Apple hasn’t officially announced the MacBook Air M3. Rumors have long suggested we'd see the unannounced laptop in fall 2023. However, a new report claims Apple won't release M3 MacBooks until 2024.
MacBook Air laptops are arguably the best MacBooks for most people due to their slim lightweight design and affordability. To that end, we expect Apple will eventually release an updated model featuring the rumored Apple M3 chip.
Rumors are as thin as the laptop, but what we’ve heard sounds intriguing. Here's everything we’ve heard about the MacBook Air M3 so far.
MacBook Air M3: Rumored release date
In one of his previous Power On newsletters, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said we can expect new M3-powered Macs to drop following Apple's launch event in September. It’s expected one of the Macs will be an M3-powered 13-inch MacBook Air.
Gurman believed Apple will launch new Macs in October. However, according to analyst and Apple tipster Ming-Chi Kuo (via Ars Technica), Apple won’t launch the rumored M3 MacBooks in 2023. Kuo didn’t specify why Apple is allegedly not releasing M3 MacBooks this year.
We haven’t heard any rumors about price but it’s reasonable to assume Apple won’t raise the cost significantly, if at all. Right now, the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air M2 costs $1,099. Apple might keep the successor laptop at this price or perhaps charge $100 extra. It’s hard to tell at this time, but we’re sure Apple wants the Air lineup to remain affordable for most people.
Gurman listed an M3 MacBook Air 15-inch in his report but said nothing about price and availability. Since the MacBook Air 15-inch M2 was released in June 2022, it’s doubtful Apple will launch its successor in the same year. We might see an M3-driven 15-inch Air in 2024, but that’s speculation on our part.
MacBook Air M3: Rumored specs
The rumored MacBook Air will allegedly pack the Apple M3 chip, which is itself still very much a rumor. The processor will reportedly use TSMC’s 3nm process. Apple would be the first company to use this advanced process node, if true. In practice, this would make the next Macs far more powerful than their predecessors whose chips use TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology.
In his latest Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Gurman, citing developer logs, outlines the specifications of Apple's M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max and M3 Ultra chips along with which new Mac models they'll be found in. He notes that the actual specifications could change during the production process. The version consumers get their hands on may differ from what Apple's testing internally.
You can read our Apple M3 vs M3 Pro vs M3 Max vs M3 Ultra: The specs you need to know article to see a full breakdown. For the purpose of this article, we’ll detail the base M3 chip’s specs alongside the entry-level M2 for easier comparison.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Specs||Found on these Mac models|
|M3||8 CPU cores, 10 GPU cores||MacBook Pro 13-inch, 13-inch MacBook Air, 15-inch MacBook Air, Mac mini, iMac|
|M2||8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores||MacBook Pro 13-inch, 13-inch MacBook Air, 15-inch MacBook Air, Mac mini|
As with everything in this piece, take the above with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, if these rumored M3 specs are legitimate, the next MacBook Air will likely be the most powerful MacBook Air ever. If you own an older model like the MacBook Air M1 or even an Intel MacBook, you might want to hold off on buying a MacBook until the M3 chip arrives.
MacBook Air M3: Rumored design
We haven’t heard much about the rumored MacBook Air M3’s design but we don’t expect Apple will alter the laptop in any significant way given how its M2-driven predecessor already introduced a new design for the MacBook Air lineup.
Like the MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch released in 2021, both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air laptops feature a flatter, more utilitarian design. The M3 Air will likely keep this feature, along with MagSafe charging. Both of the M2 MacBook Airs come in four colors so it’s reasonable to expect the same for the MacBook Air M3.
Similarly, the MacBook Air M3 will likely also sport the same bright and colorful 13.6-inch (2,560 x 1,664) Liquid Retina display as the M2 model.
MacBook Air M3: Outlook
The MacBook Air M3 is still a rumor so it’s best to take everything written above with a grain of salt. That said, Mark Gurman has a pretty good track record with his Apple reports so it’s not unreasonable to believe most of what we covered here will come to pass in some form — especially given the popularity of MacBook Air laptops.
Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.