The MacBook Air celebrated its tenth birthday at the start of 2018, but does it have a future? Will this be the year Apple removes the Air from its lineup, or (as rumours now suggest) will the company surprise us with a long-awaited update to the MacBook Air at its event on 30 October?
The other big question is whether the new machine will be branded as an Air at all, a new MacBook, or perhaps a new 13in laptop with an old name – we may even see the return of the iBook. (Read more about that idea below.) With Apple failing to update the two entry-level 13in MacBook Pro models in July, can we expect this new 13in MacBook to replace those?
In this article, we round up all the rumours, hints and clues about the new MacBook Air 2018 release, including price, tech specs, new features and design.
MacBook Air 2018: Release date
The (confirmed) Apple event on 30 October, perhaps alongside a new MacBook and updated Mac mini, looks a likely date for the new MacBook Air to appear. Apple has previously held an October launch for Mac updates, so this wouldn’t be a surprising occurrence; and in late October it was spotted that Apple has registered four new Mac product numbers with the EEC, which generally indicates imminent launches.
Speculation suggests that the launch of the new MacBook had to be delayed due to a problem with a “key component”, which DigiTimes suggested (in April 2018) might be the processor. Other reports indicate that Apple has given up waiting for Intel’s Cannon Lake processor, which now won’t be ready until 2019, and will use Kaby Lake chips instead.
We talk in more detail about the processor below.
Of course, it’s possible that Apple won’t ever update the MacBook Air again – it certainly hasn’t shown the once-beloved slim laptop a lot of love in recent years. But there are reasons to hope.
Apple publicly stated that another low-cost machine, the Mac mini, “is still important” to it; since the mini and Air use the same generation of processors and are located at the lower end of Apple’s pricing structure, they could well get updated at the same time.
Also, it seems there remains significant demand. “[Apple] has also considered updating the ageing 13in MacBook Air with a new processor as sales of the laptop, Apple’s cheapest, remain surprisingly strong,” wrote Bloomberg in May 2017.
Another clue – Apple failed to update the two entry-level 13in MacBook Pro models when it updated the rest of that range back in July 2018. Our theory is that the company will remove those machines from the line up when it introduces the new MacBook Air models.