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Apple’s next MacBook Air could be a huge step forward

Before Apple revealed the 15-inch MacBook Air at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), there was plenty of speculation over what chip would power the device. Unfortunately, we now know it won’t come with a next-generation chip — but we might not have to wait long before that changes.

That’s because Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman claims Apple is already working on a new version of the 15-inch MacBook Air that will be kitted out with an M3 chip. We could see this new model as soon as 2024, Gurman’s report says.

Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air on a desk, with macOS Sonoma running on its display.

That will come as great news for Apple fans because the current 15-inch MacBook Air isn’t nearly as revolutionary as you might expect. In fact, the only differentiating factor compared to the 13-inch MacBook Air is its screen size. It feels a bit lost in Apple’s current Mac lineup.

Everything could change with the M3 chip, as it is expected to be a substantial step up over the latest 15-inch MacBook Air’s M2. According to the rumor mill, it will be made using a 3-nanometer process, whereas the M2 is manufactured with a 5nm process. The smaller process should result in a chip that offers much more power and efficiency, and it is apparently already exceeding expectations in testing.

Doing more with less

Three people sit in front of a 15-inch MacBook Air, which is seen from the back.
Apple / Apple

Interestingly, the M3 chip in the 15-inch MacBook Air could have fairly similar CPU and GPU core counts compared to the M2, according to Gurman. Apple often increases the core counts from generation to generation — the M2 Ultra in the new Mac Pro has a 24-core CPU and 60-core GPU versus the 20-core CPU and 48-core GPU in the M1 Ultra.

However, if the M3’s 3nm process makes it far more efficient and powerful, there might not be a pressing need to increase the core count in the next MacBook Air. Instead, it might be able to do a whole lot more with less.

As well as a new 15-inch MacBook Air, Gurman also states that the M3 chip will make its way into a new iMac and a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, both of which could either be part of Apple’s 2023 Mac lineup or debut next year.

That means if you’re interested in the M3 chip and want to see what all the fuss is about, you might not have long to wait. If Gurman is correct, there could be a lot to look forward to for Mac fans.

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