How likely is the rumoured 2018 refresh of the Macbook Air?

TomOSeven

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 4, 2017
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391
Basically, topic.

As for many, the MBA has always been my favourite computer but it's held back by it's god awful screen.

Now rumours of a 2018 MBA are out and I'm cautiously optimistic that my favourite laptop is getting a second lease at life.

What, if anything, do you think will change with the new generation?

USB-C, Retina, Kabylake-R?
 
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Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
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What I expect is for Apple to lower the price of the MB and drop the MBA. It might not be what people want or need but it seems like the next logical step for Apple.

The rumours do specify the name MacBook Air but if you look at Apple's lineup you see right away that the Air is part of an older generation of laptops. The name doesn't fit the pattern or Pro and non-Pro (iPad, iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro). The design is older, the keyboard is older, the screen is older etc. IMO, it's just a matter of time before they get rid of it.
 

sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
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Prescott Valley, AZ
What I expect is for Apple to lower the price of the MB and drop the MBA. It might not be what people want or need but it seems like the next logical step for Apple.

The rumours do specify the name MacBook Air but if you look at Apple's lineup you see right away that the Air is part of an older generation of laptops. The name doesn't fit the pattern or Pro and non-Pro (iPad, iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro). The design is older, the keyboard is older, the screen is older etc. IMO, it's just a matter of time before they get rid of it.
I agree. This is the most likely scenario... I don't think the "Air" name will remain. (it was already dropped from the iPad)
 

TomOSeven

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 4, 2017
357
391
What I expect is for Apple to lower the price of the MB and drop the MBA. It might not be what people want or need but it seems like the next logical step for Apple.

The rumours do specify the name MacBook Air but if you look at Apple's lineup you see right away that the Air is part of an older generation of laptops. The name doesn't fit the pattern or Pro and non-Pro (iPad, iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro). The design is older, the keyboard is older, the screen is older etc. IMO, it's just a matter of time before they get rid of it.
That makes a lot of sense but I still hope you're wrong.
 

SusanK

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2012
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That makes a lot of sense but I still hope you're wrong.
I bought one last week for insurance at Best Buy for $799. The site shows $699 this evening. I'll call tomorrow for price match. Hope the falling price is not an omen that MBA is discontinued. :(
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
6,091
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I would fully expect Apple to retain and update the MacBook Air.

To reduce cost, Apple can use the cheaper Kaby Lake Y-series processors. These processors are not only less expensive, but they also use less power. This means smaller batteries. The MagSafe port and card reader are gone for sure.

It's important to understand why the "Air" was dropped from iPad Air. Consumers were unwilling to pay $499 for a media consumption device and we saw that with tanking iPad sales. Nobody was buying the iPad Air 2. In fact, it's not even available on the Education Price List.

Due to price, the MacBook Air remains a popular choice for many, especially in education. In fact, the 11-inch Air is still available to order for $749. Clearly, there's demand for this old, but cheap notebook. So it makes sense for Apple to launch a $799 or $899 refreshed Air.
 

OldEditor

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2018
38
51
Crikey! With Best Buy now running a sale of the current, basic 13.3" MBA at $699, I'm thinking of trading in my early 2014 (trade in value of $265 per the BB online estimate) and getting a new (but current) 13.3 MBA at $435 from my wallet.
 
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Conza

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2018
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Australia
Look I'd love this to be true

Problem is, it should've already been replaced when they announced the "MacBook" 2 years ago, it should've been 'ok we'll keep the 13 inch the way it is' for 6 months, maximum a year, then come out with a new 13 inch as well.

Then you'd have MacBook Air 12 inch and MacBook Air 13/14 inch and we'd be good.

This is an awkward situation to have a MacBook, the smaller device, have a 1up on many areas to a MacBook Air, and the MacBook Air to be the bigger and cheaper device.

So I think what will really happen is what they should've done for a long time, release a MacBook 13/14 inch (13 seems to close to 12, so that's why I say /14) and then lower the MacBook 12 inch price to, I don't know what but less than it is now, and have the 14 inch probably at the same or slightly higher price point that the 12 inch is at today.

I'm in the market between a 12 inch MacBook and a 13 inch MacBook Pro, a 13 or 14 inch MacBook would be a seriously tempting idea to me.
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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There are a few rumours from different people (with different credibility) saying that there will be a 13" MacBook or MacBook Air, if Apple drop the Air from the line-up then they will probably introduce a 13" MacBook version. I think they may just drop the Air name discontinue the Air and introduce a 13" MacBook, drop the price of the 12" MacBook at the same time.

HOWEVER the only problem i've got with this is that the rumoured price is set to be around $799 - $899 can they really drop the 12" MacBook to that price?

The MacBook Air is also getting a big sale at the moment with people saying that it's currently around $650 at Best Buy. also i saw this on Twitter

If true (and it all fits especially with only a week until this Apple education event) then the Air is being sold off and a 13" - "14 MacBook may take it's place. It would make sense in that the MacBook is thinner and lighter than the Air. Like i've said the only thing that i can't understand is the rumoured price point of $899 that seems really low.
 

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bigjnyc

macrumors 604
Apr 10, 2008
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What I expect is for Apple to lower the price of the MB and drop the MBA. It might not be what people want or need but it seems like the next logical step for Apple.

The rumours do specify the name MacBook Air but if you look at Apple's lineup you see right away that the Air is part of an older generation of laptops. The name doesn't fit the pattern or Pro and non-Pro (iPad, iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro). The design is older, the keyboard is older, the screen is older etc. IMO, it's just a matter of time before they get rid of it.
this makes a lot of sense. Next years iPhone might even be iPhone and iPhone pro for the 6.5"... but then that leaves the LCD version without a name so maybe not lol.
 

Kermit262

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2014
285
394
Central Ohio
Crikey! With Best Buy now running a sale of the current, basic 13.3" MBA at $699, I'm thinking of trading in my early 2014 (trade in value of $265 per the BB online estimate) and getting a new (but current) 13.3 MBA at $435 from my wallet.
I thought this same thing and was tempted, but knew I'd kick myself in the butt if next week they announce a retina MBA with updated specs for less than the current MSRP. It would make the $700 deal not as appealing.
 
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Yvan256

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Jul 5, 2004
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Another thing, no idea if it's related or not, but Apple removed the Refurbished MacBook Air 11" from the menu in the Canadian store. It was still there a few weeks ago.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
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Conflicting reports, on one hand you have some commentators saying (presumably the existing) air will get a price cut, and others saying a retina model will take it's price point... I'm leaning towards the former for anything introduced at the education event later this month, hitting a lower price point will be key for that market. Only upgrade I'd expect in that case is a new intel chip (or maybe even a custom A series chip if it's designed to run limited locked-down education software).
 

OldEditor

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2018
38
51
I thought this same thing and was tempted, but knew I'd kick myself in the butt if next week they announce a retina MBA with updated specs for less than the current MSRP. It would make the $700 deal not as appealing.
So true.
Apple does put us through some mental gymnastics with its decision making and product releases.
Sigh.
 

deepen03

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2010
117
38
I bought one last week for insurance at Best Buy for $799. The site shows $699 this evening. I'll call tomorrow for price match. Hope the falling price is not an omen that MBA is discontinued. :(
I hope it is! TIME TO GO.
[doublepost=1521651815][/doublepost]
There are a few rumours from different people (with different credibility) saying that there will be a 13" MacBook or MacBook Air, if Apple drop the Air from the line-up then they will probably introduce a 13" MacBook version. I think they may just drop the Air name discontinue the Air and introduce a 13" MacBook, drop the price of the 12" MacBook at the same time.

HOWEVER the only problem i've got with this is that the rumoured price is set to be around $799 - $899 can they really drop the 12" MacBook to that price?

The MacBook Air is also getting a big sale at the moment with people saying that it's currently around $650 at Best Buy. also i saw this on Twitter

If true (and it all fits especially with only a week until this Apple education event) then the Air is being sold off and a 13" - "14 MacBook may take it's place. It would make sense in that the MacBook is thinner and lighter than the Air. Like i've said the only thing that i can't understand is the rumoured price point of $899 that seems really low.
Why not? There are m3 Chromebooks at $499 and the Lenovo Yoga 12.5" is at around $599. Apple can definitely afford to do it.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,677
5,175
Another thing, no idea if it's related or not, but Apple removed the Refurbished MacBook Air 11" from the menu in the Canadian store. It was still there a few weeks ago.
Still currently there on the UK store (none currently available though) will keep an eye out to see if it does disappear in coming days. There again I saw some 13” unibody MacBook pros on there not too long back, and those were discontinued at the same time as the 11” air if I recall correctly...
 

OldEditor

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2018
38
51
And the basic 13" MBA is at $850 today at Best Buy.
Different price every few days, apparently.
 

Dave245

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2013
8,057
5,815
I hope it is! TIME TO GO.
[doublepost=1521651815][/doublepost]

Why not? There are m3 Chromebooks at $499 and the Lenovo Yoga 12.5" is at around $599. Apple can definitely afford to do it.
Chrome books are cheap crap and made cheaply Apple don’t make cheap products in that respect, if the rumours are true I certainly don’t think there will be any MacBook below $799 I think the higher end of $899 is more likely, and if Apple announce a 13” version of the MacBook I think It will be more expensive than the 12” MacBook.
 

deepen03

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2010
117
38
Chrome books are cheap crap and made cheaply Apple don’t make cheap products in that respect, if the rumours are true I certainly don’t think there will be any MacBook below $799 I think the higher end of $899 is more likely, and if Apple announce a 13” version of the MacBook I think It will be more expensive than the 12” MacBook.
I'm not saying they are high end, but this isn't "cheap crap." $499 and it has a better screen than the MacBook Air with the same m3 chip as the MacBook. Not Retina, but at $499 it's an aluminum body, with 2-in-1 capability, USB-C etc.

https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C302CA/
[doublepost=1521653006][/doublepost]This shows that Apple can definitely make a sub-$1000 laptop and be profitable.

https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/700-series/Yoga-720-12/p/88YG7000919
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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I'm not saying they are high end, but this isn't "cheap crap." $499 and it has a better screen than the MacBook Air with the same m3 chip as the MacBook. Not Retina, but at $499 it's an aluminum body, with 2-in-1 capability, USB-C etc.

https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C302CA/
[doublepost=1521653006][/doublepost]This shows that Apple can definitely make a sub-$1000 laptop and be profitable.

https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/700-series/Yoga-720-12/p/88YG7000919
We will see what happens but I’m certainly not expecting that. At most I think the Air could remain in the lineup at a cheaper price while they introduce a 13” or 14” MacBook at a higher price point.
 
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Falhófnir

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Aug 19, 2017
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We will see what happens but I’m certainly not expecting that. At most I think the Air could remain in the lineup at a cheaper price while they introduce a 13” or 14” MacBook at a higher price point.
The 13” thin and light section of the lineup is already saturated, I don’t see what a 13” MacBook would offer over the 13” non touchbar Pro? A 14” or even better if they do a 14.5” would potentially be able to differentiate itself from the others a bit by virtue of the extra screen space. Really though a consumer 15” is what’s conspicuously lacking currently.
 
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Dave245

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2013
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The 13” thin and light section of the lineup is already saturated, I don’t see what a 13” MacBook would offer over the 13” non touchbar Pro? A 14” or even better if they do a 14.5” would potentially be able to differentiate itself from the others a bit by virtue of the extra screen space. Really though a consumer 15” is what’s conspicuously lacking currently.
Just going by the rumours ao far and they all point to either a Air refresh with potentially a Retina display OR a 13” MacBook. I think adding a 13” or 14” MacBook would be different because it’s not part of the Pro lineup and would use low powered processors like the current 12” MacBook does, not everyone needs to power of the Pro OR maybe they replace the Air completely and add a new 13” MacBook to replace it but not call it the Air and that could be where the confusion is lying.
 
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