Air is the laptop I’ve been waiting for

Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

(Image credit: Future)

While the M3 models of the MacBook Pro and iMac were certainly impressive, the M3 MacBook Air is the model I’ve really been looking forward to seeing. Apple’s Pro laptops are, quite frankly, too expensive to warrant mainstream interest. Don’t even get me started on the cost of upgrading the RAM and storage, either.

The Air, on the other hand, comes in at a more accessible price point and is also smaller and lighter – or at least, the 13-inch MacBook Air is. I have my own objections to the 15-inch model’s existence, but this isn’t the place to get into that debate.

In any case, an M3-powered 13-inch Air has the potential to be the single best compact laptop on the market. The M3 chip represents a bigger generational step up in performance compared to the one seen between the M1 and M2 chips – to the point where we all still feel pretty comfortable recommending the more affordable 2020 M1 MacBook Air here at TechRadar.

If the performance of the M3 MacBook Pro (both the 14- and 16-inch versions) is anything to go on, we could be getting a seriously impressive laptop with the M3 MacBook Air. Heck, it might even be the Apple laptop that finally makes gaming on macOS a genuine option…

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Christian Guyton
Editor, Computing

Christian is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing Editor. He came to us from Maximum PC magazine, where he fell in love with computer hardware and building PCs. He was a regular fixture amongst our freelance review team before making the jump to TechRadar, and can usually be found drooling over the latest high-end graphics card or gaming laptop before looking at his bank account balance and crying.

Christian is a keen campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights and the owner of a charming rescue dog named Lucy, having adopted her after he beat cancer in 2021. She keeps him fit and healthy through a combination of face-licking and long walks, and only occasionally barks at him to demand treats when he’s trying to work from home.