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Report reveals 15-inch MacBook Air release window, M2 Max core count


An Apple-made image of the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that was revealed earlier this week.
Enlarge / An Apple-made image of the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that was revealed earlier this week.

Apple

Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air and a new 12-inch MacBook, according to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans. The sources also revealed details about the M2-family chips coming to Apple’s high-performance MacBook Pro computers.

The 15-inch Air will use the same overall design as the 13.6-inch MacBook Air revealed at the company’s WWDC keynote on Monday. That means an ultra-thin design with no tapered edges, plus a screen notch and a keyboard with function keys and Touch ID. The laptop is expected to use the same M2 processor as the one found in its smaller sibling.

The new laptop could arrive as soon as spring of 2023, the sources say. They also say Apple is working on a 12-inch MacBook that could arrive in late 2023 or early 2024—but that one is far enough out that Apple could still abandon its plans.

While it’s not entirely clear who a 12-inch laptop would be designed to serve, the 15-inch one could fill an obvious gap in Apple’s lineup for users who want a larger screen but don’t need or want to spend close to $3,000 for the highest level of performance.

But Bloomberg’s sources also have news for those who do want the fastest MacBook. New iterations of the MacBook Pro with chips based on Apple’s second-generation M2 could arrive as soon as this fall, but they might slip into early 2023. When they arrive, though, they’ll offer expanded cousins to the M2 just like the previous models did with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chip.

Specifically, the M2 Max is said to have 12 CPU cores and up to 38 GPU cores, a step up over the M1 Max’s 10 CPU and 32 GPU cores. Apple claimed at its event this week that the M2 offers just shy of a 20 percent performance increase over the M1. While it’s impossible to state anything with certainty from core counts alone, the details in the Bloomberg report suggest a potentially similar performance bump for the new MacBook Pro computers.

Bloomberg’s sources also note that Apple is testing a Mac mini and Mac Pro models, but don’t go into detail about the products.

In the meantime, Apple’s 13.6-inch MacBook Air is expected to start shipping next month, at least a full month after the product’s unveiling at WWDC. The delay is related to the widely reported global supply chain constraints.



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