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The next MacBook Air could come with this surprising chip

At Apple’s Peek Performance event yesterday, the company detailed the next step in its Apple Silicon line-up with the beastly M1 Ultra chip. Yet in an unexpected move, the next MacBook Air, expected later this year, could use a decidedly more down-to-earth chip.

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good reputation for accuracy, the upcoming MacBook Air will be outfitted with an M1 chip, rather than the M2 it has long been expected to carry.

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That’s a surprising revelation, particularly since it would mean the 2022 MacBook Air would use the same chip it launched with in 2020. It also contradicts reports from other sources regarding the device. For example, reporter Mark Gurman has said on a number of occasions that the next MacBook Air will have an M2 chip.

When Kuo mentioned the M1, it seems unlikely he was referring to the M1 Pro. While that chip would be more able to keep the MacBook Air up to speed in 2022 than the M1, it is aimed at pro users instead of the consumers served by the MacBook Air. It is also possible that the mention of the M1 was simply a typo by Kuo, although if so, it has not been corrected since publication.

Predictions for new MacBook Air in 2022:
1. Mass production in late 2Q22 or 3Q22
2. Processor: M1 chip
3. No mini-LED display
4. All-new form factor design
5. More color options

— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 9, 2022

Kuo also made a few other predictions for the MacBook Air, including that it will offer more color options and a new design, lack the Mini-LED display of the MacBook Pro, and will enter mass production late in the second quarter or third quarter of 2022.

Those forecasts are more aligned with what we’ve seen elsewhere. For instance, both YouTuber Jon Prosser and Mark Gurman have indicated the MacBook Air will come with a new design that makes the product thinner and lighter while doing away with its classic tapered profile. Prosser also argued that it would come with new colors, much like those found on the 24-inch iMac.

Whatever chip the next MacBook Air ends up using, we should find out later in 2022. Mark Gurman believes Apple might save it for the holiday season, so we’ve still got a little while to wait.

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