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Apple unveiled the new MacBook Air M2 at WWDC 2022, and the long-rumored machine looked slightly different than rumors had predicted. Here’s what they got right and wrong.
When the M1 MacBook Air was launched in 2020, Apple did not change the exterior design of the Intel model in any way. Since that release, rumors have been pouring in from the usual suspects that Apple is working on a redesigned model for the M2 launch.
The 24-inch iMac has been the subject of much speculation surrounding the MacBook Air and what it might look like at first. Eventually, the rumors did business as usual and coalesced into something quite concrete and specific.
What we know about the MacBook Air M2
The MacBook Air has been redesigned with a slim aluminum enclosure in four colors. It has MagSafe, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and runs the M2 processor with a 10-core GPU.
A slim black bezel borders the 13.6-inch Retina display with a notch for the camera. The keyboard is black and the aluminum surrounding it is the same color as the case.
The MacBook Air M2 weighs 2.7 pounds, is 0.44 inches thick, and has an 18-hour battery life. It is available in four colors – Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Space Grey.
The timeline of rumors
The Apple rumor cycle is continuous as there is always something else brewing to be revealed by Apple. However, Apple has done a lot of work to eliminate a lot of industry leaks. This means that there are very few reliable sources that are always correct.
Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report on December 2, 2020, suggesting that a redesigned MacBook Air with mini-LEDs will arrive in 2022. This appears to be the first reliable leak of a new MacBook Air entering the market. production pipeline.
Digitimes corroborated Kuo’s report on January 7, 2021, citing industry sources. Specifically, sources expected the MacBook Air to launch in 2022 with a mini-LED.
On January 22, 2021, Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg, was among the first to say that a redesigned MacBook Air would work with next-generation Apple Silicon. He suggested that it wouldn’t replace the MacBook Air M1 but fit into a higher-end option. Gurman doesn’t mention the mini-LED but says a 2021 version is possible.
Jon Prosser said he saw a blue MacBook Air in a leaked photo on May 7, 2021, saying it will come in colors like the recently released 24-inch iMac. Three days later, he shared renders of a MacBook Air with white bezels, two USB-C ports with one on each side, and a white keyboard.
The renders were built based on images of a disassembled unit, colored blue, leaked to Prosser and his render artist. The base of the MacBook Air render had two rubber bands and there was no MagSafe port.
Mark Gurman’s May 18 reports corroborated the existence of a redesigned MacBook Air running an M2 processor. The product would launch as soon as late 2021 with a 10-core GPU, but that date was not concrete.
Notably, in this report, Gurman pointed out that Apple was planning a low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro with the same M2 processor.
In July 2021, Ming-Chi Kuo shared an investor note suggesting that Apple would implement a mini-LED in a 13.3-inch MacBook Air display debuting in mid-2022. In August, Kuo dubbed the mini-LED and mentioned that the new design would be similar to the unreleased 14-inch MacBook Pro and would come in multiple colors. Kuo reiterated those points in a September note.
In October 2021, leaks began coalescing into the MacBook Air M2 announced by Apple at WWDC, with a few exceptions. Leaker Dylandtk shared that the MacBook Air will be redesigned without a tapered edge, with MagSafe, a 1080p webcam, USB-C ports, no fans, a 30W power adapter, and the M2 processor.
This checks all the boxes except Dylandtk went on to say that the mini-LED could be introduced in the MacBook Air and the bezels would be off-white with the keyboard. The existence of a notch was also still in question.
Prosser released a new set of renders with the notch and MagSafe port after those leaks. The final renders were closer but still used the powder blue color and had USB-C ports on either side.
By January 2022, leaks had uncovered almost everything there was to know about the next MacBook Air. Gurman released a report stating that the M2 would be only marginally faster than the M1 and have a 10-core GPU.
At this point, it was a guess when a new MacBook Air might launch, and the target was moving fast. The “Peek Performance” event came and went without a redesigned MacBook Air, followed by reports from Kuo and Gurman that the device would arrive later in 2022.
Kuo followed up his report with another prediction, stating that Apple wouldn’t release any more “new” mini-LED products in 2022. That meant the MacBook Air wouldn’t get mini-LEDs either, and the analyst from display supply chain Ross Young agreed. .
A few weeks later, in April, Gurman revised the timeline again, stating that the MacBook Air M2 could be announced at WWDC alongside a second Mac, possibly a 13-inch MacBook Pro. He reiterated this in a May newsletter, stating that the MacBook Air M2 was a strong possibility for the conference.
Finally, days before WWDC, Gurman said the rumors surrounding the “colorful” redesign are likely overblown. He said the new model will come in the same colors as before, plus a new blue color.
What rumors were right
Mark Gurman continues to be one of the most accurate leakers thanks to his strong internal ties to Apple and its supply chain. It nailed the thinner and lighter design with next-gen Apple Silicon and a 10-core GPU eighteen months after release.
As usual, Ming-Chi Kuo had the most changes in his predictions, but that’s down to his source. Supply chain data typically changes quickly and doesn’t always have the most up-to-date information.
Kuo was able to accurately predict the M2 MacBook Air’s launch window right away, though he wasn’t right about the color variety. He revised the mini-LED prediction, meaning the panel may have been intended for a MacBook Air but ultimately didn’t make it to the final product.
Ross Young continues to be very precise, although infrequent. He was right to suggest that the new MacBook Air might increase its screen size to over 13.3 inches.
Dylandtk was almost spot on in his first reports, but seems to have walked away from the leaks and may have deleted his Twitter account.
For the MacBook Air, Prosser doubled down on the white bezel and keyboard, pioneered the wide variety of colors, and missed other design points. Prosser’s render artist says many of the missteps in the renders were based on guesswork surrounding the render and not an issue with the leak itself.
However, the lower chassis with two rubber feet, the two USB-C ports with one on each side, and the white accents show a very different computer than what was launched. Design details can be tricky to pin down because Apple typically tests multiple prototypes internally. The MacBook shown in Prosser’s renders may exist in Apple’s testing facilities, but it doesn’t appear to be the final production model.
The rumor cycle is endless
Every major leaker continues to post Apple product leaks and predictions. Next up is the new Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro, due over the summer, and the iPhone 14 coming in September.