Next-gen MacBook Air tipped to arrive this year with an M3 chip

MacBook Air M2 2022
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The MacBook Air could get an update in "the second half of 2023" with Apple's next-gen M-series chip, according to DigiTimes (opens in new tab).

We've only just had the new the reveal of the MacBook Pro (16-inch) 2023, MacBook Pro (14-inch) 2023 and Mac mini 2023, but if you're curious about when Apple's next cheaper laptop will appear, mark your calendar for the end of the year. DigiTimes adds that the next generation of MacBook Pros with new chips are supposedly due in 2024.

DigiTimes claims that the new MacBook Air will use an Apple M3 processor, what we assume to be the next generation of Apple's laptop/tablet chip, replacing the Apple M2 series that debuted in mid-2022. This would apparently be made with a 3-nanometre process, a big advancement from the 5-nanometre process used by the M2 series, that would allow for even more power and efficiency from the same-sized chip.

This feels like it could be too soon though, since the Apple M1 chip series lasted about a year and a half before the M2 replacements started to arrive. Apple moving to M3 in the same year that the M2 Pro and M2 Max debut, and before an assumed M2 Ultra chip update for Apple's advanced desktops like the Mac Studio, seems unrealistic. 

Similarly, the current MacBook Air M2 is less than a year old, and would only be about 18 months old by the end of this year. It would be unusually quick for Apple to update one of its Macs this quickly, but it has happened before when the Intel MacBook Air 2020 was replaced by the MacBook Air M1 after just 8 months.

That said, there have been rumors of a 15-inch MacBook Air, but it is thought to use an M2 chip. DigiTimes' report doesn't mention the size of the new MacBook Air it's claiming is coming, but from what we can see, these leaks don't add up as they stand.

We'll keep looking out for more MacBook Air leaks to see if any of these new claims can be substantiated by other tips. In the meantime, check out our MacBook Pro 2023 preorders guide if you're after one of Apple's new powerful laptops as soon as they launch.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.