Any chance of 11” or 12” MacBook Air


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 20, 2018
I want to buy a light/travel-friendly MacBook. Discontinued 12” MacBook weights 2 pounds while the new 13” MacBook Air weights 3 pounds. To me, the weight difference is big enough to justify the 12”.

I can’t decide whether I should get a refurbished 12” MacBook now, or wait for a smaller-size (11” or 12”) MacBook Air.

My question is: do you think that Apple will release a smaller-screen MacBook Air at some point in 2020 as 12” MacBook has been discontinued? Thanks!


macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2011
Southern Cal
I'm still using my 2015 11" MBA for my travel machine. The smaller footprint and light weight makes it easier to travel with than the 13" MBA. For example the 11" sits nicely on an airline setback tray table. I was using it yesterday and it occurred to me that, with Apples newer laptop technology that have a much smaller bezel, they could easily put a 12" or 13" screen in the 11' MBA. After all, the 11" MBA actually has a 11.6" screen now. I would love to see the smaller form MBA return with a larger screen. I would buy it instantly.

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
I'm not very good at predicting what Apple is going to do in the future, but here is my two cents.

Apple seems to have decided to position the iPad Pro as the tablet-lightweight notebook computer. Does this satisfy everyone? No, but no one can please everyone all the time (and I'm not just talking computing).

However for many people with mundane needs, the iPad Pro might be enough: e-mail, web browser, basic office apps (Apple's own iWork suite or Microsoft Office) and basic multimedia apps (Apple's own iLife suite or various third-party apps including a bunch of Adobe offerings).

These tasks are basically what the discontinued 12" MacBook 2017 was able to do, although this fanless, underpowered notebook crawled to a snail's pace when encoding video.

Apple has increased peripheral support with the iPad Pro (pencil, input devices, storage) to make it more computer-like.

Is there a market for an ARM-powered lightweight MacBook running macOS? There's certainly a market but whether it is large enough for Apple to care is debatable. There would definitely be some outside factors, specifically the ability/interest of Microsoft and Adobe to develop their iOS/iPad apps into something truly rivaling their desktop cousins as ARM apps.

Macs generated $7.2B revenue in the most recent quarter, less than 8% of Apple's total revenue. The notebook product families have generated over 75% of Mac sales for many years, so let's say that the notebooks are $6B.

If Apple did release an ARM MacBook, it might be a great unit seller relative to other MacBooks but even if it generated half of the notebook revenue, it would be about $3B, about 3% of Apple's total revenue.

This would not be a product line that one would expect to have substantial future growth. That's probably why Apple clobbered the 11" MacBook Air and the 12" MacBook.

The Mac mini wasn't updated for four years. My guess is that Apple has seen the writing on the wall and that's why they have focused on new market segments (services, wearables) for future growth.

Florida Gator

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2004
Apple will never make an ultraportable MacBook again. It's clear their vision for portable computing is the iPad.

The Mac continues to be a decreasing part of their business and they aren't going to create more products that overlap with existing products.

As a loving user of the 12" MacBook, this bums me out. I keep checking out the new MacBook Airs but they are just too big. The iPad doesn't run the software I want and poking at an upright screen all day will give me RSI. Such a bummer.
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macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2016
So Calif
I agree with others that replied.

iPad Pro seems to be edging into the computing field and less in the tablet field. I have an iPad Pro but it's too heavy and large to travel with ...

Myself, I love the 12" Retina Macbook and use it everytime I travel.
I am looking to get a "backup" rMB because mine is a 2015 first gen and since it has been discontinued, I'd like to have a 2017 i5 12".

The closest to the 12" is the 11.6" Air which is more wide than tall.
Either would serve you well with the ultra light compact Macbook.
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macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2011
I would buy a MacBook 12 while you still can, with extra warranty. Difference between 2lb and 3lb MacBooks is quite significant when portability is important.
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macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
Ocean State
I used to think that the 11inch Air was not as useful as the 13inch Air because it was too small. Until I actually got my 2012 11inch Air, I did not realize just how wrong I was in my assumption. I have since upgraded to an 11inch 2015 i7 8GB Air and can't be happier. I use this laptop exclusively for travel and really love the ultra portability of this laptop.

As much as I love using my 11inch Air for travel, I too don't think Apple will sell a newer version of the 11inch Air. To me it looks like they are pushing the ipad with different variations including their Pro line...

I would love to see an improved 11inch version come out but I doubt we will ever see one...