Updated April 2: Article originally published on April 1.
The excitement is building around June Global Developers Conferencewith of Apple moving to mixed reality will probably be one of the key moments of the meeting. It won’t be the only announcement, with updates to the various operating systems, major components and new hardware, like the highly anticipated debut of the MacBook Air, all included.
If you’re looking for a new MacBook Air, there are a few factors to consider that Apple won’t highlight. Tim Cook and his team are working on some breakthrough technology that suggests the 2023 MacBook Air will be little more than a stopgap before bigger and better hardware arrives.
Update: Sunday, April 2: As Mark Gurman points out in Bloomberg, Apple’s plans for the aforementioned hardware will be based on OLED technology, Jack Purcher reports that Samsung’s display business will play a key role in this effort, as the iPad Pro will use dual-stack technology, while the MacBook Air will stick with ‘single-stack’:
“All OLEDs for TI products, including the iPad OLED that Apple will release next year, apply so-called ‘hybrid OLED’ that applies thin-film encapsulation (TFE) to a glass substrate. In addition, the iPad OLED that will be released next year it will apply the Two Stack Tandem method to stack two light-emitting layers, but the OLED for MacBook Air currently being developed by Samsung Display is likely to adopt the single-stack method.”
Given Apple’s love of long project development cycles, the MacBook switch to OLED is well underway, even if nothing has been formally announced.
Two notable changes are expected for the MacBook Air 2023 update, which is expected to be announced at WWDC thanks to the first change; the upgrade of Apple Silicon M2 to the new M3 chipset. The M2 offered a twenty percent increase in performance over the M1. Will Apple be able to offer another twenty percent in the M2/M3 transition? Or will there be more architectural changes that can offer more performance?
We should have that as an answer in a few months. What we can already assume is that for most MacBook Air users, Apple Silicon already offers exceptional performance with more than enough capacity for the average consumer; those looking for top performance will already be looking at the significantly more expensive 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models.
This leaves the second change as the real engine that sells the machine, the move to finally offering the MacBook Air with a larger 15-inch screen. Given the MacBook Pro’s push towards professionals, there’s a clear gap in the portfolio for a consumer machine with a larger screen. That’s the role of the next MacBook Air, with a 15-inch screen and the new M3 processor.
Wait a minute though, because if consumers are looking for a new MacBook Air because of the new display, Apple is planning something much better in the near future.
Apple’s plan is to switch the MacBook Air from current LCD screens to OLED screens. These offer much deeper blacks, greater color, vibrancy of colors and better efficiency. the electthrough harley charltonreports on Apple’s plans to introduce OLED to the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iPad Pro families, with Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants expecting the first OLED MacBook Air to arrive in 2024.
If display is your thing, then the real display update is a bit further away than June.
Combine that with discussions of Apple adding touchscreen capabilities to the Mac platform (finally following the PC market decades later), largely due to Apple’s efforts to bring touch-enabled iPadOS closer to the mouse and keyboard approach of macOS, there’s going to be a significant change in the way the Mac platform in general and MacBook Air laptops and MacBook Pro.
Why go for a bigger screen now that Apple will significantly depreciate in value early next year?
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