Apple’s MacBook Air successor will reportedly have slim bezels and high-res Retina display

Photo by Nilay Patel / The Verge

Apple is nearing the release of a long-awaited, completely redesigned successor to its MacBook Air laptop, according to Bloomberg. The new “low-cost” model reportedly features slimmer bezels and a high-resolution Retina display. It will otherwise “look similar to the current MacBook Air,” though port selection is anyone’s guess.

The once-revered MacBook Air has languished in update limbo ever since Apple shifted its focus to the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook. Some viewed the latter’s introduction as Apple moving on from the Air. But its starting price is hundreds of dollars more expensive, which has led the company to keep the $1,000 Air around — with its low-res screen and outdated specs — for customers on a budget and for the education market.

Apple is also said to be working on an update to the Mac Mini, its miniature desktop computer that has been even more neglected in the company’s update plans. Bloomberg writes that “new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions” because Apple is optimizing the next Mac Mini for the loyal customers that have used it as a home theater PC, server rack, or for software development purposes.

Last October, Tim Cook signaled that Apple hasn’t forgotten about the Mac Mini despite the several-year pause since its last substantial hardware upgrade. “We do plan for Mac Mini to be an important part of our product line going forward,” he wrote in an email to a customer.

Apple is expected to unveil three new iPhone models and a redesigned iPad Pro with Face ID next month. One or both Mac computers could also debut at the September event, but it’s also very possible that Apple will hold back their reveal until a month later in October.

Comments

If this does happen, why should the 12" Macbook exist anymore? If Apple followed their own logic, the old Air would be discontinued, the 12" Macbook would be the new "Air", the non-touchbar MBP would become the "Macbook" and the Touchbar MBP’s would stay as the Pro level machines.

I think the 12 inch Macbook is just too expensive to produce. Apple probably planned for it to become the replacement for the Air once production costs dropped and they could drop the consumer price into the Air range, but the costs didn’t drop as much as expected. So the MacBook continued to be a niche device with poor price to performance ratio rather than the mainstream entry-level Apple laptop. My bet is longer term, the super think Apple laptop will use an Apple created ARM chip and a version of iOS.

On other sites they think this will replace the 12 in MacBook price level and the MacBook will drop to sub-$1000.

Exactly – the very same strategy employed with the macbook air itself. At launch it was this ultra thin, underpowered, expensive machine (see: macbook). Eventually it came of age, and the plastic macbook was cut. Clearly the macbook was intended as the eventual replacement for the macbook air.

I have no idea why anyone would buy a macbook now – if they update the macbook air.
Heck, I would personally find no reason to buy a macbook pro ever if they ended up retaining the "ancient" keyboard. But one can dream.

the very same strategy employed with the macbook air itself. At launch it was this ultra thin, underpowered, expensive machine

The main issue there was the very slow mechanical hard disk. Once those systems got SSDs performance was generally fine even with slow ULV processors

I have no idea why anyone would buy a macbook now – if they update the macbook air.

Because you want a smaller, more portable system and don’t care about the other stuff. Pretty simple.

my hope is that this update will replace both the macbook air and 12" macbook and will simply be called ‘macbook,’ and maybe use apple’s proprietary chips to lower costs and improve performance

especially considering the overlap between 12" macbooks and 12" ipad pros and lack of air updates in recent years, making this update the new macbook could simplify the lineup as well as the naming scheme and hopefully bring a much more enticing budget option from apple

The 12-inch MacBook would be a hit at $1000, right now it’s just too expensive for what you get. It’s a low to mid-range laptop disguised as a premium one. As far as the "Air" branding goes though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple just retired it altogether. It made sense when other laptops still had disc drives and were significantly thicker, but now pretty much all the laptops in the Air’s range are the same size.

I think their plan was for the macbook to replace the Air, but that Intel’s low power cpus are just not as good as they thought they would get, hence making the macbook a weird, slow but very slim machine at a premium price. Its not the more mass market peoduct they thought it would be. Now they need an actual Air replacement.

Slim bezels and high-res Retina display…Dat Innovation lol

Who said it’s innovation. Innovation happened when Apple released the first MacBook Air in 2008. These and everybody else’s updates are simple design and component changes.

Some people just want to find any stick they think they can club Apple with. Who knows why? They’re fanatics.

… and some would say the same about the people that blindly follow and support Apple, no matter what the circumstances.

I don’t understand fanboyism, in any shape or form. If you buy a product, who cares which company manufacturered or designed it.

I have a OnePlus phone and their bullet Bluetooth earphones (2nd gen). I bought them because of the cost and quality. I have a DIY desktop and a MacBook Air. I have each for their usability.

Why do some people support companies so passionately?

Why did you buy a OnePlus and bullet earphones? How did you know they were quality? I buy most Apple products because I already know they are quality and work well with all of my other Apple products and the products that my friends and family also have. I don’t want to bother with research, spec comparisons and returning poorly performing products. I just want something that works even if it means I pay extra up front.

I don’t consider myself a passionate supporter of Apple although my bank account would disagree. I get questions from friend and family all the time and I always try to steer them towards the product that best suits their needs. Sometimes it’s a chromebook or Android or MS and other times it is an iPhone or Apple Watch. It’s difficult to recommend any Mac other than iMac these days because Apple is still transitioning their entire line. I’m glad I do not have a need for any laptops right now because I would not want to have to make that choice. Once the Apple ARM laptops become a reality, I have confidence that they will fulfill 95% of my needs (and all other users too) for a reasonable price and include Apple design and style.

Funny, I’ve had the exact opposite situation with everything I’ve purchased from Apple. None of my Apple products have lived up to anywhere near their hype. I’ve had two iMac screens go out, a MacPro screen go out, major iPhone problems, annoying AppleTV problems, terrible batteries in iPods, a Mac Mini that is the worst computer I’ve ever owned…

I really don’t think Apple’s products are well-designed. They may be pretty, but using expensive production methods like seamless aluminum cases to enclose internals that can’t be upgraded or changed out is bad design. I really don’t see the point in paying Apple’s premium any more. I know the fanboys will attack me mercilessly, but Apple’s business model just doesn’t work for me.

I wonder where the camera will go, and how slim the bezels will be.

I don’t expect the bezels to be slimmer than they are in other MacBooks. It will still be a big improvement from the current MBA.

They’ll put a big notch in the screen. It’s their signature design move.

Curious what innovation you’re expecting. The mobile revolution has plateaued, we’ve been in an era of refinement for years.

It blows my mind that the Air still exist and cost $1000!!!!! It is one of the worst laptops you could buy right now. They need to refresh it ASAP.

I think they planned for the 12 inch Macbook to replace the Air, but the production costs didn’t drop as much as expected, so it couldn’t be sold profitably for $1,000 with decent performance. The 12-inch macbook is an underpowered luxury item/second computer, rather than a main laptop for anyone who needs to do some heavy work.

The macbook air has the best keyboard on any apple laptop right now – that alone is reason enough to be a serious contender for many.

(regardless of what you feel about the butterfly bullshit keyboard – it happens to be a seriously polarizing product. And the fact that its predecessor won near universal acclaim as one of the best keyboards on the market makes it the more popular option – generally speaking)

I think there’s very little chance of Apple keeping the older keyboard style around. unfortunately. If they do give the MacBook Air a proper refresh, chances are it’ll have the newer keyboard design, so I wouldn’t expect that keyboard to be a standout feature going forward.

one of the worst laptops you could buy right now.

The Air is quite dated especially its screen but it’s still a solid buy that you know you can rely on for many years to come.

Worst? Nah, that’s hyperbole. It’s still a safe, solid, good buy.

It’s also the only apple laptop that handily cracks 10.5 hours on battery without a sweat

View All Comments
Back to top ↑