Apple's Next MacBook Air Could Be A Big One

The next MacBook Air could deliver a larger display at last. Since the release of the first MacBook Air in 2009, Apple has stuck to 13 and 11-inch display iterations of the notebook. The first version of the device had a 13.3-inch display, the second had an 11-inch display, and no subsequent MacBook Air had a display either significantly larger or smaller than the first two.

The size of the rest of the MacBook hardware has changed over the years, of course. The original MacBook's 13.3-inch display is in a different class from the 13.3-inch display of the 2020 M1 MacBook Air. Even without considering the differences in brightness and color, the original MacBook Air's display panel had a resolution of just 1280 by 800 pixels, while the newest has a whopping 2560 by 1600 pixels crammed into the same 13.3 inches of screen. Now, for the first time ever, Apple may be releasing a MacBook Air with a display panel that's taller and wider than the original.

A larger MacBook Air, or no Air at all

According to an Apple Insider report on a Display Supply Chain document called "Quarterly Advanced IT Display Shipment and Technology Report," the MacBook Air line may be ready to push a major upgrade. A follow-up comment from 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) suggests that while Apple could have a 15-inch MacBook release in 2023, it might not be called MacBook Air. Kuo suggests that Apple is likely targeting the same 30W power adapter that it's currently using with the 2020 MacBook Air, regardless of the size of the display on this next-generation MacBook.

Kuo expects that "mass production" will begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 "if all goes to plan." This means we won't likely see this new MacBook revealed until September or October 2023 at the earliest. It's difficult to get a read on Apple's expected release date for a MacBook Air because of the relatively few iterations of the device that have been released over the past decade. Where Apple releases a new set of iPhone devices every year like clockwork, a new MacBook Air only appears every several years.

Outside a major display panel expansion, it's safe to assume the new MacBook (or MacBook Air) will have many of the same features already included with the 2020 version of the M1 MacBook Air. If all goes according to tradition, a new MacBook will have more power than its predecessor, and ever-so-slightly less power than the MacBook Pro M1 Max. You never know, though — this could be a Mac Studio blowing Mac Pro out of the water sort of situation.