MacBook Air 2022 reportedly launching much later in the year — here's why

MacBook Air 2022 renders
(Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendersByIan)

Update: We reckon Apple's next laptop needs to be the MacBook Air 2022

When rumors of the new, colorful 2022 MacBook Air first emerged, it was believed that Apple’s super-light laptop would be here by now. But recently, those in the know have been predicting a later-than-expected release date, with tipsters coalescing around a point later in the year.

Bloomberg’s well connected Mark Gurman was the first to make the prediction, stating that the Air would be a “nice holiday seller” for later in the year “even if Apple had originally planned to get it out the door at the end of 2021 or in early 2022.” This was later backed up by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who stated that mass production will begin in late Q2 or early Q3 for an early fall launch. 

Now DigiTimes (opens in new tab) has heard fresh news from the supply chain that suggests Kuo and Gurman are both correct, but it’s apparently not down to the familiar tale of chip shortages. Instead, the site claims, “higher than expected” shipment volumes of the 2021 MacBook Pro have caused Apple to delay the release of the Air to the second half of the year in order to “add further sales momentum.” 

We’re expecting this new generation to offer a whole lot of changes, and not just with the adoption of a new generation of Apple Silicon to improve on the M1-powered 2020 MacBook Air. Rather than take on the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, the new MacBook Air could see the debut of the M2 chip, which will likely prioritize battery efficiency over raw power.  

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It’s set to be bigger, too, with a 13.6-inch screen tipped by display analyst Ross Young, and it’s also expected to come with a flat, rounded design in a wide selection of colors, matching the playful aesthetic of the 24-inch iMac released last year. 

It could, apparently, reintroduce MagSafe charging, plenty of ports, and — somewhat divisively — a webcam notch. There’s also talk of the new MacBook Air getting upgraded to a mini-LED display, though others believe it will stick with a more familiar LCD panel

It certainly sounds like a promising set of upgrades, whenever it eventually arrives. And while the improvements don’t suggest this will be a laptop for those on a tight budget, it should still appeal to those put off by the MacBook Pro’s prohibitive $2,000+ price tag.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.