With Apple’s WWDC 2023 event now just a matter of weeks away (it kicks off on June 5), yet more rumors are swirling about the company announcing a 15-inch MacBook Air at the event – and having dismissed these rumors at first, I’m now starting to change my mind.
Apple, as usual, hasn't confirmed anything, and doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation, but the fact that so many rumors are popping up about a totally new MacBook Air makes it seem more likely than ever that a 15-inch model will be shown off sooner rather than later.
The latest speculation, published by MacRumors, references a research note by Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring that claims that a company that builds parts for Apple, Quanta Computer, is ramping up production of certain laptops in the second half of this year, which could be a sign that Apple is building up stock of a new MacBook – the 15-inch MacBook Air being most likely.
Apple’s MacBook sales haven’t been too hot recently (in fact, laptop sales as a whole have slumped as the cost of living is rising quickly for many people), so it doesn’t make sense for Apple to order a load of extra units of products that aren’t currently flying off shelves. However, if it is about to launch a brand-new MacBook, with a unique design, then stockpiling units makes a lot more sense.
This follows rumors from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, a well-known Apple leaker, which apparently detailed more information about the upcoming MacBooks.
Kind of convincing
All of this has made me change my mind about the rumors. When I first read about a potential 15-inch MacBook Air, I was very sceptical. It just didn’t make sense to me: while the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) remains our number one choice for the best laptop you can buy right now, a big part of its appeal is its thin and light design, making it a great portable laptop.
So, Apple making a bigger, more expensive, version of the MacBook Air just didn’t seem to make sense to me. Last year’s model had a whole new design, including new screen tech, so Apple would need to create new bodies and screens for any 15-inch model – which would be pricey, and another reason why I doubted what I had read.
The final reason for me doubting that a MacBook Air 15-inch would be revealed at WWDC 2023 is that it’s looking increasingly likely that Apple could announce its long-rumored AR/VR headset – and if that happens, any new MacBook that’s also announced could be lost in the excitement over the headset. That was something I thought Apple would want to avoid.
If the rumors are true, then Apple has a lot of faith in a 15-inch MacBook Air becoming a success. However, while the sheer number of rumors has changed my mind about the existence of a MacBook Air 15-inch, I’m still not convinced that it’s a good idea – and I doubt I’ll buy one.
That's not just because I’m broke at the moment (though that is a big reason), but a MacBook Air 15-inch doesn’t seem to offer anything new and exciting for me. I’m not a massive fan of 15-inch laptops as I travel a lot for work, and I find 15 inches and above to be too big to carry around comfortably, or to work on public transport.
I’m currently using the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022), which offers excellent performance in a form factor that I can work on when traveling. It seems, according to rumors, that the MacBook Air 15-inch will feature the same M2 chip – so apart from better cooling, it likely won’t perform any better than the slightly older MacBook.
I have to say, though, that the new screen of the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) was gorgeous, so having a larger 15-inch display certainly would be tempting, especially for people who use their MacBooks for creative tasks such as video editing and photography.
However, I use mine for writing and music recording, and when I’m not carrying it around it’s plugged into an external monitor. So, I’m now convinced that the MacBook Air 15-inch is real,– but if Apple wants my money, it needs to do a whole lot more to convince me that it’s worth me buying.