Will There Be A New MacBook Air For 2017?

Are you getting excited about the fact that a new MacBook Air may release in 2017? We are too. Or will the Air disappear? Get a better display? Find out what we think here.

What updates have previously been made to the MacBook?

Apple did make some small changes to the ‘Air in 2016. These were far from game-changing changes and involved extra ram capabilities, and only on one model.

At Apple’s 2016 spring event last year some folks had raised their hopes about a possible Air update. However, in the end, the day was used to push the iPhone SE and the iPad Pro. It would have been a year since the last update.

Appile Airbook

Logic would dictate that if the Air is not being thrown away, that some decent update would happen sometime in the year of 2017. In previous years this has been between March and May. So, Apple users are on the edge of their seats at the moment (at least some of them). Some suspect that the lack of updates so far might mean that Apple is winding down the Air in favour of something else.

Prices have been dropping for the Air. It was in February 2017 that ‘Best Buy’ lowered the price of the cheapest MacBook Air to a record-breaking $800 (around £645). It could just be a great sale price, or it could mean that some inside information has been passed around and US stores are starting to take action based on that.

Some observers worry that these clues show that they may completely discontinue the Air and critics would argue that it’s well over time. It has become dated and slow compared to rival machines. Even the MacBook Pro is getting smaller and smaller and better all the time.

It’s worth mentioning that the 11inch Air has been fully discontinued, never to be seen again and the 13inch model has gone up in price by £100. It is possible however that this price hike may be related to the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU and originates from sellers wanting to protect their profits.

Rumours are circulating that Apple is going to bin the Air. According to tech blogger Jack March, who gave the following quote:

“I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that Apple will never release a new product with the ‘Air’ branding again.

For starters, the words ‘Light’ and ‘Professional’ are no longer a dichotomy, though they were when the original MacBook Air was launched in 2008. For Apple to achieve the title of ‘World’s Thinnest Notebook’ they had to compromise on performance and expansion slots. It was a very niche and expensive product, only for people with the primary priority of portability.

In 2016 — where nearly all products from Apple and competitors are thin and light — Apple’s distinction of ‘Air’ is redundant.”

And it’s possible of course that Jack could well be right. With everything moving towards a thinner and thinner version it might be that the Air just does not fit into Apple’s latest branding plans. Stranger things have happened in the past.

What are the chances of the Air being discontinued?

The new MacBook itself gives power to the argument that the Air will discontinue as some have a smaller screen than the Air anyway!

One must also consider how new iPads are beginning to look like the end of laptops. Apple’s Tim Cook recently stated:

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”

You can see the logic of this. However, the rest of the world may take slightly longer to reach this point of view than the CEO of Apple! Possibly.

It does seem likely that an equivalent MacBook model will replace the Airs.

A recent quote from a Chinese tech site:

“Apple is expected to unveil a new 12-inch MacBook in early second quarter with an additional memory option of 16GB” – this would all but render the Air unnecessary to Apple, even if consumers might lament the absence of its lower price point. We don’t expect the 12in MacBook to drop in price.”

What would we expect from an upgrade?

If we do see an upgrade of the Air, what could we expect to see? The much-loved retina display hasn’t yet made it over to the Air, and this could be a winning feature. We would expect an even thinner machine. Plus the performance and storage could certainly use an upgrade. Perhaps with the faster new ARM chips.

Other rumours include pencil type trackpads. Something that has been active in Apple’s patent department recently but could be a red herring. And there is talk of fingerprint scanners (Touch ID). To log in and lock your machine similar to the device on an iPhone 7. Only time will tell.