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ARM-based 12-inch MacBook with Apple Silicon could be in the works

It seems that there are plans for a 12-inch MacBook laptop with Apple Silicon inside it. (Image source: Apple/Notebookcheck - edited)
It seems that there are plans for a 12-inch MacBook laptop with Apple Silicon inside it. (Image source: Apple/Notebookcheck - edited)
It’s possible a new ARM-based 12-inch MacBook laptop sporting Apple Silicon could be in the pipeline according to a tipster. The so-called Retina MacBook was discontinued in 2019 with some criticism aimed at its usage of middling Intel processors. A 12-inch MacBook successor could utilize an M1 or even M2 SoC.

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An opinion piece from 9To5Mac has inspired an intriguing tip from a well-known Apple leaker. The original article detailed the history of the 12-inch MacBook and opined how well a newer device (potentially a 12-inch MacBook Air) with Apple Silicon could do in the market. While this particular Apple laptop, which was also known as the Retina MacBook and New MacBook, was discontinued in July 2019, it seems there could be a renaissance planned for the compact and mobile-friendly subnotebook. LeaksApplePro states “Fun fact: Apple is working on this” in regard to an Apple Silicon 12-inch MacBook, although there is something of a caveat in terms of its potential release.

While the world is still waiting for the new M1X MacBook Pro laptops to be launched, and there have been some details about M2-based MacBook Air devices being prepared for a 2022 release, there has been nothing on the radar about either a 12-inch MacBook or 12-inch MacBook Air. The same leaker also comments “But won’t happen any time soon”, which is a bit of a cop-out, but it is still interesting to think that Apple could be overhauling the Intel-based MacBook 12 to bring it up-to-date as an attractive alternative to other devices with M-series chips.

The flaws of the 2015-2019 MacBook 12, such as its much-maligned butterfly keyboards and the less than overwhelming Intel processors (low-power Intel Core M chips were used), could easily be dismissed in a new generation. A resurrected 12-inch MacBook or new 12-inch MacBook Air would take advantage of the scissor switch mechanism for the keyboard and, of course, come with ARM-based Apple Silicon for that heady efficiency and performance combination boost. It’s arguable that with the Apple M2 chip already being sighted on the horizon that this would be the ideal SoC solution for a 2022(?) 12-inch MacBook or smaller variant of the MacBook Air.

Buy the M1-based Apple MacBook Air on Amazon

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MacBook 12 and 12-inch MacBook Air concept. (Image source: 9To5Mac)
MacBook 12 and 12-inch MacBook Air concept. (Image source: 9To5Mac)
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Daniel R Deakin
Daniel R Deakin - Managing Editor News - 2413 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > ARM-based 12-inch MacBook with Apple Silicon could be in the works
Daniel R Deakin, 2021-07-14 (Update: 2021-07-14)