Will the MacBook Air be discontinued?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JKAussieSkater, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. JKAussieSkater macrumors member


    Mar 13, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just putting it out there . . .

    If Apple ever announces new computers (tongue-in-cheek joke), I'm predicting the MacBook Air won't be one of them.

    The current MacBook is so light, and thin, that it appears to have superseded the MacBook Air.

    Furthermore, the MacBook air is aesthetically inconsistent with the remaining Mac line-up of computers (the display's silver matted border—instead of black gloss—has always annoyed me).

    Is the MacBook Air in any way superior to the MacBook? Is there a reason it still exists as its own category?
    I don't think so, not particularly. I think it will be discontinued.
  2. infinitejest macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2016
    Orange County, CA
    Most likely, yes.

    The MacBook Air is performance wise superior to the MacBook. However, the MacBook is powerful enough for basic usage, such as browsing the web, watching videos or sending emails and it will even get more powerful with next generations (the first Air wasn't nearly as powerful as it is today).

    There were rumors that they put USB-C in the Air, maybe to keep it as an entry level computer for another year till they reduce the price of the Macook. But don't expect an entire overhaul.
  3. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    Yes, the Macbook Air is superior to the Macbook in some areas. Connectivity... having USB ports, Thunderbolt port, (and for the 13" MBA, SD card slot)... without the need for an expansion dongle at an additional price.

    For some, the keyboard and trackpad of the MBA is preferred over those on the Macbook.

    The value proposition of the MBA is superior. MBA's regularly go on sale... often for $100's less than a Macbook.

    But to the question, "Is there a reason it still exists as its own category?", the answer is yes (with the current prices and configurations of both MBA and rMB). But that won't guarantee that Apple will continue the MBA line.

    I think that the MBA is living on borrowed time. How much time depends upon how quickly Apple can reduce manufacturing costs of the rMB to be able to introduce a model that is below $1000 USD.

    I suspect that when the MBA is discontinued, it will go the same way that the iPod Classic went... immediately, without fanfare, and without advanced warning.
  4. colorfuel macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2015
    Lets not forget, the processors in the MBA are considerably more powerful than those in the MBs.

    The Macbook may be more stylish and neat, but the MBA has imo the perfect balance between speed, connectivity, portability and battery life.

    Sadly it had to be thinner and thinner instead of just updating the MBA with a retina display.

    The lord giveth and the lord taketh away...
  5. Pugly macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2016
    I think when you consider the MBA you have to consider what Apple has in the iPad Pros and MacBook. Both of these devices provide what an average user wants in a stylish package. The MBA is almost too powerful for it's own good, it provides too much value relative to other Apple products and price points.

    It's also less of an aspirational device, compared to the MBP and MB. Which I think is the main function of Mac computers nowadays. To provide an -ooh -aah impressive sense around the whole Apple brand... but they don't necessarily need to provide good value to the consumer. The MBA is too basic and purely functional to remain sold, it kind of sticks out.

    But that's what makes it great for me. I have an 11inch, and I feel I have the fastest computer possible in the smallest frame I can get. I run Logic Pro X and it never hangs in the projects I'm doing. I have enough connectors to hook up stuff (and I hook up lots of things, microphones, midi controllers, usb sticks.). I have easy access to a video out to seamless hook this up to larger screens. But my use is rather niche... and in the future of Apple SKUs I either get an iPad Pro or MBP. An inbetweener device like the MBA doesn't fit.
  6. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2015
    hi Lets see why Apple will discontinue it . If Apple decides to discontinue it then it wont be hasty; it will be Apples official decision; and that means the company will get it together to end their project if thats their decision .
  7. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I don't expect it to be around much longer either. Too bad, but things eventually change and we just have to deal with it. I suspect you would see a pretty significant difference in ripping a DVD on the rMB vs my i7 MBA. ;)

    Just started a large project editing legacy SD video, my 2013 i7 MBA has no problem with that (or HD either). But I got frustrated trying to find a way to expand the ports for an external monitor and tape deck, got a dock but it didn't work reliably so I returned it. Ended up setting up a dedicated editing machine with my 2012 Mac Mini.

    But the MBA is still good for this when I need portability. Don't think I'd be happy with the rMB for that kind of use.
  8. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    It would be a courageous decision for Apple to EOL the MBA.
  9. colorfuel macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2015
    I see what you did there.
  10. PilotC150 macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2015
    It would be a mistake to EOL the MBA without something decent to replace it. Right now the options are either going down to the MacBook, which means a much slower processor, smaller screen and spending more money. Or going up to the MBP and again spending more money, adding 50% to the weight, and a lower resolution screen (unless you spend quite a bit more to get a rMBP).

    The MBA is a sweet spot for lightweight but powerful enough for productivity and development.
  11. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    I was in the newly remodeled Apple store today here in Dallas and the only notebooks they had on display were the Macbook Air 13 & 11 and the retina Macbook 12". No Macbook Pros at all. Hmmmm.
  12. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I think that Apple will release computers according to which processors are available from intel.
    Which means that there will be a Macbook Retina, a Macbook Air (maybe retina soon), a Macbook Pro Retina;
    and possibly a Macbook Ultra with the Skylake Xeon Mobile processor.
    There would be no point in consolidation of the Mac Laptop lines while there is different processor groups allowing for 4 different types of laptops, as Apple would do better to introduce another line of Mac Laptops.

    Where I do agree that the MBA needs a redesign is in the screen, as they could easily squeeze another inch from the same form factor by reducing the bezel. This could then allow for colour options such as red, green, blue, gold, black.
    But I think that they would retain the Silver aluminium for 50% of the models, and 10% for each colour model.
    This would give a greater variety of cases.
  13. marcociccone macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2014
    Agreed. I use it at work, I just love it. Thin, light, really powerful (never had a SINGLE frame drop) and the battery lasts easily the whole day. It's just perfect. Just needs a slightly higher resolution display.......
  14. PilotWoo macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2006
    Its a popular machine and a good seller. It will probably go the way of the Classic Macbook Pro. They will keep selling it, with maybe a minor update, but it will be left to fade away.
  15. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    If they ever discontinue it, I immediately go buy me the latest Air model and hold on to it, can't stand single port USB-C, can't believe they took out the iconic lighted logo, that's like Mercedes getting rid of the tri-spoke hood ornament. Steve Jobs, where are you!
  16. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Don't forget: a "retina MacBook Air" that retains the same battery life as the current one would be about the same size and have roughly the same capabilities as a Pro since you'll need a bigger battery to power the screen.

    A retina MacBook Air doesn't make a lot of sense; it would be too close to a Pro in function and cost, so why bother?
  17. Caisteff01 macrumors newbie


    Aug 11, 2016
    Omfg MacBook Ultra would sound amazing and a 14 inch MacBook Air Retina but wishful thinking. You could maintain battery life and a Retina display but core m processors (basically rMB) or bigger chassis *Cough* rMBP. Thick question (not a tech expert) but would the bigger dimensions of the MBA help because I know because of the bezels. The MBA is bigger than rMBP.
  18. JKAussieSkater thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 13, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've noticed the rMB is significantly lighter than the MBA.

    I suspect if (again, hehehe) Apple announces a new MBP, they will also be thinner and significantly lighter than the last generation; perhaps the future MBP will be as light as the current MBA.

    If lightness and power are the reasons the MBA category still exists . . . Well, the speculated future MBP will probably achieve these things.
  19. andreyush macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2015
    Yea. Let's make everything lighter and thinner because we are some skinny dudes that can't carry their 0.0000002 grams ultrabook :( . I want something that weights 0.00000001 grams PLS APPLE DO SOMETHING :(. Macbook Air is so heavy. When my girlfriend asks me to bring her the MBA, first I do some push-ups and then with all my power I bring the MBA to her, but then I am so exhausted because MBA is so heavey :( .

    This (sorry macrumors) pussyfication is so stoopid. I get it . It's nice to be light and thin but duude, I don't want to slice my bread with my Macbook. I think the weight and the thickness of MBA is perfect :D. ]

    I will miss MBA so hard and I hope that Apple will replace it with something good (even with lighter MBP) not that little toy called Macbook. :)
  20. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    My prediction: Becomes Apples "Mac Mini" of laptops. Keep it around but never update it. Then 2-3 years from now it just fades away.
  21. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I think Apple will keep the MBA around, if only for the educational market. In my kids' school district, all of the teachers use MBA's and many of the kids get to use the classroom ones too.

    They need a laptop that they can sell in the education market for around $750, and I don't think the rMB is at that point yet.
  22. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010

    The Macbook Air is superior hardware wise except for the screen res....
  23. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010

    Spell check?
  24. kiwipeso1 Suspended


    Sep 17, 2001
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I'm not sure you'd need full retina, just Full HD in a 14" MBA would be fine. Would suit watching movies and making documents side by side, or writing next to a webpage. (Which is not easy on a MBA 13", just needs FHD resolution.)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    The reason the MBA exists is down to processor power ratings from intel, which allows for a smaller battery being sufficient for a SD screen. It would make sense if Apple remains the dominant laptop maker for the core i5/i7 U processor.
  25. Caisteff01, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    Caisteff01 macrumors newbie


    Aug 11, 2016

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