Apple just redesigned the MacBook Air around its M2 chip, but more variants of the ultra-thin notebook may be on the way. A report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has a very solid track record, suggests a larger 15-inch MacBook Air could come in early 2023, as well as a possible new 12-inch notebook coming a bit later.
If Apple did go for a 15-inch MacBook Air, it would be the largest in the lineup since it debuted in 2008. The Air has typically had a 13.3-inch display, though an 11.6-inch Air existed for a few years. The newly announced M2 MacBook Air has a 13.6-inch screen. The report claims that the rumored 15-inch model is a "wider version" of the new M2 Air.
A 15-inch option has long been desired by Apple fans who want a bigger screen but don't want to pay for the additional power of the MacBook Pro line. There have been rumors about a 15-inch option with M2 before, but they didn't materialize. But as Gurman points out, more options could potentially let Apple use its own silicon to take a bigger bite out of the PC market with a wider variety of performance and size variations.
The report also suggests Apple is going small again with a 12-inch laptop for the end of 2023 or early 2024. Apple discontinued a 12-inch MacBook (not Air, not Pro, just "MacBook") back in 2019, so this could take its place as an even more ultraportable machine than the Air. With the new MacBook Air starting at $1,199, perhaps a 12-inch notebook could take its place as the $999 entry-level laptop.
Lastly, and perhaps least surprisingly, Gurman says Apple will update the higher-end MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, possibly by the end of 2022 or early 2023. Those laptops are unlikely to see new designs (that just happened last year), with this being a simple spec bump.
Apple didn't respond to Bloomberg's request for comment.
On the one hand, laptop vendors like Dell, Lenovo and HP offer dozens of designs, each with many configurations, including chips from AMD and Intel. Having more designs might allow Apple to peel away customers who couldn't find what they wanted with the current Mac lineup. Part of Apple's appeal has also been a simple, easy-to-understand choice of Macs (though the 12-inch MacBook caused some confusion). However, with the arrival of more Macs and increasingly Mac-like experiences on the iPad, that simplicity may be going away.
But Apple's own chips also put it more in control of its own destiny (supply chain problems aside). We'll see what designs Apple Silicon inspires.