(Bloomberg) – Apple Inc. plans to expand the line of laptops using its new fastest internal chips next year, with the goal of gaining more market share, people with knowledge of the issue said.
The company is working on a larger MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen for launch next spring, people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are not public. This would mark the first model of this size in the 14-year history of the MacBook Air. Apple is also developing what would be its newest smaller laptop in years.
The new models underscore Apple’s strategy of using proprietary processors to make a profit in a market led by Lenovo Group Ltd. and HP Inc. The company began to separate from longtime partner Intel Corp. in 2020 and announced its latest chip, the M2, in a developer program. conference earlier this week. Better performance and new designs have helped stimulate the resurgence of the Mac line, which accounts for about 10% of Apple’s sales.
The 15-inch model under development is a larger version of the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that Apple announced this week. This design, unveiled on Monday at the developers ’event, is thinner than recent models, builds on the M2 chip, and leaves the wedge-shaped front frame. It is considered to be the largest revision of the MacBook Air since it was introduced by Steve Jobs in 2008.
Apple had previously considered a 15-inch variation for this year’s MacBook Air, but dropped those plans to focus on the 13.6-inch version. However, even this model will take time to reach consumers. Despite this week’s presentation, supply chain limitations will prevent it from going on sale until July.
Apple has also begun work on a new 12-inch laptop and is considering launching it in late 2023 or early 2024. If Apple moves forward with the launch, it would represent the company’s smallest laptop since it stopped manufacturing the 12-inch MacBook. in 2019.
An Apple spokesman based in Cupertino, California, declined to comment on the company’s plans.
Apple unveiled its latest 12-inch laptop in 2015 with a thin frame, but the device has been criticized for keyboard failures and sometimes slow performance. It’s unclear whether the new 12-inch laptop would be a low-end device or a high-end machine that is part of the MacBook Pro line, which currently comes in 13.3-inch, 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch sizes. inches.
Between 2003 and 2006, Apple also sold a 12-inch version of the PowerBook, the predecessor to the MacBook Pro. And it briefly offered a MacBook Air with an 11.6-inch screen. Apple’s new Mac processors, based on the same architecture as the iPhone and iPad, are designed to allow the company to increase performance within thinner casings.
Apple also plans new high-end MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips by the end of 2022, though the release date may be in early 2023. These new 14- and 16-inch models, codenamed J414 and J416, will not be radically new products beyond offering the fastest chips. Apple will also launch a new 13-inch MacBook Pro next month with the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air.
The upcoming high-end MacBook Pros M2 Max chip will include 12 main processing cores and up to 38 graphics cores, compared to a maximum of 10 processing cores and 32 graphics cores in current models. Bloomberg has reported that new versions of the Mac mini and a refurbished Mac Pro are also being tested at Apple. And the company is already working on an M3 chip for a future iMac and other products.
The switching of Intel chips has been a success for Apple so far, helping to increase Mac revenue significantly. The company reported $ 10.4 billion in Mac sales during the second fiscal quarter, nearly double the $ 5.4 billion it generated in the second quarter of 2020, before Apple made the switch.
Apple also plans to release a larger version of the iPad Pro next year, according to Bloomberg. The new model will take advantage of the new multitasking capabilities included in iPadOS 16. And the company is preparing new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros by the end of the year.
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