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Apple’s exciting new MacBook Air redesign won’t launch until next year

Published Jul 23rd, 2021 7:31AM EDT
MacBook Air Mini-LED
Image: Jon Prosser and Ian Zelbo

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Apple will launch the first MacBook Pro models with mini-LED displays later this year, several rumors claim. The new devices might launch as soon as September, bringing over a significant redesign. Screen upgrades aside, the new Pros will bring back MagSafe charging and some of the old ports. The MacBook Air will receive its own massive redesign, and we already saw what the new portable laptop might look like. But an insider says that the redesigned MacBook Air is only launching in 2022. The good news is the upcoming MacBook Air version will get a mini-LED screen of its own.

Apple launched the first mini-LED screens for mobile devices earlier this year. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the only tablet to rock the high-end display. Mini-LED tech allows Apple to deliver a significantly improved screen experience. Better brightness, better blacks, and improved contrast ratio are the highlights of mini-LED tech.

But Apple has been facing manufacturing issues that crippled supply initially. Reports say the same issues might have impacted the MacBook Pro launch. Both 14-inch and 16-inch laptop models will ship with mini-LED screens, according to reports.

MacBook Air with mini-LED display

Rumors earlier this year said Apple might launch a MacBook Air refresh featuring more color options, in line with the new colorful iMac. The new Air would be thinner than before, the same reports said. The Air would also get a next-gen M-series processor, which is the kind of upgrade we should expect from any new Mac generation.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo threw in the mini-LED display upgrade into the mix again. According to MacRumors, he said in a note to investors that Apple will release the new MacBook Air around the middle of 2022. The notebook will feature a mini-LED display, a claim that Kuo made before.

The insider did not reveal other details about the upcoming Air upgrade. It’s unclear at this time whether Apple will launch a mild MacBook Air refresh in 2021. Apple last updated the Air series in November 2020, when it launched the M1 Air variant. It seems unlikely to expect a new Air in stores later this year if the mini-LED display upgrade is set to happen only a few months later.

A report a few weeks ago also claimed that Apple’s colorful MacBook Air upgrade will drop next year, alongside a new M2 processor. That report made no mention of a mini-LED display upgrade for the MacBook Air line.

Previous rumors said that the MacBook Air redesign will bring over thinner bezels and MagSafe charging technology. The new Air will also feature two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports.

Kuo did say that if component shortages improve in late 2021 and 2022, then Apple might sell 20 to 22 million combined MacBook units next year.

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.

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