Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

OldCorpse

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 7, 2005
1,758
347
compost heap
I checked some other threads, but none address my q well, so:

I can wait a bit, but don't want to unless there's gonna be a BIG improvement with the M3 versions.

Here are some things that would make me wait - any two of the following: OLED screen, 16/512 base for same price as today's 8/256 ($1500), one more thunderbolt/usb 4 port on the other side, 2 more hours of battery life, 0.3lbs lighter, back to sloping keyboard, more color choices (and no fingerprint magnets).

So any two items from the list above, and I'd be willing to wait as long as until June 2024, so how likely is it, in your opinion, that at least two items from the list above will appear in the new M3 version?

Of course it could be that the M3 chipset *alone* is worth waiting for, but from what I've seen of the M3 so far, it's not a MASSIVE improvement over M2 (correct me if I'm wrong!) and not something I'd wait for more than 2-3 months at best - and we probably won't see the M3 15" MBA appear before March 2024 at the earliest, in which case, nah, I ain't waiting for just the M3 chipset until April-June 2024. My use case is mostly word processing, some data crunching (nothing intense), watching yt videos, streaming ((HBO etc.), web surfing, very light photo/video editing. If the M3 drops between now and February 2024, I'd wait, but not longer.

Finally, maybe you think there's something coming with the M3 MBA that hasn't occured to me, in which case I'm all ears: tell me if something so amazing is coming, that when I see it, I will -

1)immediately soil my pants from trauma that I missed out on something so fantastic

or

2)seeing the new M3 in the Apple Store, and realizing that I didn't wait for it, I would faint on the spot, hit my head against the hard edge of the display table, be taken to the emergency and spend a difficult two months in recovery learning to speak again, the first few weeks only vocalizing "blaaa...blaaa...blaaa"

If however the only likely improvement is a meh M3 chipset in exactly the same laptop, all coming in late June 2024, then, my dear friend, I will order my 16/512 BTO right after Thanksgiving, and laugh at the whole concept of FOMO.

What is your best guessa? TIA!
 

gwhizkids

macrumors G5
Jun 21, 2013
12,287
19,590
I checked some other threads, but none address my q well, so:

I can wait a bit, but don't want to unless there's gonna be a BIG improvement with the M3 versions.

Here are some things that would make me wait - any two of the following: OLED screen, 16/512 base for same price as today's 8/256 ($1500), one more thunderbolt/usb 4 port on the other side, 2 more hours of battery life, 0.3lbs lighter, back to sloping keyboard, more color choices (and no fingerprint magnets).

So any two items from the list above, and I'd be willing to wait as long as until June 2024, so how likely is it, in your opinion, that at least two items from the list above will appear in the new M3 version?

Of course it could be that the M3 chipset *alone* is worth waiting for, but from what I've seen of the M3 so far, it's not a MASSIVE improvement over M2 (correct me if I'm wrong!) and not something I'd wait for more than 2-3 months at best - and we probably won't see the M3 15" MBA appear before March 2024 at the earliest, in which case, nah, I ain't waiting for just the M3 chipset until April-June 2024. My use case is mostly word processing, some data crunching (nothing intense), watching yt videos, streaming ((HBO etc.), web surfing, very light photo/video editing. If the M3 drops between now and February 2024, I'd wait, but not longer.

Finally, maybe you think there's something coming with the M3 MBA that hasn't occured to me, in which case I'm all ears: tell me if something so amazing is coming, that when I see it, I will -

1)immediately soil my pants from trauma that I missed out on something so fantastic

or

2)seeing the new M3 in the Apple Store, and realizing that I didn't wait for it, I would faint on the spot, hit my head against the hard edge of the display table, be taken to the emergency and spend a difficult two months in recovery learning to speak again, the first few weeks only vocalizing "blaaa...blaaa...blaaa"

If however the only likely improvement is a meh M3 chipset in exactly the same laptop, all coming in late June 2024, then, my dear friend, I will order my 16/512 BTO right after Thanksgiving, and laugh at the whole concept of FOMO.

What is your best guessa? TIA!

Buy now if you need a new computer now.

No one has the slightest idea if any of your desired features would come with the new MBA. But given the lack of external changes to the MBP line, I tend to doubt it, especially along the lines you are thinking.

If you always wait for the hypothetical cool new features, you will be perennially disappointed.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 604
May 30, 2018
6,646
6,091
there
My MacBook Air m1 from 2020 is incredible and should last longer and
hopefully supported by  longer than the intern ones
im glad I did not wait.

but I needed one then,
and one with the silver contoured design.
especially since  went thin square curved box on all their devices now.
and the concern that Ventura was an iPad os while Monterey was still computer-like.

experts think that  will stick with the flat, square design and the Mac OS similar to an iPad for quite some time.

hoped this helped.
 

James Godfrey

macrumors 68020
Oct 13, 2011
2,058
1,700
Personally I think that the Air line will trail behind the pros in terms of chipset and likely won’t get a refresh now until WWDC at the earliest… similar to how the iPhone and iPad line up have panned out.

I would be very surprised if the M3 Airs arrive in the spring as I think the first quarter is going to have a heavy focus on Vision Pro.
 
  • Like
Reactions: snipr125

arcite

macrumors 6502a
My use case is mostly word processing, some data crunching (nothing intense), watching yt videos, streaming ((HBO etc.), web surfing, very light photo/video editing.
------

You don't need an M3 for that. OLED screens are also YEARS AWAY. Apple is just not happy with them

The M2 15 Air is great today, I have one. . Also....you can bet the M3 air, when it comes out, will cost more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimmy_uk

1BadManVan

macrumors 68040
Dec 20, 2009
3,161
3,301
Bc Canada
A lot of your wishes won't be making it to the air for the M3, the sloping keyboard, oled panel etc, I doubt will be coming for the m3. Considering the new m3 in the pro is still 8gb standard, there's no way the air will get a ram boost for the base model. The m2 air is still stupid fast for what it is, its my daily device and I have a full blown gaming desktop, but I happily sit on the couch with this for my daily tasks
 

tstafford

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2022
984
901
I have a base model 13" M2 MBA and have no intention of upgrading to the M3. The M2 is a very solid machine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dizmonk

dizmonk

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2010
1,077
676
I checked some other threads, but none address my q well, so:

I can wait a bit, but don't want to unless there's gonna be a BIG improvement with the M3 versions.

Here are some things that would make me wait - any two of the following: OLED screen, 16/512 base for same price as today's 8/256 ($1500), one more thunderbolt/usb 4 port on the other side, 2 more hours of battery life, 0.3lbs lighter, back to sloping keyboard, more color choices (and no fingerprint magnets).

So any two items from the list above, and I'd be willing to wait as long as until June 2024, so how likely is it, in your opinion, that at least two items from the list above will appear in the new M3 version?

Of course it could be that the M3 chipset *alone* is worth waiting for, but from what I've seen of the M3 so far, it's not a MASSIVE improvement over M2 (correct me if I'm wrong!) and not something I'd wait for more than 2-3 months at best - and we probably won't see the M3 15" MBA appear before March 2024 at the earliest, in which case, nah, I ain't waiting for just the M3 chipset until April-June 2024. My use case is mostly word processing, some data crunching (nothing intense), watching yt videos, streaming ((HBO etc.), web surfing, very light photo/video editing. If the M3 drops between now and February 2024, I'd wait, but not longer.

Finally, maybe you think there's something coming with the M3 MBA that hasn't occured to me, in which case I'm all ears: tell me if something so amazing is coming, that when I see it, I will -

1)immediately soil my pants from trauma that I missed out on something so fantastic

or

2)seeing the new M3 in the Apple Store, and realizing that I didn't wait for it, I would faint on the spot, hit my head against the hard edge of the display table, be taken to the emergency and spend a difficult two months in recovery learning to speak again, the first few weeks only vocalizing "blaaa...blaaa...blaaa"

If however the only likely improvement is a meh M3 chipset in exactly the same laptop, all coming in late June 2024, then, my dear friend, I will order my 16/512 BTO right after Thanksgiving, and laugh at the whole concept of FOMO.

What is your best guessa? TIA!
Based on the trend there will be a 10-15% performance increase. I would also suspect there will be an increase in battery life. It won't be anything massive. Apple silicon was the big shift... I'm guessing we'll be seeing incremental improvements for a while. I have an M2 and it's fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rocketbuc

ipaqrat

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2017
349
379
Workloads sound like M2 will be adequate, performance-wise, and seems well regarded for quality. But the hype cycle is in full swing, ramping up FOMO, with no practical expectation of buyers remorse counseling or speech rehabilitation. To firm up your resolve to procure rationally, as a tool to fulfill specific use cases... Consider an Apple Refurb and focus on the savings (not on the previous owners germs).
 
  • Like
Reactions: dizmonk

OldCorpse

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 7, 2005
1,758
347
compost heap
Thank you everybody! My love to you all - this is a great community!

You convinced me. I'm buying the current MBA 15" M2, and I'm not worried about FOMO.

My only fear now is that I'll get a defective unit, and I want a BTO 16/512. Recently I've had bad luck with Apple products, three in a row (bad battery iPhone, bad keyboard MBP 13" M1, poor screen touch response on iPad Air 3). All bought new, all failed eventually. In the past I was lucky with Apple products, but recently I had three in a row bad ones, so I'm a bit spooked.

THANK YOU AGAIN EVERYBODY!!!!
 

Saturn007

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
1,529
1,416
OC, you've already decided on buying now, but I've been pondering the same issues — what will be coming in the M3 15” and what might I miss out on if I purchase right away. My preferences and wished-for features line up well with yours.

One thing for sure — keep your eye out for early Black Friday sales. You can buy certain 15” configurations right now that include a big discount, e.g., from Best Buy, and have until mid-January to return it if you change your mind.

Now, you had gotten further than I had in making a list of the features and crystallizing the decision-making with your nifty “any two of the following” approach.

Here's how I would judge these in case anyone else is still curious about or would like these features. This is very long, so readers are forewarned. (Please don't fault me for that. 🙈 😁 It might be tedious to you, but could be just what others would like to see and read!)

Here are some things that would make me wait - any two of the following:

OLED screen
Apple has been reserving the better screens for the Pro models, so this is incredibly unlikely to appear in an M3 15”. (Such screens also can introduce PWM and eye strain so that would be a problem, even a big one, for some users.)​

16/512 base for same price as today's 8/256 ($1500)
Apple is the master of upselling, charging $200 for each step up in RAM or SSD capacity, so this is just as unlikely. They love starting out with a base model that's 8/256 and wringing more money out of the customers who want 8/512 or 16/1TB. In other words, I'm pretty sure that this won't happen, either!​

one more thunderbolt/usb 4 port on the other side
Given that Apple *removed* the Thunderbolt port from the right side of the new base M3 14”, there is almost no way they would *add* a port to the other side of the 15” M3 MBA. What we see now is what we'll get in the M3.​

2 more hours of battery life
No doubt, Apple will tout an extra couple of hours of *video watching via the Apple TV app* — that “up to 22 hours battery life” is so misleading as a general claim, but much of tech press has echoed it.​
However, for web browsing and most uses of the MBA, battery life will remain the same. Right now, e.g., Apple tells us that the M2 15” MBA gets the same 15 hours of wireless web browsing as the 14” M3 MBP does. So, don't expect any substantial gains here.​
Keep in mind, too, that the M2 MBAs already have superb battery life as it is, so adding even another general hour or two wouldn't be that big a deal.​

0.3lbs lighter
Given how thin the 15” is, and how light it already is compared to the 16” MBP and other 15” laptops on the market, and that it has about the same weight as the 14” MPBs, this is another wanted change that, alas, is in the realm of fantasy.​
Keep in mind that shaving off that much weight would be a technical challenge that could involve frame, case, and internal changes. Also, the 15” is now only about .6 lb heavier than the 13” MBA. Can't see Apple trying to reduce the weight further.​
back to sloping keyboard
Unfortunately, that ship sailed with the M2 MBA. Love the wedge; it's iconic, still futuristic, and, for many of us, great for typing on — indeed, *better* for typing on. But the streamlined box shape is here to stay. (Some speculate the wedge was vanquished to help counter the occasional screen cracking on the M1 MBAs.)​
Most relevant here, Apple has standardized on a new design language for its MBA laptops and their cases and frames. It's far too soon to change it now.​
more color choices (and no fingerprint magnets).
Now, this to me is an exciting and still unknown prospect. We had rumors that the M2 MBAs were going to come in the iMac rainbow of colors — along with white keyboards and frames.​

It still could happen. Given Apple's penchant for incremental changes, even with new chips, they might want to juice sales with something beyond “scary fast” (rapidly becoming a shopworn phrase). When many YouTube reviewers, rightly or wrongly, proclaim “meh” about the base M3, Apple will need to do something to bring excitement to the M3 MBA line.​

Instead of changing the case design, extending the battery life substantially, or adding a port, it'll be easier for Apple to introduce a fun, colorful, expanded palette — and even show it off as matching iMac colors.​

In other words, only 1 of your desired features has even a fair chance of appearing in the 15” M3 MBA, so buying an M2 15” now makes good sense.
 

gwhizkids

macrumors G5
Jun 21, 2013
12,287
19,590
OC, you've already decided on buying now, but I've been pondering the same issues — what will be coming in the M3 15” and what might I miss out on if I purchase right away. My preferences and wished-for features line up well with yours.

One thing for sure — keep your eye out for early Black Friday sales. You can buy certain 15” configurations right now that include a big discount, e.g., from Best Buy, and have until mid-January to return it if you change your mind.

Now, you had gotten further than I had in making a list of the features and crystallizing the decision-making with your nifty “any two of the following” approach.

Here's how I would judge these in case anyone else is still curious about or would like these features. This is very long, so readers are forewarned. (Please don't fault me for that. It might be tedious to you, but could be just what others would like to see and read!)




Apple has been reserving the better screens for the Pro models, so this is incredibly unlikely to appear in an M3 15”. (Such screens also can introduce PWM and eye strain so that would be a problem, even a big one, for some users.)​


Apple is the master of upselling, charging $200 for each step up in RAM or SSD capacity, so this is just as unlikely. They love starting out with a base model that's 8/256 and wringing more money out of the customers who want 8/512 or 16/1TB. In other words, I'm pretty sure that this won't happen, either!​


Given that Apple *removed* the Thunderbolt port from the right side of the new base M3 14”, there is almost no way they would *add* a port to the other side of the 15” M3 MBA. What we see now is what we'll get in the M3.​


No doubt, Apple will tout an extra couple of hours of *video watching via the Apple TV app* — that “up to 22 hours battery life” is so misleading as a general claim, but much of tech press has echoed it.​
However, for web browsing and most uses of the MBA, battery life will remain the same. Right now, e.g., Apple tells us that the M2 15” MBA gets the same 15 hours of wireless web browsing as the 14” M3 MBP does. So, don't expect any substantial gains here.​
Keep in mind, too, that the M2 MBAs already have superb battery life as it is, so adding even another general hour or two wouldn't be that big a deal.​


Given how thin the 15” is, and how light it already is compared to the 16” MBP and other 15” laptops on the market, and that it has about the same weight as the 14” MPBs, this is another wanted change that, alas, is in the realm of fantasy.​
Keep in mind that shaving off that much weight would be a technical challenge that could involve frame, case, and internal changes. Also, the 15” is now only about .6 lb heavier than the 13” MBA. Can't see Apple trying to reduce the weight further.​

Unfortunately, that ship sailed with the M2 MBA. Love the wedge; it's iconic, still futuristic, and, for many of us, great for typing on — indeed, *better* for typing on. But the streamlined box shape is here to stay. (Some speculate the wedge was vanquished to help counter the occasional screen cracking on the M1 MBAs.)​
Most relevant here, Apple has standardized on a new design language for its MBA laptops and their cases and frames. It's far too soon to change it now.​

Now, this to me is an exciting and still unknown prospect. We had rumors that the M2 MBAs were going to come in the iMac rainbow of colors — along with white keyboards and frames.​

It still could happen. Given Apple's penchant for incremental changes, even with new chips, they might want to juice sales with something beyond “scary fast” (rapidly becoming a shopworn phrase). When many YouTube reviewers, rightly or wrongly, proclaim “meh” about the base M3, Apple will need to do something to bring excitement to the M3 MBA line.​

Instead of changing the case design, extending the battery life substantially, or adding a port, it'll be easier for Apple to introduce a fun, colorful, expanded palette — and even show it off as matching iMac colors.​

In other words, only 1 of your desired features has even a fair chance of appearing in the 15” M3 MBA, so buying an M2 15” now makes good sense.

Very good post!
 

Jamacfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2015
289
271
京都市
In other words, only 1 of your desired features has even a fair chance of appearing in the 15” M3 MBA, so buying an M2 15” now makes good sens
I agree with the analysis but still, speaking generally, buying a machine at the end of the cycle when not absolutely necessary is not the best choice. Next year at worst we will still have a new chip, probably better battery life, new colors, updated Wi-Fi and bluetooth and other improvements.
 

Bel Marduk

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2016
50
41
I would not wait for the M3 if you really like the form factor of the 15". The thing was a massive commercial failure, only selling half of what Apple projected. I don't think there's a guarantee that the 15" will be updated in the future.

You can probably get a really good deal on one for Black Friday!
 

dizmonk

macrumors 65816
Nov 26, 2010
1,077
676
I would not wait for the M3 if you really like the form factor of the 15". The thing was a massive commercial failure, only selling half of what Apple projected. I don't think there's a guarantee that the 15" will be updated in the future.

You can probably get a really good deal on one for Black Friday!
Yea, I don't get why it hasn't sold more. It was launched for back-to-school period at a more than reasonable price point.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2016
3,684
10,673
Look at how often the MacBook Air gets a design refresh.
January 2008, October 2010, October 2018, July 2022.

Given that all of the rumors currently say that the MacBook Pro isn’t getting an OLED display until 2026 at the earliest, I think we’re at least five years out from that coming anywhere close to a MacBook Air.

So yeah, it’s going to be exactly like the latest MacBook pros.
Everything absolutely identical, except for the chip and maybe a new color.

As for the baseline model… Look at the M3 iMac.
8GB of RAM, 256 GB storage.
 

Lounge vibes 05

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2016
3,684
10,673
I agree with the analysis but still, speaking generally, buying a machine at the end of the cycle when not absolutely necessary is not the best choice. Next year at worst we will still have a new chip, probably better battery life, new colors, updated Wi-Fi and bluetooth and other improvements.
There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that it’s anywhere close to the end of the cycle yet.
The 15 inch MBA launched not even a full five months ago, it might not be refreshed again until next summer, which is 7+ months away.

And of course, there’s the quite large possibility that, much like the iPhone and iPad lineups, Apple starts staggering their chips throughout the lineup.
For Example, I wouldn’t be surprised if the MacBook Air doesn’t get the M3 until after an M4 MacBook Pro is introduced.

After all, the iPad Pro switched to M2 a year ago while the iPad Air still stays around on M1.

Lastly, the latest MacBook Pro M3 and iMac M3 have the exact same Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E as the current M2 MacBook Air, so it’s unlikely those would change.
 

Jamacfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2015
289
271
京都市
There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that it’s anywhere close to the end of the cycle yet.
The 15 inch MBA launched not even a full five months ago, it might not be refreshed again until next summer, which is 7+ months away.

And of course, there’s the quite large possibility that, much like the iPhone and iPad lineups, Apple starts staggering their chips throughout the lineup.
For Example, I wouldn’t be surprised if the MacBook Air doesn’t get the M3 until after an M4 MacBook Pro is introduced.

After all, the iPad Pro switched to M2 a year ago while the iPad Air still stays around on M1.

Lastly, the latest MacBook Pro M3 and iMac M3 have the exact same Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E as the current M2 MacBook Air, so it’s unlikely those would change.
Yes, next June at worst (probably earlier). It is somewhat widely believed that by the first half of next year MacBook Airs will be upgraded to M3, by the way the 13" model just next Summer will be 2 years old (MacRumors indicates this as "don't buy"). By the way, I definitely don't think Apple will leave its best-selling Mac with M2 for too long (certainly not until the pros have the M4...). For example, I have an Air M1 that I would like to upgrade (I need more ram and a bigger hard drive) but since I am not in a hurry, I would rather wait a few months than buy a product (M2) that is already a year and a half old since the M3 has already come out. Obviously none of us has a crystal ball but that's my opinion.
 
Last edited:

OldCorpse

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 7, 2005
1,758
347
compost heap
You are all so right, and thank you Saturn007 for righting it out so clearly. Now that I see what you guys are saying in black and white, I feel silly for even thinking of waiting - it seems my wishlist is pure wishful thinking and completely unrealistic.

And it seems logical that they wouldn't even give it a chipset bump to M3 anytime soon, maybe June 2024. The only reason they *might* do so earlier is if sales are below where they hoped for and they figured "we can't let these low sales drag on for another 8 months, so we'll juice it with M3 (and some colors?!) and transition the whole lineup to a consistent M3 and save on scale - OK, February 2024". Except, wouldn't they do it at the last event and have Black Friday, Holiday Season and another 2 months of sales? Or maybe too many current owners of the 15" would get annoyed? Who knows.

In any case, I'm buying 16/512 Black Friday!
 

gwhizkids

macrumors G5
Jun 21, 2013
12,287
19,590
I agree with the analysis but still, speaking generally, buying a machine at the end of the cycle when not absolutely necessary is not the best choice. Next year at worst we will still have a new chip, probably better battery life, new colors, updated Wi-Fi and bluetooth and other improvements.

Saying that it’s the end of the cycle in November when a refresh is not likely until February at the earliest and mid to late March most likely is probably not entirely accurate.
 

gwhizkids

macrumors G5
Jun 21, 2013
12,287
19,590
I would not wait for the M3 if you really like the form factor of the 15". The thing was a massive commercial failure, only selling half of what Apple projected. I don't think there's a guarantee that the 15" will be updated in the future.

You can probably get a really good deal on one for Black Friday!

You have no idea how many 15” MBAs Apple sold. To characterize it as a “massive commercial failure” seems a bit of a stretch.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors P6
Oct 1, 2007
15,627
16,452
I feel like you're going to be waiting a while and none of your wishes will be fulfilled.

probably likely LED / same design / M3 drop in and 8/256 base.

go for it and sounds like you already have so enjoy!
 

Jamacfer

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2015
289
271
京都市
Saying that it’s the end of the cycle in November when a refresh is not likely until February at the earliest and mid to late March most likely is probably not entirely accurate.
Maybe, but (at least about the 13" model) the MacRumors Buyer Guide thinks the same way. As for the 15" one I imagine that it will probably be updated at the same time.
 

Saturn007

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
1,529
1,416
Very good post!

You are all so right, and thank you Saturn007 for righting it out so clearly.

Thank you both for the kind words!

Now that I see what you guys are saying in black and white, I feel silly for even thinking of waiting - it seems my wishlist is pure wishful thinking and completely unrealistic.

I didn’t think you were being unrealistic at all! Your wishlist was a good compilation of what many of us want for the 15” and that Apple should do at some point. By spelling it out, you nicely crystallized the possibilities.

You helped clear up my thinking on this and helped my own decision-making on buying.

I'll see you at the Black Friday sales! 😎
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.