Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Apple’s 12-inch MacBook might soon come back from the dead

Apple’s 12-inch MacBook was a highly advanced laptop, but one where its fatal compromises eventually led to its abandonment. Yet there are rumors Apple is planning to resurrect the tiny device, and a Korean source has seemingly confirmed that — yet there are questions over the report’s trustworthiness.

The claim was made on Korean website Naver by yeux1122 (translated version), an account that has something of a mixed track record for Apple rumors. According to the Naver post, Apple is preparing laptop parts and “major activities” relating to the 12-inch MacBook.

cheap macbook deals
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While a product launch window has not yet been confirmed, yeux1122 claims, by the second half of 2023 Apple should have decided whether it will move ahead with mass production. At the moment, things are at the “preparation level” for the device.

Rumors of a return for the 12-inch MacBook have received a mixed reception from industry experts. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in June 2022 that he hadn’t heard of any plans for a 12-inch MacBook from his sources, while display industry guru Ross Young is similarly skeptical, saying Apple is instead focusing on laptops sized 13 inches and larger.

However, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman has said a 12-inch MacBook is in the works. More recently, though, he claimed the device was “no longer on Apple’s near-term road map,” although he didn’t outright say the company had ditched its plans for the device.

2017 MacBook 12-inch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That industry skepticism means we should probably treat yeux1122’s claims with a degree of wariness, notwithstanding the fact that the author doesn’t have much of a track record for accurate Apple leaks. Still, it’s something to be aware of.

One of the reasons the 12-inch MacBook initially failed was that it was severely underpowered, as its super-thin chassis could only handle a mobile processor from Intel. However, the rise of Apple silicon has given Apple far more efficient chips to play with. These days, Apple silicon means a new 12-inch MacBook might actually make sense.

Whether Apple actually goes ahead and relaunches it, though, is anyone’s guess. Right now, it seems like it won’t get released any time soon, so there’s plenty of time for more information to come to light.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
This Windows laptop costs under $1,000 and handily beats the MacBook Air
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED rear view showing lid and logo.

The least expensive MacBook you can buy remains the MacBook Air M1, which Apple is keeping around in spite of a complete redesign with the MacBook Air M2. And there's good reason. The MacBook Air M1 is among the best laptops that sell for under $1,000.

But it's not the only great laptop for under $1,000. The Asus ZenBook 14 OLED is also a special machine, offering considerable value at a starting price of $700, including a luscious OLED display. As good as the MacBook Air is, the ZenBook 14 just might have it beat.

Read more
Apple’s serious miscalculation with the 15-inch MacBook Air
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

Did Apple overestimate demand for a larger MacBook Air? A recent report suggests Apple reduced orders from its supply chain, indicating sales of the largest budget MacBook fell short of expectations.

According to DigiTimes, which specializes in supply chain news, 15-inch MacBook Air sales seem to be off to a bad start. People with knowledge of the matter are reported to say that Apple cut the shipment volume by half in July 2022.

Read more
Apple may be working on a crazy modular MacBook with 3 screens
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.

The Framework laptop has shown that modular laptops can offer something really compelling to customers, and it seems that Apple might have taken notice. That’s because a newly granted patent (number 11709527) suggests the Cupertino, California company is considering a modular MacBook that could let you come up with all kinds of crazy combinations of screen, keyboard, and more.

For example, some of the illustrations in Apple’s patent document show a device with two displays, with the MacBook keyboard replaced entirely by a second screen. This display could be used as an Apple Pencil input area or as a virtual keyboard, something we know Apple is already working on.

Read more