If new rumors are to be believed, Apple will release the MacBook Air with the M3 chip to the world in the second half of 2023.
as mike rumors (opens in a new tab) tagged, this is from digital age (opens in a new tab) (Not our favorite reliable source, I have to say — we’ll come back to that later), which asserts that the MacBook Air arriving later this year will use a 3nm chip (meaning it will be the M3, down to 5nm process used in M2 SoC).
DigiTimes told us: “The supply chain is more focused on the more affordable MacBook Air, which is expected to be refreshed in the second half of 2023 and may feature a 3nm processor.”
Note that there is some ambiguity here, since the statement is portable possible Has a 3nm (M3) chip. Of course, we heard similar rumors last year that the M2 Pro and Max might use a 3nm process, but they turned out to be wrong and Apple reserved the process drop for the M3 (which it will no doubt go down).
One more thing to note here, as MacRumors points out, is that earlier this week, one of the more reliable Apple leakers, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, claimed that the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros would be powered by the 3nm M3 Pro. The update and the M3 Max chip will arrive in 2024 — but Kuo didn’t mention that the MacBook Air will have the M3.
Analysis: MacBook Air 15-inch with M3 to cause some resentment among buyers?
There are several problems with this rumor. First, there’s no mention of what the MacBook Air’s specs might be, or whether a new 15-inch MacBook Air (which has been rumored for a while) will debut in the second half of 2023 alongside a 13-inch model. We’re left to speculate at this point, though the rumor mill has previously speculated that an incarnation of the 15-inch Air will be announced earlier (i.e. the first half of the year, so possibly at WWDC).
Second, we really need to stress caution and skepticism here, because DigiTimes is notoriously inaccurate — especially, in our experience, with rumors surrounding Apple. In fact, the publication published a story that the new MacBook Pros wouldn’t launch in early 2023, just days before those models were actually announced. So this is a pretty big faux pas in recent history.
If the MacBook Air 15-inch version does improve further this year, it could cause some buyer’s remorse for those who decide to pick up a new MacBook Pro now. There’s no shortage of people who want a larger-screen MacBook Air to get more display real estate out of an Apple laptop, which will be significantly cheaper than a MacBook Pro, but should still be pretty powerful with the new M3 silicon inside.
In fact, going down to 3nm should bring some pretty impressive performance and efficiency gains, perhaps meaning longer battery life — or a sleeker internal power pack for a smaller, more portable Air ( Maybe at least offset some of the weight gain (making the Air bigger with 15 inches of swivel). Well, the 13-inch version might be very “airy” indeed.
Still, we’re skeptical, as an M3 launch later this year seems like it’s going to be pretty quick for Apple (the more powerful M2 flavors are just coming out). What’s more, other rumors don’t point to an M3-equipped MacBook Air; as mentioned above, Kuo is currently only talking about the next Pro update to the M3 SoC (happening next year).
Still, that doesn’t mean DigiTimes can’t be right on the matter, but we’ll reserve judgment for now because if things do play out this way, we’re sure to hear more tidbits from elsewhere soon information.