2016 Macbook Air Guesses

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tecnho, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    But isn't what he's describing the Macbook, really? I'm no expert, but why would you create a new Macbook Air that would be more like the next gen rMB: a bit more powerful, 2 C ports, etc.?

    Just when I was ready to get into the refurbished Macbook Air pond, this! ;)
  2. dmitrivich macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2014
    No. I would bet a fairly large sum of money the MBA design is set. It will be gone in two years. OK, maybe three - they could make a 10th anniversary before retiring it. It's almost a classic at this point.
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    I find a Retina display and new design on the Air to be very unlikely at this point. The Retina MacBook has both these things, and when its price comes down it will be able to replace the Air quite easily. Those who need more power/ports will be forced to get a rMBP or simply use a dongle for more ports.

    The Air has had an excellent run, but its days are numbered.
  4. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    The days of "new" Airs ARE numbered, I agree. A few more years but I don't see major changes. I do think they may continue to get a number of people like me who aren't ready for the new Macbook, are coming from non-Retina screens, so it's not a must have (yet), don't lead wireless lives, and figure, let me get the "last" lightweight machine that still has the old-fashioned ports.

    I admit that that was one of the reasons I went for the 2011 Macbook Pro I'm still working on; I did want an internal drive and that was one of the last models that had one...and I'm happy that I bought it. She's still doing the job, if slower than she used to be.
  5. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014

    This doesn't look quite right in my book...

    First of all, if Apple wanted to replace Air, they could have called the new macbook rMBA or MBA 12". Secondly, rMB is a fanless machine so it can't adopt U processors and will be slower than other ultrabooks like MBA.

    I'am pretty convinced that we will have similar device to MBA for a long long time, yet I'am not sure what will be the name of it - if they will manage to slim down the rMBP 13" even more or will they update the current MBA to the point of taking over the rMBP 13". After all, 'Air' name doesn't have to mean entry level, just like with iPads. So they could step it up a notch after rMB prices go down. However I do agree that MBA 11-inch most likely won't be updated but probably will be still in stock for a while as an old model for those who need ports in extra small form factor.
  6. SSD-GUY macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    London, UK
    If Apple plays its cards right, maybe updates the Airs to 1080p displays, trim down the design a bit, the Air could be the entry level Macintosh. Think of all the schools, students, establishments that would buy up a cheap and powerful Mac.

    If they really wanted to kill off the Air, like the other poster said, they would've called the new MacBook the Retina MacBook Air. They would have also given it a 13" or 11" screen, but instead it's a 12" screen.
  7. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014

    You see this doesn't look quite right. entry level AND powerful AND with high resolution display. Such machine would beat the rMB hands down, so I don't quite think this will be the case. They need to make the rMB as entry-level first. That is, wait for the production costs to go down as they make more and more of them and can drop the prices. THEN, they can update MBA and make it a bit more expensive. And when it comes to competing with rMBP, actually when you think about it, even both devices could remain in lineup if they manage to introduce and promote rMBP 13" with stuff like better keyboard, more accurate display color reproduction, faster SSD, faster RAM, newer trackpad, slightly more powerful, more new features (fingerprint scanner? high-end audio DAC? stereo speakers? much better iSight camera?)
  8. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Which you would expect for a new product introduced at a higher price point. As the price comes down it will be in a better position to replace the MBA.

    Like I mentioned in my previous post, there's always the rMBP for those who really have need for more power. A slimmed-down rMBP would help to solve the power vs. portability problem and that may happen in the near future, otherwise the rMB will be plenty powerful for most users looking for a low-cost ultra-portable Mac not based on specs alone. It's certainly more powerful than the MBA in your sig and you're getting along just fine, right ;)
  9. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    It might solve the problem, but it would practically have to become the rMBA to do that, so we will get updated MBA which happens to carry rMBP name.
    But we have another problem here - battery life. It will be very hard, if not impossible to get 12h battery life with 30W TDP CPUs.

    barely, not certainly :p
    And if I was buying new machine at that moment, I would surely be expecting much improved performance from it, not something which has it the same like my 4 years old device.
  10. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    When the Air was first launched few people would have guessed that it would become the entry level/most affordable laptop. It was extremely underpowered and was also criticized for having too few ports. But in a few short years the price dropped and it became more powerful eventually replacing the macbook completely. We are seeing the exact same thing happening again. The rMB will become more powerful and cheaper and when that happens the MBA will most likely go away. History has shown us how Apple handles these things.
  11. intervenient macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2010
    Apple needs to decide what 'Air' means to them. Right now it's both the name of their most high-end iPad, as well as the name of their budget laptop. It's unclear branding-wise what customers are supposed to feel when Apple has an 'Air' product. I can see one of two things happening:

    1. The next iPad Air gets rid of the Air moniker and becomes the iPad again and the MacBook Air is killed off. The biggest problem here is that'll mean the mainline iPad has gone through

    iPad -> numbered iPad -> (new) iPad -> iPad Air -> numbered iPad Air -> (??) iPad

    However, seeing at Apple is unafraid to create a little confusion on the iPad's lineage, this might be worth the trouble for brand unification. There's two Apple configurations per device family: Regular and Pro. I could even see the iPhone 6S+ being called the Pro.

    2. The Air becomes the new iPod Classic and original MacBook. Cheap enough to make as-is and keep around, but isn't mentioned anymore and will never get a full redesign. Is killed off in 2-3 years without a mention.
  12. SmOgER, Apr 26, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014

    In the beginning of MBA era, Apple worked very closely with Intel to make it the world's first ultrabook which started this huge trend. Now, there is hardly anything ground braking about rMB, it uses the same hardware as competition and is naturally slower than uncompromised ultrabook. Theoretically it could replace the MBA, but not without a HUGE leap forward in CPU power efficiency. We are talking about 4 years worth of work here (rMB is as fast as MBA from 2011). Then they still need to do something with that not so perfect battery life, it can't be worse than on MBA if they are gonna replace it.
  13. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    The Macbook was faster than the Macbook Air when they dropped it in favor of the MBA. It had a better processor and the ram was able to be upgraded higher than the air. In addition the battery life was estimated to be almost twice as long. The air and rMB occupy roughly the same market space so as soon as the price comes down I would be absolutely shocked if they didn't kill of the MBA.
  14. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    The rMB absolutely does not use the same hardware as the competition. It has newly-designed Apple-specific keyboard switches, trackpad with Apple-specific haptic feedback, tiered batteries that I haven't seen in any other laptop, and somebody must be making a custom IPS panel for them because I haven't seen any other laptop with that screen resolution.

    In fact the only thing I can think of that Apple is sharing with the competition is the Core M processor and some of the other chips on the motherboard.
  15. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    I was talking about performance here, not controllers or Apple specific stuff. When the MBA came out, it had truly revolutionary one of the kind CPU which progressed into CPU for ultrabooks, unlike the rMB.


    Pardon? 2015 MBA is much faster than 2015 rMB and there is hardly anything else to it. You can't compensate lack of processing power with RAM, especially when you have so fast SSD in both machines. And MBA has much longer battery life obviously.
  16. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    You said the rMB needed to have a huge leap forward in power in order for them to replace the MBA with it. I was saying that when the older Macbook was removed from the lineup and the MBA replaced it the MBA was much slower and had half the battery life of the outgoing Macbook. Clearly Apple does not feel that they need to replace one line with one that is equally as powerful if they feel it is superior. The rMB will get more powerful and have a longer battery life with the 2nd gen and as soon as the price can drop to around $999 then they will more than likely get rid of the MBA line regardless if the specs are as high or not.
  17. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2014
    You are missing the point. Core M is never going to be faster than U series, while MBA practically gave birth to U processors, core m is nothing new. Do you really think that Apple is gonna abandon CPUs meant for ultrabooks and use inferior ones instead?
  18. madat42 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    My guess would be either the MBA line goes away entirely, or just the 13-inch stays at Apple's entry/budget level. And if the 13-inch stays, it'll be redesigned - I'm thinking smaller footprint and less bezel (like the XPS 13).
  19. djippy macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    Montreal, Ca.
    MBA will die, apple might launch a cheaper rMB...

    I give another 2 years for the actual MBA.

    Fact is - less port, less components, production cost lower and most consumers don't use ports... (I use the thunderbolt and usb on mine, but I am not ''consumers'')

    they will do business with companies to do nice peripherals that works fine with the ''new'' USB...
  20. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    Inferior by who's standards? Most of the people that are buying MBA's, rMB's and other small light laptops are more interested in size and portability than raw processing power. That is covered by the Pro line. I absolutely believe that Apple thinks the rMB is a better solution to that problem and when the price comes down they will not keep two lines that cross over each other as much as that. Again...history has shown Apple doing that exact thing more than once.
  21. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2011
    I can't help but think of Shakespeare: "what's in a name?"

    My thinking is that they're going to have: a professional line, likely an "entry-level" option, and a light and powerful (though not as powerful as the professional) series.

    Whether they use the name "pro" or "air" or "Atlantis," those are the sectors they've been servicing for a while and will continue to do so (in my opinion).
  22. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I agree, the notebook-lineup is a bit confusing at the moment. It would have made perfect sense to introduce the rMB as the new MacBook Air, while the MacBook Air could have been rebranded as a "MacBook". Thus, leaving:

    * MacBook - Classic, entry-level notebook (the MBA). Does a lot of things very well, but isn't best at anything. A great compromise between power and portability, for the average user, lacks in areas such as screen-quality.

    * MacBook Air - The super slim, ultra portable computer. Decent performance, but oh so thin. Form over function, for those who are willing to sacrifice some speed and ports for thinness and light weight.

    * MacBook Pro - For the Pro in you. Power and speed above all else.

    As of now, it makes no sense having an "Air" which is thicker and heavier than the normal "MacBook".
  23. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    It doesn't make a lot of sense but it's not like it's giving anybody cancer.

    It would have been just as awkward to change the name of the Airs... "hey, that computer that everybody's been calling the Air for the last 5 to 7 years? that's not an Air anymore..."
  24. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    They only had three tiers for the few years after the Air was first launched until it dropped in price and they removed the MacBook. They have historically only had a lower tier and a pro tier.

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