New MacBook Air shipments could reach seven million in 2022 – but will they sell?

A row of colorful MacBook Air renders against a plain backdrop
(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

According to a new report that surfaced just a day before Apple’s WWDC 2022 event, we might have a locked-in number of shipments for the highly-anticipated MacBook Air 2022 refresh.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a well known and accurate analyst on Twitter, stated in a new status update that the MacBook Air 2022 should be seeing a shipment amount of “6-7mn units if Quanta's Shanghai capacity can be back to pre-lockdown level before 3Q22.”

See more

The tweet then elaborated that the delivery system for the new MacBook Air should be an improvement over the current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models due to two companies handling it. The first being Quanta and the second Foxconn, versus the current Pro laptops only being delivered by Quanta.

The major reason for these shipment delays are massive supply constraints, which is tied to the current COVID-19-related lockdowns in China. These supply constraints have already cost Apple $6 billion in the last two quarters, and that amount could go up to $8 billion.

The reopening of factories in Shanghai is critical for Apple and many other technology companies bottom line as we head into what should have been a good year for tech purchases. 

A combination of supply constraints driving up inflation across the world and souring consumer sentiment on the economy in many places is making it less likely that customers, who might otherwise be financially secure, are looking to make any major tech investments.

If Apple's refresh of the MacBook Air fails to drive up interest in this release, 7 million units shipped might be an optimistic estimate on Apple's part, and one that might lead to a glut of MacBook Airs that fewer people are looking to buy right now. Units shipped isn't the same thing as units sold, after all.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.