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M3 MacBook Air and Pro to launch in October, and they deserve a proper Apple event

Published Aug 28th, 2023 10:13AM EDT
MacBook Air 15-Inch Main
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

All eyes are on Apple this time of year. We’re just a couple of weeks away from the iPhone 15 launch event. The mid-September keynote should feature at least one more product announcement, the 2023 Apple Watch refresh, which will cover the Series 9 and the next-gen Ultra models.

As for the oft-rumored M3 MacBook Air and Pro, the new laptops likely won’t debut until October. It’s too early to say whether Apple will hold another special event for the M3 laptops. But I think the M3 chip alone deserves a proper keynote. If the latest rumors are accurate, the M3 chip will be unrivaled.

This would make the upcoming M3 MacBook Air an incredibly competitive device, and a no-brainer choice for many consumers looking for a new notebook.

Reporting for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman had this to say about the upcoming M3 MacBook Air and Pro laptops:

The structure of the event, I’m told, will match the iPhone 14 launch: A prerecorded video will be shown online, as well as at an event at the company’s headquarters. In-person attendees will be able to try out the iPhone 15 and new Apple Watch after the presentation. There’s also another launch occurring in October — likely for the first M3 Macs — but it’s unclear if that will be positioned as a formal event.

That’s all the insider wrote about the M3 machines in a piece focusing on the next-gen iPad Pro models that Apple will unveil next year. Those tablets will also run on the M3 platform, by the way.

As Gurman says, he’s not sure if Apple will hold a formal event for the M3 MacBook Air and Pro. A press release announcement could always work because the laptops likely won’t get a major design refresh.

MacBook Air 15-Inch Closed
15-inch MacBook Air closed. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

But there’s reason to be excited about the M3 upgrade. If you’ve followed the iPhone 15 Pro rumors, you might know that Apple has reportedly bought out TSMC’s entire 3nm processor manufacturing capacity for the upcoming year. This is supposedly a sweetheart deal between the Taiwanese foundry and its biggest customer, Apple.

I explained when the rumor dropped that the exclusive access to 3nm chips would give Apple a major competitive advantage in next year’s smartphone battles. The A17 Bionic powering the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max will be unrivaled. If the report is accurate, no Android vendor will have 3nm chips in their flagships next year.

This isn’t about the iPhone 15 Pro models outperforming the Galaxy S24 Ultra and other flagships by a wide margin. It’s about the energy efficiency that the 3nm process brings. Add the leaks that tease larger battery capacities for the iPhone 15 models, and the battery life might see a massive boost on the iPhone 15 Pros.

How is that relevant for the M3 MacBook Air and Pro? Well, the M3 is also expected to be a 3nm chip. Apple didn’t release a 15-inch M3 MacBook Air earlier this summer because the M3 wasn’t ready. That’s what rumors have said. Apple might have preferred to launch the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air as soon as possible rather than wait for the M3 chip upgrade.

The M3 chip could be an even bigger upgrade for the 2023 13-inch MacBook Air than the A17 Bionic is for the iPhone 15 Pros. It could deliver big performance gains over its predecessor. But, again, it’s the M3’s energy efficiency that could be the main upgrade for Apple’s laptops.

If Apple can significantly boost the MacBook Air’s already tremendous battery life quote, PCs will have a tough time beating this generation of Macs. And remember that more powerful versions of the M3 will power next year’s MacBook Pro models.

If all these leaks about Apple’s exclusive access to 3nm manufacturing are accurate, and if the M3 is really going to deliver a ground-breaking upgrade, then Apple might be better served holding a proper launch event for the M3 MacBook Air and Pro come October.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.