Apple reportedly announcing a slew of MacBook updates next month

Even the aging MacBook Air could get a much-needed speed bump.


Apple's annual developer conference hasn't been a venue for product launches in four years, but it might produce a bumper crop of laptops this time around. Bloomberg sources hear that Apple is planning to upgrade at least the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro line when WWDC kicks off in June. The Pros would get improved 7th-generation Core (aka Kaby Lake) processors with little to no external changes, while the 12-inch system is only said to be getting a "faster Intel chip" (our money's on Y-series Core i5 and i7 CPUs). However, the biggest deal may be an update to a system many thought Apple had left for dead: the MacBook Air.

One of the insiders claims that Apple has "considered" updating the 13-inch Air with a new processor in response to sales of the aging machine, which are "surprisingly strong." Just what that entails isn't clear, but you'd most likely find U-series Core i5 and i7 processors. There's no mention of a Retina Display or other more dramatic upgrades, so don't get too excited. This would be a maintenance update, not an overhaul.

The overall refresh would serve as a response to rumors alleging that Apple has put Mac development on the back burner. It also follows recent comments from senior Apple management a few months ago, when they explained that new models, from its Pro desktops to its iMacs, were still very important to the company -- and in development.

Even if it's just a speed bump, it would show an ongoing commitment. If there's an Air update, however, it would also acknowledge complaints that the 12-inch MacBook doesn't fit people's needs as well as its ancestor. It's not really a shock that the 13-inch Air would sell well -- it's $300 less expensive than the 12-inch MacBook, it packs a faster processor and it carries more ports. Until the newer system is as fast or as versatile, its older sibling is likely to still see plenty of demand.