Apple Delays MacBook Innovation – Forbes

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Updated May 9th: article originally posted May 6th.
With Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference approaching, it’s becoming clear what hardware Tim Cook and his team will reveal for all to see the latest dream. WWDC will be focused on Apple’s mixed reality plans, the first headset, and the realityOS software.
A number of other product lines are expected to pick up new models, not least the MacBook Air, with the consumer-focused macOS laptop finally offering a larger 15-inch display. This is excellent news, at least at first glance. Look deeper, and Tim Cook’s Apple has made some disappointing decisions.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 06: Apple CEO Tim Cook stands next to a display of newly redesigned … [+] MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC22 developer conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Update: Monday May 8th That a new MacBook Air is on the way is becoming increasingly clear, with the latest details on the macOS laptop highlighting Apple’s intensive stockpiling efforts which typically precedes a product lunch. Oliver Haslam for iMore:
Now, a paywalled DigiTimes report… claims that Apple’s supply chain has started to stockpile 15-inch MacBook Airs in order to make sure that there are enough to go around.
The question now is not is there enough stock, the question is whether this is the time to invest in purchasing some of the M2 stock.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 06: Newly redesigned MacBook Air laptops are seen displayed during the … [+] WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC22 developer conference. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Update: Tuesday May 9th: Apple is also putting a lot of effort into the new MacBook Air to boost falling sales of the MacBook line. Given the slow progress of the updates since the spec-busting launch of the M1 processor in late 2020, those looking for a like-for-like upgrade have already made their purchasing decision. Apple will be hoping that the new 15-inch consumer-focused MacBook Air will find new consumers and bring them into Apple’s cloud,
Michael Simon picks up the details on Apple’s expectations:
“Apple’s Mac sales tumbled some 30 percent last quarter and the 15-inch Air is expected to inject some enthusiasm into the line… Apple expects to sell more than a million of the new 15-inch Air models this quarter, which will give sales a much-needed boost.
The question for these potential customers is if Apple is offering enough in terms of hardware right now, or if buying the macOS laptop now will lead to buyers’ regret next year.
Facade of the flagship Apple Computers store in the Silicon Valley town of Palo Alto, California, … [+] November 17, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
First of all, it’s right to acknowledge that a larger MacBook for consumers has been needed for some time. When there are countless options for Windows and Linux users, Apple has kept the larger screens for the more powerful (and more expensive) MacBook Pro models. It’s nice to welcome 2023’s Apple into a world it decided to avoid for decades.
Unfortunately, it has decided to do this with the Apple Silicon M2 chipset. This was launched at WWDC in 2022; given Apple has already refreshed the M2 chipset, and is showing a tendency to fully refresh the Mxx line-up, the specs on this 15-inch MacBook Air are a year behind the curve and likely to be superseded very quickly. Buying a new MacBook is an expensive investment that should last many years , even at the $999 entry level. Anyone purchasing this new model approaches the future with it already a year out of date.
Apple is working on a significant number of innovations for its MacBook line-up. Putting aside the futuristic ideas of foldable screens wrapping around the screen or a non-moveable keyboard with the ability to change what letters and numbers can be seen on the keys, the near future will see new display technology with a move to more vibrant and power-efficient microLEDs, the addition of a touch screen for input, and support for further integration of iPad apps into macOS.
HONG KONG, CHINA – 2021/11/29: The new Macbook Pro laptops with computer chips M1 Pro and M1 Max at … [+] an Apple store in Hong Kong. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
In one sense, the disappointment is ongoing; the PC market has long enjoyed success with 15-inch tablets in the $999 to $1499 price range, yet Apple has steadfastly refused to engage in this wide price bracket, reserving the larger-screened devices for more powerful and more expensive laptops. While there will be widespread acclaim within Apple’s geekerati, there will also be disappointment that Apple has finally broken the size barrier with an older chipset and a design that will be rapidly superseded
Still, it means you’re more likely to update when the 15-inch MacBook Air with the new shiny tech upgrades arrives in eighteen months.
Well played, Apple.
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