Apple could launch a new MacBook Air powered by a faster M3 processor as soon as next year.
The company also has a bunch of other Macs due for launch later in 2022 or early 2023. They will run on Apple’s new M2 chip, which powers the new 13-inch MacBook Pro as well as the upcoming M2 MacBook Air set for July launch, or the M2’s more powerful Pro/Ultra/Extreme variations.
M3 MacBook Air could arrive in 13-inch and 15-inch flavors
In the latest edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air — code-named J513 — with an M3 chip could arrive next year. A new 15-inch model, code-named J515, could join the lineup as well.
Apple typically refreshes its Macs every 12 to 18 months. This means the new M3 MacBooks should arrive after WWDC23 at the earliest. Previous rumors suggested the M3 MacBook Airs could land in late 2023.
Unlike the M1, which delivered performance that surprised even Apple execs, the new M2 chip brings marginal performance and efficiency boosts. Apple claims an 18% CPU performance uplift, a 35% faster GPU and a 40% faster Neural Engine. Next year’s M3 chip should bring another minor performance boost, which could perhaps explain the yearly approach to Apple silicon refreshes.
Additionally, Apple is working on an M3-powered iMac carrying the code name J433. There’s also supposedly a 12-inch MacBook in the early stages of development, but it’s unclear if it will ever see the light of the day.
Apple is working on a slew of M2 Macs, iPads and more
Before the M3-powered Macs arrive, Apple reportedly will launch a slew of M2-powered Macs, including:
- an M2 Mac mini.
- an M2 Pro Mac mini.
- M2 Pro and M2 Max 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
- M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme Mac Pro.
There’s no clear launch timeline, but Gurman says they will “come in much quicker succession than the M1-based Macs.” The M2 Pro/Max MacBook Pros could arrive before the end of 2022.
The M2 Pro Mac mini could be an exciting addition to the lineup since Apple never launched an M1 Pro-powered Mac mini. They should arrive by the end of this year or early next year.
The upcoming iPad Pro refresh also will feature the M2 chip. 12.9- and 11-inch versions will be compatible with Stage Manager in iPadOS 16, taking the tally of iPads that support the feature to five.
Interestingly, Apple’s upcoming AR/VR headset also reportedly will use the M2 chip. This should give the device enough horsepower to run intensive tasks without being tethered to an iPhone. Analysts think Apple could unveil the headset in January 2023 at a special media event.