The MacBook Air 2017 release date is thus far unknown and truth be told, the laptop may not even launch at all. Last year was a busy year for Apple, but it saw no major improvement on the previously reigning lightweight laptop. An upgrade is long overdue – and the tech giant might be intending to keep it that way.
According to speculations and rumors abound the internet, a MacBook Air 2017 is not coming at all. There was no MacBook Air 2016 and there will not be a 2018 version either. Why? Because the Air brand no longer differentiates itself from other thin and lightweight Apple products such as the MacBook 2016 and the iPad Pro.
The MacBook Air’s discontinuation has been the subject of talks in the industry for a long time now, but Apple has neither confirmed nor debunked any. However, hints of the brand’s impending demise keep on coming. Fans have enough reason to believe that it will not be getting a successor ever.
— Apple Freak (@ToshApple) January 28, 2017
Last year, the MacBook was updated with new internal specs and a Rose Gold color as announced at Apple’s Spring Event. During which, it was also revealed that the Air lineup’s minimum RAM will be bumped up to 8GB. It was no significant upgrade, but nevertheless, fans hoped that a new iteration with new hardware will be introduced at the Worldwide Development Conference in June 2016 or at the October Keynote Event.
Both are already over and neither held a MacBook Air 2016 announcement, leaving fans dejected but still hoping for a successor. Now comes 2017 and rumors of the laptop’s downfall are stronger than ever. Apple has already stopped upgrading the iPad Air in favor of a smaller iPad Pro. Will it resign the MacBook to this fate as well?
The MacBook has effectively kicked off the MacBook Air from the throne with its lighter and smaller build. Those who don’t need the power of the Pro and want convenience above all, now prefer the more compact and much more chic laptop instead of the perfectly okay Air variant.
The MacBook Pro is also now a part of the competition as sleeker and lighter iterations are being released each year. Although much more expensive, the 2016 variant can pass off as a compact laptop – one that is powerful at the same time.
Then there’s also the iPad Pro, a phablet that’s being marketed as a laptop replacement. It’s undoubtedly handier than the MacBook Air, which begs the question, is there no place at all for a new Air in Apple’s lineup?
There’s one reason – and only one – that may make the Air stay a little longer. It’s currently the least expensive among the aforementioned options. Serving as an entry-level Apple laptop, a new MacBook Air 2017 could target students and those taking the first step into the world of OS X.
With the astronomical prices of the MacBook Pro, or even the iPad Pro, not everyone can afford to buy one. Keeping a cheaper alternative will allow the Cupertino-based company to reach out to more customers and to retain business with people looking to upgrade their laptops.
With that said, there’s still a chance that a MacBook Air 2017 with higher specs and a few other changes could be announced at one of Apple’s upcoming events. There’s no telling, though, just how much of the current specs will be upgraded.
Should Apple decide to release a new MacBook Air this year, or ever, at least the 13.3-inch variant is expected to be launched. It will most likely ditch the traditional USB port as what the MacBook Pro 2016 did, and refresh its processor. However, to keep it different from the MacBook 2016 and more affordable, a Retina display will probably not arrive in the Air at all.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]