Apple’s new product launch: 2 MacBook Airs plus 1 surprise cancellation


Apple has just announced two new Mac laptops: MacBook Air models with M3 processors on board, available almost immediately. This was surprisingly early: updated Air models were expected and the latest rumours predicted an announcement as soon as sometime this week. However, an announcement today is about as early as could be.
Apple MacBook Air, now with M3 chip APPLE

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman commented on the Apple launch in his latest Power On newsletter yesterday, had said, “Apple’s marketing teams are preparing to announce them relatively soon.”

More recently, he posted on X, “Retail stores are low on MacBook Airs and iPad Pros; Stores are planning a minor refresh for this week (I think it’s a new accessory rather than a new product).”

As it turns out, as well as being announced, they’ll be in store this week and are available to order now.

Two new MacBook Air models, now with M3

The MacBook Air 13-inch and 15-inch models have now been updated to include the latest M3 processor, adding speed and power without adding a cent to the price. That means from US$1,099 (A$1,799) for the 13-incher, while the 15-inch Air starts at US$1,299 (AUD$2,199)

U.K. pricing is even better. Where the M2 models were £1,149 and £1,399 respectively, both are now actually cheaper: £1,099 and £1,299.

This means the new models now have the same M3 processor found in the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch.

The Air price suddenly becomes all the more compelling: $500 cheaper for the 13-inch model compared to the Pro, or $300 less for the Air with a bigger screen than the 14-inch Pro.

Apple says the new models are up to 60% faster than the equivalent with M1 processor. Apple makes this comparison not just because it sounds good but because most people looking to trade up will likely be coming from an M1 Air or even an Air with Intel inside.

Other differences include support for two external displays, if the laptop lid is closed, fast download speeds as Air with M3 “features Wi-Fi 6E, which delivers download speeds that are up to twice as fast as the previous generation.”

How about the Pro?

The Pro has plenty of other differences, of course, such as bigger entry-level storage (512GB against the Air’s 256GB), a display with mini-LED backlighting and which is much brighter and has an adaptive refresh rate, plus a studio-quality microphone array, HDMI port and an SD card slot. Even so, the addition of the M3 chip makes the Air very appealing.

The design is identical to the model it’s replacing. This is not a surprise as the 15-inch Air was only announced last June, so the design is still brand spanking new.

Goodbye MacBook Air (M1)

However, an older design was still available on the MacBook Air with M1 processor. It still looks good, but it’s been around for more than five years—it was first unveiled in New York in October 2018, when it had an Intel processor on board.

So, it’s no surprise that the earlier model has now been retired. It was the lowest-priced model ($999, £999 U.K.), though I’d argue that even before today that the M2 models were better value.

Instead, Apple is releasing a MacBook Air with the latest design, but with the M2 processor for the old price, $999, or £999 in the U.K. This is available with a 13-inch display only.

This is a very clever move: the price of admission to the world of MacBook Air remains the same as before but for something way better.

Release Date And Availability

The new MacBook Air 13-inch and 15-inch are available for pre-order from today and go on sale at the end of this week, on Friday, March 8. The 13-inch M2 model is on sale now.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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