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MacBook Air 2022 could miss out on Apple M2 chip upgrade

MacBook Air 2020
(Image credit: Future)

Update: The MacBook Air 2022 has apparently faced delays, but should still arrive in 2022

Despite not appearing at the Peek Performance Apple Event, we’ve heard plenty of rumors suggesting that an Apple M2 chip is coming. But there is some bad news, with a new report claiming that the upcoming MacBook Air 2022 may still come with an Apple M1 chip.

That’s according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab) who “strongly believes” that the redesign will feature the original Apple Silicon chip. The same one that first arrived in late 2020 inside the current MacBook Air model.

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All in all, Kuo’s prediction doesn’t paint a particularly good picture for the next MacBook Air. If he’s correct there will be a brand new form factor, which is nice but not the same as some actual hardware upgrades. Maybe it’s too much to expect an entry-level MacBook to have a mini-LED display, but the lack of an M2 chip would be a real blow. 

We’ve been hearing about a possible M2 chip for some time, but so far Apple has launched more powerful chips using the same architecture as the M1. That’s why we have the M1 Pro, M1 Max and now the M1 Ultra.

It’s strange to think that Apple would refresh the MacBook Air this close to the rumored launch of a brand new chip, without the upgraded silicon. It could be that Kuo is wrong, of course, or that the next MacBook Air will have one of the many M1 variants that are now in production. 

Initial rumors tipped the M2 chip to launch (opens in new tab) sometime later this year, likely around the fall, before speculation arose that it could arrive at the Peek Performance event — which obviously didn’t happen. Kuo also told 9to5Mac that the M2 chip “may not come this year."! 

Earlier rumors suggested that the M2 chip could launch as part of the 2022 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 2022, though Kuo’s latest comment has tempered our expectations. Still, there’s no telling who is right and who isn’t at this point.

We’re going to have to wait and see how this one plays out over the coming months. If Kuo is right the new MacBook Air will be going into mass-production in Q2 or Q3 of this year. As for the M2 chip, well, we just have to hope that reports the chip is in the testing phase are accurate.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.