Whats next for the MBA ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by alpinadvl, May 17, 2015.

  1. alpinadvl macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    Besides the obvious wishlist that has been beaten to death : retina display etc etc ....

    what are the next realistic changes coming for the MBA ?
    speculative (yes..we all love those).... but more importantly, non speculative

    ram increases? 16gb realistic ?
    SSD capacity?
    what chips (suitable for the air) are in the pipeline?

    thunderbolt 2 and USB-C ? (or would that just be redundant)

    I am curious what are the realistic next things down the pipeline...
  2. LittleLuth macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2014
    Ride off into the sunset?

    Personally, my bet is that the MBA transitions to the value leader until such time as it reaches End of Life in the product cycle. I would bet that happens without any major changes. The Macbook will gain a larger version with more powerful processors and maybe another port or 2 and the Pro will continue to get longer battery life, all the bells and whistles. Maybe there's another processor speed bump, but that is about all I would bank on. I think the launch of the Macbook, in lieu of an actual upgrade of the MBA pretty much signaled the end there. That's not to say it won't hang around for awhile, maybe quite awhile... I mean they're still selling the cMBP with an internal Superdrive for goodness sake...
  3. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Price drops and very few if any updates.

    Why would they update the Macbook Air with retina displays and more features? The new Macbook fills the super thin-and-portable role, and if you want more power/ports I'm sure the 13" retina MBP will only get thinner over time.

    The Macbook Air might stick around for another couple of years as a cheap model aimed at education and similar markets.

    I think if they wanted to keep it fresh and updated they would have at least put the Force Touch trackpad in it this year.
  4. Freakyshiat macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2011
    i dont think the air is going anywhere, I think its up for a major overhaul and upcoming design will be 'inspired' by the new rmb design. Which is why they didnt put a force touchpad in this chassis.
  5. Mac-lover3 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 2, 2014
    I know not a lot of people share my opinion but here is mine:
    The MacBook Air will receive up to 3 significant updates (3 years) by significant I mean (more RAM possible 16GB, bigger SSD drives 758GB/1TB, updates from Intel processors). But price will be around the same (999$) as new entry Mac. It replaces the Mac Mini as entry Mac, because Mac Mini will receive the new Skylake processors in October (if available then) if not around March.
  6. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    I like the features of the new MB; however, I think the 12" screen is just a little too small for me, as 13" was pushing the limit.

  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I think the 2015 is the last generation of the Macbook Air. It will be offered until 2017-2018 with 2015 specs. It will replace the 2012 cMBP and perhaps only the 13" version will be available.
  8. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Exactly. It is the new cMBP.
  9. alpinadvl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2008
    I agree and echo the same sentiments as others here...

    it is what i have been thinking as well. The money for apple is in a closed consumer model (not that the MBA was "open" by any means...)...

    it just seems easy enough to do the simple chip, ram, ssd bumps with each cycle. I doubt retina will make an appearance, but, i would imagine "force touch" track pad comes before retina will (if ever).

    Just to keep consistency among the product lines... and to influence people into the "force touch" benefits of watch, iphone (soon), and computer.... also, I fully expect the iPads to gain this feature.

    My hope is that the macbook pro transitions more to the silhouette of the macbook air. For me, it has been a real pleasure using this (currently 2011 MBA)... and I made myself a "promise" to get every other generation of the computer... so... I guess I am off to purchase the top-o-line custom build to order version of the 2015.... ;)

    Honestly, if the 2015 MBA had "force touch" and more SSD or more ram ... I would not have hesitated... I fully imagine that a 6 month spec refresh is likely, with either these as options (probably not force touch)....

    The MBA ticks off so many of the things I really like in a portable. I thought an iPad would be the "future" for personal computing ... but I have likened that experience to more of a device to consume media and information (as well as play games) <--- arguably what we all do with our personal computers at least 50% of the time! ...so the iPad never won me over (bought 3 different version of them ...and returned them all)

    I love using the MBA, it is a pleasure using this kind of device. The battery life is a huge benefit, and the thinness and weight savings over the MBP (even though on a spec sheet don't look like much of a difference) , is a huge difference in every day use.

    Does anyone know of any processor / chip candidates that are in the pipeline that would likely be slated for a future MBA / MBA-like device ?

  10. crsh1976, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015

    crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    Frankly I'd love to have the U processor of the MBA coupled with a retina display, instead Apple has us choose between the MBA and the rMB (or the rMBP). The illusion of choice, every model has its set of compromises.

    I like the rMB's screen and form factor, but cannot stomach the high price for such a weak processor; I like the MBA but the screen really should be better for a 2015 machine; I like the rMBP's awesome screen and processing power, but its bulk keeps making me eye the thinner/lighter models.. I can't win.
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I also hope the Air 13 stays around for a long time but Apple is on this stupid thin is great thing and I fear they will do away with the Air. If they get their way we will all have only one port on our devices.:mad:
  12. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Don't worry, the rMBP will still have multiple ports for a long time to come :)
  13. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    We will see but I bet that sooner or later even the MBPro 15 will go on a huge "diet"!
  14. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The weight is not much more (1/2 a pound so the weight of a good burger it'll hardly break your back) the thickness is the same and the rMBP actually has a smaller footprint.

    The only bonuses for the air are price and battery life. If these aren't a consideration then spec for spec (RAM and SSD size the same) the rMBP is always a better option.
  16. randomtask macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2010
    All I want is:

    1. 11" macbook air
    2. Screen that fills the lid and minimal bezel. I think you could squeeze in a 12.5"+ screen into it (at least 1080p rez also).
    3. 16gb ram

    Nothing else touched or changed.

    I've owned 2 11" macbook airs both maxed out. I love everything about the machines. The new macbook is an absolute no buy for me (dislike keyboard, force mouse thing, rubbish cpu, lack of ports - crap) and the macbook pro is too big.

    I will genuinely shed a tear if mba line is discontinued.
  17. SHNXX macrumors 68000

    Oct 2, 2013
    This is a really strange situation, as the name Air implies thin and light but actually it's not the thinnest or lightest in the lineup.
  18. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    The MB has definitely seen its last major updates with the 2015 update. It most probably won't even get Skylake, and it definitely won't get higher RAM or storage capacity options. I have lived with and loved the the 2011 11" MBA for 4 years as my primary professional use laptop (management, finance, and accounting consulting work) but the model is now 7 years old, and the new MB is going to be where Apple will be focusing its energy. The MBA will hang around for a couple of more years as the value proposition Mac, the 11" might be axed even sooner as the 12" MB has an even smaller footprint already.

    The only reason the cMBP is still around is because it has an internal Super Drive. The only reason the the 13" MBA will probably hang around is also because of connectivity for those that can't let go...SD card, TB 2 and USB-A in a servicable package.

    I think we're in for a major chassis rededign of the MBP line with Skylake or Cannonlake, think similar non-tapered unibody chassis as now, but 13.5mm thin all the way around, just enough to house regular USB-A ports. Assume USB-C gets included as well as TB3. It will make the MBA line feel even more legacy than it really is.

    There is no room for the MBA line in that mix when you already have the MB there, which will only mature and blossom with Skylake and Cannonlake upgrades - things like LPDDR4 memory, TB3 support, USB 3.1 Gen 2, etc. not to mention the increased CPU/GPU capabilities at the same TDP levels. Core M processors will probably exceed the 2015 Broadwell U processors in the MBA in every aspect by Cannonlake.
  19. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The most realistic thing happening to the MBA is its removal from the product pipeline. Its fairly obvious that 12" MB is a prototype product that is designed to replace the MBA line in the long run. Just as the MBA line was replacing the old consumer MacBook earlier.
  20. g33k macrumors member


    May 12, 2015
    I really want Apple to give it a IPS 1920x1080 screen instead of that terrible 720p, bad viewing angles, and bad color reproduction display. In another 5 years it probably won't exist.
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Your post sums up my feelings exactly on both the outstanding MBA and the new offering, the rMB.

    The MBA is a superb computer, and I currently have two (a complicated story) a 13" and an 11" both of which are maxed out. Superb computers, fast, reliable, powerful and utterly portable with a terrific battery - for people who travel a lot - and I travel quite a lot - nothing touches them for convenience, portability, speed and power.

    Yes, a retina screen would be nice, but I much prefer what I have in terms of power, speed and reliability to the underpowered and under-resoucred rMB.

    However, many of the same criticisms applied to the first generation of the MBA; the form factor was superb, but it was an under-powered computer, and it took Apple a few generations to get the MBA to the level where it was a serious work computer. I expect a similar path for the rMB.

    And yes, in common with yourself, I, too, will shed a tear if the MBA is discontinued - my current maxed out model is easily the best computer I have ever had, bar none.
  22. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    You will cry if Apple discontinues a computer? Really? ;)

    I also have a maxxed out 11" MBA and it's the best computer I have owned too (going all the way back to my Apple ][ in 1978 and Fat Mac 512k in 1985).

    I have no plans to upgrade anytime soon. But when I finally upgrade, I'll just pick the current model that best suits my needs. I could care less if it is called "MacBook Air". I didn't cry when they discontiued my PowerBook Duo or PowerMac G5 either. :D
  23. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    You and me both:)


    Why kill the Golden Goose? Both the 11" & 13" have been real cash cows:cool:


    Never thought about it that way:eek:
    12" rMB,13"rMBP,15" rMBP line up,3 instead of 5;)

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