Reliable leaker Mark Gurman wrote Monday that despite all the hype around Apple’s 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, the company is already working on an M3 version of the sized-up laptop. In his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Gurman said a 15-inch M3 MacBook Air can be expected to hit shelves sometime in 2024.
Apple’s M2 chip is a year old, first appearing in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). That, combined with MacBook users’ (and potential users’) itch for a larger screen, has had many wondering whether the company will ever release a more powerful version of either laptop with a bigger display. The question made its way to Gurman’s Power On “Post Game Q&A,” after which he said a 15-inch M3 Air would likely debut next year.
Apple announced last week that its current M2 MacBook Air is now available with a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display, adding nearly two inches to what was otherwise the company’s largest Air model. Said to be “the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop,” the new MacBook Air—preorders for which began immediately after the announcement, with deliveries starting this week—is just 11.55 millimeters thick and 3.3 pounds. Of course, Apple’s biggest MacBook Air is also its most expensive, beginning at $1,299. None of that extra cost goes to improved hardware under the hood; you’re just getting more screen real estate.
Apple’s new 15-inch M2 MacBook Air behind its 13-inch version. Credit: Apple
Before last week’s release, Apple had gone a solid four years without a 15-inch portable display, having ditched the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2019. With prayers for a larger display finally answered, fans are eagerly looking to Apple to improve its processor. Some were surprised Apple didn’t unveil the M3 at WWDC 2023, while others had assumed all along that the M3 would take longer, especially with the news of TSMC’s production delays. Apple took 18 months to show off the M2 after releasing the M1 in November 2020, so it’s clear the company isn’t ready to make its chip updates an annual event as it did with the iPhone.
The M3 chip is the first to use TSMC’s 3nm process, which is bound to offer performance and efficiency upgrades regardless of smaller core count improvements. While we don’t have specs for the regular M3, a source spoke to Gurman about the M3 Pro in May. The SoC reportedly consists of 12 CPU cores, 18 GPU cores, and 36GB of integrated memory, with the CPU cores split evenly between performance and efficiency. (The M2 Pro uses an 8+4 configuration.)