The long-rumored MacBook Air 15-inch is expected to be announced during WWDC 2023 on June 5. According to industry analysts and leakers, this laptop will be similar to the current MacBook Air M2 only in a larger chassis. Folks such as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman report the 15-inch notebook will also sport a new iteration of the Apple M2 chip but will otherwise be the same laptop as its 13-inch counterpart.
If the 15-inch MacBook Air is real, it begs the question: how much will this laptop cost? We reached out to a number of industry analysts to get their thoughts on how much they think you’ll pay for the MacBook Air 15-inch. Here’s what they had to say.
How much will the MacBook Air 15-inch cost?
As things stand, the MacBook Air line has the most affordable laptops in the Apple ecosystem. The MacBook Air M2 starts at $1,199 while its predecessor, the MacBook Air M1 costs $999. The 15-inch MacBook Air will likely cost more than the 13-inch Air. However, it should be priced lower than the entry-level $1,999 MacBook Pro 14-inch.
Avi Greengart, lead analyst at Techsponential, also believes Apple will price the 15-inch MacBook Air somewhere between the MacBook Air 13-inch and the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This is what he said when I asked him about the MacBook Air 15-inch's price.
“Apple’s current Mac lineup has a big price gap between the 13-inch MacBooks (which range from $999 for an M1 Air to $1,299 for an M2 MacBook Pro) and anything larger (the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999),” said Greengart. “There is definitely a need for a 15-inch MacBook Air that sits in the middle, starting somewhere between $1,299 and $1,499.”
“There is definitely a need for a 15-inch MacBook Air that sits in the middle, starting somewhere between $1,299 and $1,499.”
Greengart went on to say that it’s in Apple’s best interest to keep the 15-inch MacBook Air competitively priced given how sales of MacBooks have tumbled recently.
“Mac sales have slumped after accelerated sales during the pandemic and earlier Apple silicon Mac launches pulled in demand, so Apple may want to come in on the lower end of that range.”
Carolina Milanesi, President and Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, also believes Apple will charge more for a 15-inch MacBook Air. She told me how the existence of this model could affect the price of the current Air.
"I [think] Apple could drop the current generation to $999 and have a new gen on M2 at the current price and add $200/300 for a 15-inch. If they change design language, the old [model] could be cheaper.”
I found this quote particularly interesting. As stated above, the MacBook Air M1 currently costs $999 to start. If Apple were to offer the current M2 Air for the same price, it would effectively render the M1 version obsolete. I think Apple might even discontinue the M1 MacBook Air if that's the case.
Regarding Milanesi’s statement about a “new gen on M2,” this could refer to the rumored refreshed 2023 M2 Air that Mark Gurman has talked about. If that laptop manifests, it’d make sense for Apple to drop the price of the current $1,199 M2 Air.
The fate of the 13-inch MacBook Pro
The possibility of a 15-inch MacBook Air raises questions about the necessity for a 13-inch MacBook Pro. We've previously written about how the MacBook Air 15-inch should make the 13-inch MacBook Pro irrelevant. This is a sentiment Avi Greengart agrees with.
“However, no matter what price point it chooses, if Apple introduces a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, it will make the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro an awfully hard sell, so I would look for Apple to either quietly drop that model or upgrade the 13-inch MacBook Pro to an M2 Pro chip.”
"...if Apple introduces a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air, it will make the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro an awfully hard sell."
Regarding that last point, Gurman has said that Apple might announce 3 new MacBooks at WWDC, including a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. If it does, it makes me wonder if this alleged laptop will have a form factor akin to the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pros or if Apple will once again offer a 13-inch laptop with the infamous Touch Bar and without MagSafe charging. It's hard to say.
The 15-inch MacBook Air hasn’t been officially announced. But given the number of reliable sources claiming its existence, it seems likely we’ll see the laptop either at WWDC or sometime in the near future. If true, it will no doubt command a higher price than the 13-inch MacBook Air, as the analysts we’ve spoken with have said.
The exact price remains a mystery, but I think it’s safe to assume it’ll fall somewhere between the $1,199 MacBook Air M2 and $1,999 MacBook Pro 14-inch. WWDC 2023 happens on June 5 so it won’t be long until we (hopefully) get some definitive answers to our questions.