People familiar with the matter said that Apple plans to expand its laptop lineup with its new and faster internal chips next year, with the goal of capturing a larger market share.
The people, who requested anonymity because of the plans, said the company is working on a larger 15-inch MacBook Air for release early next spring. This represents the first model of this size in the 14-year history of the MacBook Air. Apple is also developing what will be its smallest new laptop in years.
The new models underscore Apple’s strategy of using indigenous processors to make gains in a market led by Lenovo Group Ltd. earlier this week. Better performance and new designs have helped spur the resurgence of the Mac family, which accounts for about 10% of Apple’s sales.
The 15-inch model in development is a wider version of the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that Apple announced this week. This design, revealed at Monday’s developer event, is the thinnest of the modern models, based on the M2 chip and ditching the previous wedge-shaped frame. It’s the biggest overhaul of the MacBook Air since Steve Jobs introduced it in 2008.
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Apple had previously considered a 15-inch version of this year’s MacBook Air, but has shelved those plans to focus on a 13.6-inch version. However, even this model will take time to reach consumers. Despite revelations this week, supply chain restrictions will prevent it from selling until July.
Apple has also started working on a new 12-inch laptop and is considering releasing it at the end of 2023 or early 2024. If Apple goes ahead with the release, it will be the company’s smallest laptop since it discontinued the 12-inch MacBook. in 2019.
An Apple spokesperson in Cupertino, California, declined to comment on the company’s plans.
Apple first introduced a 12-inch laptop in 2015 with a slim bezel, but the device has been criticized for keyboard malfunctions and sometimes sluggish performance. It’s unclear whether the new 12-inch laptop will be a low-cost device or a high-end device that’s part of the MacBook Pro line, which currently comes in 13.3-inch, 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch sizes.
Between 2003 and 2006, Apple also sold a 12-inch version of the PowerBook, the predecessor to the MacBook Pro. It briefly introduced the MacBook Air with an 11.6-inch screen. Apple’s new processors for Macs, which are based on the same architecture as the iPhone and iPad, are designed to allow the company to boost performance inside slimmer cases.
Apple is also planning a new high-end MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets as early as the end of 2022, although the release date may be delayed in early 2023. These two new 14- and 16-inch models, codenamed J414 and J416, it won’t be radically new products other than offering faster chips. Apple is also introducing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro next month with the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air.
The M2 Max chip in the upcoming high-end MacBook Pro will include 12 main processing cores and up to 38 graphics cores, up from a maximum of 10 processing cores and 32 graphics cores on current models. Bloomberg reports that new versions of the revamped Mac mini and Mac Pro are also in testing within Apple. The company is already working on a dedicated M3 chip for the future iMac and other products.
The switch away from Intel chips has been a success for Apple so far, helping to significantly increase Mac revenue. The company reported $10.4 billion in Mac sales during the second quarter of the fiscal year, nearly double the $5.4 billion it made in the second quarter of 2020, before Apple made the switch.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is also planning to release a larger version of the iPad Pro next year. The new model will take advantage of the new multitasking capabilities built into iPadOS 16. The company is preparing the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro later this year.