Skip to main content

New redesigned thinner MacBook Air rumored for mid-2016, perhaps including a 15 inch model


2015 isn’t over yet but the rumor mill is now churning for Apple’s 2016 product pipeline. According to a somewhat-sketchy report from Economic Daily News, the MacBook Air will be getting a major upgrade in mid 2016. The new design will be thinner and lighter with substantial internet component changes, as per the report. In terms of rough timeframe, the product could be announced at WWDC 2016, around June. The MacBook Air has not seen a significant hardware change since 2010, so a major update is certainly due.

The fate of the MacBook Air has been in question for some time, with the early 2015 Retina MacBook seemingly taking center stage in Apple’s thin and light laptop range, albeit priced slightly higher than the respective Air. Perhaps most interestingly in the Economic Daily News story is that Apple is considering a ’13 inch and 15 inch MacBook Air’ bringing the Air into the 15 inch screen size form factor for the first time.

The report also says Apple has not decided whether to keep the 11 inch model, arguably superseded by the Retina MacBook, in the lineup. With the iPad Pro and MacBook encroaching on the same space (in terms of both features and price) of Apple’s computer offerings, it is very possible the 11 inch model will go away. Although the report claims the next-generation MacBook Air will include new batteries, cooling modules, chassis and more, Apple is expected to stick to the same supply chain manufacturers, namely Quanta.

There’s plenty of time between now and June next year for a sketchy Chinese report to be invalidated, so don’t get too excited just yet. Purely speculatively, however, the five-year gap between a major refresh would signal Apple must be preparing a big change for the product regardless. Let us know in the comments … what do you want to see in a new MacBook Air?

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Ari - 7 years ago

    i think the MacBook Air should be phased out in favor of 12″ and 14″ rMB. Instead we should see a redesigned line of MacBook Pro, the pro design is starting to look old

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      MacBook is under powered and over priced.

      • rogifan - 7 years ago

        Which is what everyone said about the original MacBook Air.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        Agreed — and @rogifan, that’s a false equivalency — the original came at a time when no one else in the industry had anything close to being that portable and light. Times have changed, drastically.

      • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

        The macbook isn’t really overpriced – the macbook Airs just have a lower base configurations. If you match ram and HD capacity they cost the same.

        There are compromise is power and ports for more portability and a much better screen. The power will increase to not be an issue. I imagine they’ll have two usb-c ports soon also.

        We don’t need more products in this category. If the macbook isn’t capable enough for someone a 13″ mbp will be. When the new macbook is improved and they redesign the pros to be slightly thinner, no one will care that the air goes away.

      • Randy Matthews - 7 years ago

        Yes, the first Retina MacBook from 2015 clocked in at about the same speed as my old 2011 Macbook Air. I’m looking for a new computer. The 2016 upgrade was a slight improvement, and I absolutely love the form factor, slim design, that it weighs next to nothing, and the the amazing screen. But its hard to imagine that I’d be purchasing a new computer with marginally better processing power than my 5 year old Macbook Air. I am hoping they make a Retina Macbook Air. At least then, I could get something faster, and with a nice screen, that is also lightweight.

  2. usmansaghir - 7 years ago

    its either going to be MacBook line thats a winner or the iPad Pro. Where as before the ipad air was lacking the bigger screen and now with Apple pencil and keyboard compatible with the iPad pro its more and more going towards a notebook product. Apple will be try to put a massive differences between the two products, either with the os or hardware to keep sales of both products up.

  3. shaikhowest - 7 years ago

    The Macbook’s starting price should drop dramatically. What is the reason for it being so expensive? The retina display only? That alone means it should be 500$ more expensive than a Macbook Air which is more powerful btw?

    I think the Macbook should start at 1100$ or lower.

  4. rogifan - 7 years ago

    The only thing the MBA got this year was a spec bump. The MBP didn’t get redesigned but got the new trackpads. The MBA is clearly on its way out. This rumor is probably confusing the MBA and MBP.

    • taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

      I was wondering if they will drop the pro name with the redesign and and make it in 13″ and 15.

      I still don’t see the point of the MacBook. It’s under powered and over priced. I think the Pro and Air make the best lineup, especially considering the iPad Pro now.

      • rogifan - 7 years ago

        Again, that’s what everyone said about the first-generation MacBook Air. Apple is not going to dump the rMB after only being on the market for one year. The product is going to improve just like the MBA did.

    • Justin Stanley - 7 years ago

      Agree. I see the MBP getting a redesign into a smaller MBA-like form factor, and then the MB being the lower end alternative. No more MBA.

  5. triankar - 7 years ago

    the only downside is that this upgrade will be a few months away. I was hoping to hear some news about products coming out sooner than that (work-computer upgrade allowance). Either a USB-C upgraded rMBP or a cpu-upgraded MBr. Oh well :/

  6. avieshek - 7 years ago

    12″ (MacBook), 14″ (MacBook Air), 16″ (MacBook Pro)
    with 3K, 4K, 5K resolution somewhere in the future when 8K would be ready from LG.

    Just like iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro. ‘Coz the only difference these days are screen sizes. As similarly, the iPhone seems happen to be.

  7. avieshek - 7 years ago

    16″ MacBook, satsifying both the 17″ and 15″ size seekers

  8. avieshek - 7 years ago

    Remember, LPDDR5 is out! A good time to embrace wh’t constituted the ‘Air’ lineup.

  9. avieshek - 7 years ago

    A MacBook isn’t a touch-screen and never would be. So, the even-no screen sizes would be achieved in the same body size by squeezing out the ‘bezels’.

  10. avieshek - 7 years ago

    The latest MacBook Pro doesn’t have the “MacBook Pro” moniker on the bezels.

  11. OtakuMe - 7 years ago

    I would like them to remove the MacBook Air. Saves money, decreases the price of the MacBook, and makes the MacBook Pro a more favorable choice. The MacBook Air is the ONLY device Apple sells that isn’t retina. I feel they will remove the product, because otherwise why would they add the MacBook?

  12. Vincent Conroy - 7 years ago

    Give me a 12″ Retina Macbook with the specs and price point of a Macbook Air, and we’ll call it a day. Also, please don’t kill MagSafe. Even better, instead of tethering me to “one port fits all”, give me USB-C with an iPad Pro-esque Smart Connector. USB-C for charging just feels like a step backwards after using MagSafe.

  13. dipaguco - 7 years ago

    The Air was killed when they released the new Macbook. The iPad Pro was the nail in its coffin. I predict a 13″ Macbook & 15″ Macbook Pro. This will bring more clarity to both product categories, since the term Pro was essentially rebranded to refer to larger screen size with the iPad. This would also mean they’ll have to go back to calling the 10″ model iPad… A decade from now you ask? Well, we’ll be using our Apple’s (yes, just Apple) to refrigerate our food and toast our bread with a universal OS.

  14. acslater017 - 7 years ago

    Retina display, slightly smaller footprint/bezels, Force Touch, swap USB-C for Thunderbolt.

  15. Magnus Hedemark - 7 years ago

    I love my 2014 11″ Macbook Air and hope that the model continues. As a part-time writer, I love having a great writing tool that can go with me everywhere in ways that most laptops cannot. The rMB doesn’t really impress me, especially with the single port connectivity. I don’t really want an octopus cable coming out of my laptop just so I can connect to my Time Machine volume, plug in my YubiKey when I need to authenticate to a 2FA web site, etc. I’m also not ready to lose the Thunderbolt port. What would I like to see in the next Macbook Air? Processor refresh, improved 4K display support, base memory configuration of 8GB with an upgrade to 16GB possible from the factory (4GB really makes Apple products look bad, like a 16GB iPhone). I’d like to see disk capacity bumped in light of the major strides we’ve seen in SSD density. 2 USB ports and 1 Thunderbolt port are sufficient. And I really want that 11″ form factor again. I wouldn’t be butthurt if I had to lose the 3.5mm headphone jack (as I’ve finally switched to Bluetooth anyway).

  16. daikhoi2005 - 7 years ago

    If they stop MBA lines, I may go back to 2015 MBA…

  17. Richard Rosenberger - 7 years ago

    The best Macbook Air upgrade would be: Get rid of the ugly LCD, and fit in a decent IGZO display.

  18. Larry Fox (@lfoxlol) - 7 years ago

    Until they do away with that hideous bezel, I will pass on Air models. But, that’s just me…..and several thousand others.

  19. Larry Fox (@lfoxlol) - 7 years ago

    That hideous bezel is ridiculous. Apple can and should do much better with design with regards to MBA

  20. Ethan Ducayet - 7 years ago

    Would this lower the iFixit repairability score of the Macbook Air from a 4/10 to a 1/10?

  21. Subhankar Das - 7 years ago

    I think Apple will discontinue MacBook Air and Macbook Pro 13 Retina substitute them with a completely new model called MacBook 13, for this model they would give the buyer an option to chose either 1920×1200 or 2560×1600 resolution display. They would be powered by the latest generation Intel i5 and i7 processors and would probably have exactly same design elements as the MacBook 12 and would do away with all the ports and replace them with 2xUSB-C Port, headphone jack and a card reader. It would be as slim as the 12 inch MacBook and would have the same Butterfly switch keyboard, however unlike the 12 inch MacBook it would have a HD FaceTime camera. Just think about it all the power of an i5 or i7 powered Ultrabook in an extremely slim and compact size.

  22. Matt - 7 years ago

    I think Air going bye bye. All the details above refer to a redesigned MacBook Pro (13″ and 15).


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.