Apple’s serious miscalculation with the 15-inch MacBook Air

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Apple's 15-inch MacBook Air placed on a desk.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

Did Apple overestimate demand for a larger MacBook Air? A recent report suggests Apple reduced orders from its supply chain, indicating sales of the largest budget MacBook fell short of expectations.

According to DigiTimes, which specializes in supply chain news, 15-inch MacBook Air sales seem to be off to a bad start. People with knowledge of the matter are reported to say that Apple cut the shipment volume by half in July 2022.

Since Apple introduced the MacBook Air as a remarkably lightweight laptop, launching a large and relatively heavy version could prove to be a mistake. It’s only been a month, and the notebook market has slowed recently as a whole, so sales of Apple’s newest Mac, the 15-inch MacBook Air could pick up in the coming months.

Weight and cost could be a concern. The 15-inch MacBook Air weighs more than the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, which includes a fan to unlock greater performance. Both models sell for $1,299. The 15-inch MacBook Air costs $300 more than the entry-level 13.6-inch MacBook Air.

Apple MacBook Pro With Ventura Wallpaper and M2 Pro rendering
Apple / Apple

Making customers choose between performance and screen size could play a role in slower 15-inch MacBook Air sales. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro’s specifications are nearly identical, but it has a battery life advantage, providing up to two more hours, includes a faster 67W charger, and weighs less.

The M2 chip update of the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro came in June 2022, and it does lack some of the 2023 MacBook Air’s features, such as thin bezels, six-speaker sound, improved Bluetooth 5.3, and a higher-resolution 1080p webcam in a notch.

All in all, it could be argued that choosing a MacBook in 2023 has become overly complicated. Confusing shoppers is a bad idea, but Apple has a chance to clear this up soon, as a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M3 processor could arrive earlier than expected.

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