Apple updated the MacBook Air in 2022, giving it a new design, slightly larger display, plus the M2 processor. Now, rumours suggest that 2023 won’t just see a refresh of that version (possibly with an updated chip inside), but rather a whole new class of Air being introduced. Here’s all we know so far about the MacBook Air 2023.
When will the MacBook Air 2023 be released?
Apple hasn’t made any announcements so far about when we might see any updates to its MacBook Air lineup.
The current 13.6-inch MacBook Air (M2) made its debut in July 2022, joining the 13.3-inch MacBook Air (M1) that arrived back in November 2020. While the iPhone gets a refresh every year, MacBooks have tended to have larger gaps between iterations in recent years, so it would be surprising if we saw an updated MacBook Air before the latter part of 2023.
There is a strong possibility that we see an entirely new Air in the more immediate future, as rumours are gathering pace that Apple could be about to introduce a 15-inch MacBook Air this year. In February, Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants said that the 15.5-inch panels for the new device had entered mass production, suggesting a launch as soon as April 2023. We haven’t seen any confirmation of this, but Young is a solid reporter of trends in the market, so he’s someone whose voice carries a fair bit of weight.
Apple announced the MacBook Air (M2) at WWDC 2022, so there’s a good chance that we may see the 15-inch MacBook Air given its full debut at WWDC 2023 in June.
How much will the MacBook Air 2023 cost?
Again, there’s no confirmation from Apple, so we don’t know how much the new MacBook Air will cost. That being said, the company does try to keep its devices in pretty static pricing structures, so it could be that new models slide into the slots of the ones they replace.
At the moment, here are the starting prices for the MacBook Air since Apple transitioned to its own silicon:
MacBook Air (M1) – $999/£999MacBook Air (M2) – $1,199/£1,249
As usual, you can configure the laptops with more memory or storage at the checkout, which you’ll need to do if you want the additional power or space as they can’t be upgraded later on.
Presuming that Apple puts an upgraded MacBook Air M3 in the lineup, we could see the M2 slide down to the $999/£999 mark, while the M3 replaces it at $1,199/£1,249. Alternatively, Apple does have a habit of retaining older models so they can keep a price point. This might see the M2 being discontinued, while the M1 stays at in the catalogue at the same price.
It seems unlikely that Apple would have three versions of the 13ish-inch MacBook Air, so one will have to go.
The introduction of a 15-inch MacBook Air adds confusion. On the MacBook Pro side of things, Apple offers three different sizes – 13-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch – but these come with different specifications. Here’s how they’re priced:
13-inch MacBook Pro (M2) – $1,299/£1,34914-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro) – $1,999/£2,14916-inch MacBook Pro (M2 Pro) – $2,499/£2,699
As you can see, the baseline 14-inch model features an M2 Pro chipset, not to mention double the memory and storage of the baseline 13-inch version. So, it’s possible that the 15-inch MacBook Air could be bolstered in a similar way, adding a similar price increase.
What features will we see in the MacBook Air 2023?
With the 13.6-inch MacBook Air getting a new design in 2022, including the slightly larger screen and MagSafe charging, we think it’s unlikely that Apple will revamp the model once again in 2023.
Before its release, there were lots of rumours about the new Air getting the same kind of color-schemes as the 24-inch iMac, with its pastel front and bolder hues on the rear, but this didn’t come to pass.
We know that Apple is happy to use liveries as a sales technique, as we saw recently with the introduction of a yellow iPhone mid-cycle, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a paint job could be the major upgrade to a 13-inch MacBook Air in 2023. Jon Prosser and RendersByIan posted mockups of the potential new colours, as you can see below.
Jon Prosser / RendersByIan
The other main addition to the standard MacBook Air could be the expected M3 chipset. While the M2 Pro and M2 Max already exist, they seem to be aimed at the power-user end of the market and require more cooling than you’ll get in a fan-less MacBook Air. It would make sense then that Apple will upgrade any new 13-inch MacBook Air to the latest processor. Reports at the end of 2022 (including from our sister site Macworld) suggested the company was preparing several M3 Macs for 2023, and the MacBook Air could be one of them.
In terms of the rumoured 15-inch MacBook Air, there’s little in the way of specific details that we’ve come across so far. Obviously, the larger panel is one thing, now thought to be 15.5-inch, and if it follows suit with the 2022 MacBook Air then there will be a notch along the top of the display, although this is compensated for by the taller nature of the panel.
Ming-Chi Quo, an Apple analyst with a long history of mostly reliable predictions, tweeted in June 2022 that the company had plans for a 15-inch MacBook in 2023. It would supposedly feature two CPU options: M2 (with 35W charging adapter) and M2 Pro (with 67W adapter). Obviously, the M2 would give it parity with its smaller sibling, but the M2 Pro would push it into the orbit of the MacBook Pro in terms of performance.
Prediction updates:1. New 15″ MacBook would go to mass production in mid-1H23, and launch date may be 2Q23 or later.2. New 15″ MacBook may offer two CPU options, M2 (with 35W adapter) & M2 Pro (with 67W adapter).3. I haven’t heard of any plans for rumored 12″ MacBook yet. https://t.co/zm09nMvG7R
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) June 15, 2022
Whether Apple decides to boost the memory and storage remains to be seen, but we’ll keep updating this article as more details come to light.
To see what the MacBook Air will be up against, see our guide to the best laptops you can buy.