Since Apple released the latest generation MacBook Pros last year, speculations have been high that the MacBook Air, the Cupertino-based tech giant’s entry-level, budget-friendly laptop, would soon be discontinued. Considering that Apple has already retired the 11-inch MacBook Air, the succeeding rumors stating that the 13-inch MacBook Air would be following suit definitely appears to be well-rounded. If recent reports are any indication, however, it seems that Apple might be thinking twice about retiring the MacBook Air series altogether.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple is allegedly double-thinking its previous strategy with the MacBook Air, especially since the aging laptop has enjoyed consistently good sales despite its outdated specs and low-resolution screen. With revenue from the MacBook Air being surprisingly strong, the Cupertino-based tech giant seems to have changed its mind about the future of the laptop. Thus, there is a chance that the 13-inch MacBook Air would be given a much-needed upgrade this year, most likely during Apple’s WWDC 2017 this coming June.
While the reports of the MacBook Air being given an upgrade this year could not be verified, the timing of the rumors definitely makes perfect sense. After all, Microsoft has just revealed the Surface Laptop, an ultraportable device that is practically designed to take down the current MacBook line. Apple might appear to be betting the future of its ultraportable series with the 12-inch MacBook, but the Surface Laptop, with its legacy ports, balanced hardware and optimized Windows 10 software, seems to have managed to do what the iPhone-maker could not — balance power and portability with very few compromises.
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With Apple seemingly coming to terms with the fact that its Mac lineup is still a profitable business, the Cupertino-based tech giant finally appears to be ready to explore unorthodox strategies to keep itself highly competitive. One of the ways it could do this, of course, is to not abandon a device that has been well-loved by consumers and avid Apple fans alike for years, the MacBook Air. The laptop, after all, remains a very reliable device that could quite literally outlast all of the MacBooks in Apple’s current lineup.
The possible update to the MacBook Air asks a very real question, however. If Apple is indeed exploring the idea of updating the Air this 2017, what upgrades would the aging laptop be given? Since the machine is an entry-level device, there is a relatively slim chance that the 2017 MacBook Air would have a revamped frame or an improved display. What is likely, however, are updates to its internals.
MacBook Airs have always been the slightly underpowered versions of the MacBook Pro line. Unlike the 12-inch MacBook, which uses an Intel Core-M processor, the MacBook Air utilizes Intel Core-i chips. Thus, with Apple’s laptop lineup widely rumored to receive updated Kaby Lake processors, there is a very real chance that the MacBook Air 2017 would be fitted with a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 chip. A memory boost to 16GB RAM is also likely to be rolled out to the device, according to a MacWorld report.
Upgraded processors and more RAM might not be the only upgrades that the 2017 MacBook Air might receive, as the laptop could also be fitted with new and improved batteries, better cooling modules and a more durable chassis. Among these rumored features, the 2017 Air’s improved batteries would most likely be the laptop’s killer feature, seeing as the outgoing, aging model already manages up to 14 hours of battery life due to its low-resolution screen. If Apple opts to keep the old MacBook Air display while improving the battery, the Cupertino-based tech giant would have an entry-level laptop that could practically outlast every single competitor by hours.
Since Apple is not giving any official details about the MacBook Air 2017, these speculations need to be taken with a huge grain of salt. If these rumors prove true, however, there is little doubt that Apple would be able to compete very well in the sub-$1000 laptop market. These speculations would likely be proven true or untrue sometime this June when Apple holds its WWDC 2017.
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