With the 15in MacBook Air available to buy around the world (including New Zealand, where it’ll set you back at least NZ$2,499) and apparently selling well, Apple has been asked one big question: why wait 15 years to introduce a big-screen model?
Before the 15in model arrived, the Air had only been available in 11.6in and 13.3in sizes, with the former long retired.
But Apple isn’t to blame for that, apparently. No, it’s Intel’s fault — which may come as a surprise, given the huge number of 15in laptops packing Intel chips, but there we are.
“When we set out, we wanted to make a 15-inch MacBook Air,” Apple marketer Laura Metz told Inc. “But when you think of what the designs looked like previously, it just didn’t work.
“It just did not say ‘Air’ to us. It was only with Apple Silicon where we were able to have all the right components to bring that larger display along with the battery life and performance that users would expect from a MacBook Air.”
This doesn’t make a great deal of sense, given the smaller Airs also had the same constraints, and battery capacities increase with screen size, but there we are.
The important thing is that Apple is now selling a bigger laptop for people who find the power of the MacBook Pro a bit unnecessary. The 14in MacBook Pro, for example, starts at NZ$3,699 which is quite a lot more if you don’t need the power of M2 Pro, the extra ports, or the 120Hz screen.
And even for that, the screen isn’t quite as big as the 15in Air, meaning that you’d need to pay at least NZ$4,599 for the 16in model.
Of course, this could all backfire on Apple if people stop buying the Pros as they suddenly seem unnecessary. But in the Inc interview at least, Apple is spinning this as a positive.
“Apple Silicon suddenly made MacBook Air that much more capable for business use,” says Thomas Tan from the enterprise marketing side of things. “So we’re certainly seeing a lot of customers making that wholesale switch that otherwise we wouldn’t have seen before.
“We’re seeing customers in retail industries adopting MacBook Air for everyday use, we’re seeing that in manufacturing, and we’re seeing that in health care. So we think Apple Silicon has broadened the appeal to enterprise customers by a significant margin.”
You can read the whole interview over at Inc.