Is the MacBook Air on Apple's chopping block?

MacBook Air 2015

There will be no new MacBook Air models this year, as Apple is preparing to ditch its most wallet-friendly laptop. At least that's the latest rumor, fueling previous speculation and perhaps lending a little more weight to the prospect of a serious rejig of Cupertino's notebooks in 2016.

As spotted by BGR, tech blogger Jack March claims to have a source who has given him a "strong indication" that Apple won't be launching new MacBook Air models, and that this is the end of the road for the feathery-light portables.

He's not the only pundit to argue against the MacBook Air appearing this year, as others have suggested that a simpler line-up of just the MacBook and MacBook Pro would make sense.

March believes we will see MacBook Pro models that are thinner and lighter than the current Air. By that logic, this year's 13-inch MacBook Pro would effectively be the MacBook Air Retina notebook that folks have been keenly anticipating for years.

Furthermore, Apple seems to have killed off the iPad Air line in favor of the iPad Pro, so perhaps the Air brand has outlived its usefulness all together (particularly given the fact that all MacBooks are now thin and light).

It's worth noting that Blogger March was previously on the money when his sources revealed details on last year's 12-inch MacBook, along with that it was inbound as a new separate brand, and wouldn't be a "12-inch MacBook Air" model.

Money matters

That said, there are strong counterarguments to consider. As we discussed recently in our MacBook Air 2016 news and rumors hub, it is possible that Apple will ditch the Air – but it doesn't seem too likely a prospect, particularly if you look at it from the pricing angle.

MacBooks aren't cheap by any means, but at least the MacBook Air starts at $899 (£749), a much friendlier-looking price compared to the 12-inch MacBook starting at $1,299 (£1,049).

Apple is doing well selling its computers right now – managing growth with its Mac range, swimming very much against the tide – so cutting out the relatively affordable player in Cupertino's notebook range seems like a risky move. In other words, why rock the boat?

Another possibility is that Apple will kill off the smallest 11-inch MacBook Air, and keep the larger model. At any rate, we won't have to wait too long to find out what's planned, as MacBook announcements will likely be coming at WWDC in June.

MacBook Air (early 2015) Deals:

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).