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New MacBook Air might experience release delays, even if it’s coming at WWDC 2022

Published Jun 6th, 2022 8:28AM EDT
MacBook next to AirPods Pro.
Image: nhannan/Adobe

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Apple’s main WWDC 2022 keynote is just a few hours away, and we already think we know what to expect from this year’s developers conference. As usual, the event will focus on Apple’s software innovations, with iOS 16 being the star of the show. But Apple might unveil some hardware products from the Mac family. Specifically, reports say the 2022 MacBook Air refresh is coming at the show, bringing a brand new design and several color options. But while Apple might unveil the new MacBook Air at the event, insiders warn that release date delays might follow.

New MacBook Air design

We saw rumors detailing the purported MacBook Air redesign about a year ago. But Apple only gave the MacBook Pro a significant design makeover in 2021. The Pro laptops received a larger screen with a notch at the top, several useful ports, MagSafe charging, and a full keyboard. The MacBook Pro also got a new chassis and powerful processors.

The MacBook Air will not receive the same design updates, however. Various insiders have already detailed the purported 2022 MacBook Air design, indicating that the laptop will have a flat chassis and a 13-inch screen. The display might get a notch, just like the 2021 Pro. Moreover, it might support MagSafe charging just like the Pro.

But the 2022 Air version will not have the same ports bonanza as the latest Pro. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman made that clear in his latest Power On newsletter release. The laptop will only feature two USB-C ports.

Finally, the 2022 MacBook Air will have a full keyboard like the MacBook Pro, complete with Touch ID support.

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro
Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro version. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Release date delays

Gurman said in his newsletter that if Apple does unveil the 2022 MacBook Air, he expects stock shortages or a “non-immediate release date.” That’s because the recent lockdowns in China have impacted Apple’s operations, especially Mac manufacturing. The insider did not offer a release date estimate, however.

Apple did go for non-immediate release dates with other devices in recent years to make up for manufacturing and shipping delays.

Earlier, Gurman took to Twitter to say that the MacBook Air will not be available in the same color palette as the iMac. Instead, Apple will sell the 2022 model in up to four colors. The wildest of the bunch might be a shade of blue.

Reacting to the tweet, trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said he expects Apple to manufacture six to seven million MacBook Air units in the second half of the year. But that’s only if Quanta’s Shanghai capacity returns to pre-lockdown levels before the third quarter of the year.

The implication here is that Apple can’t manufacture the new MacBook Air at full speed. Therefore, launch delays and supply issues might be in the cards for the 2022 MacBook Air model.

However, Kuo noted that the MacBook Air should be in a better condition than the MacBook Pro. That’s because Foxconn is also manufacturing the Air alongside Quanta.

More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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.