M3-powered MacBook Air unlikely to debut at WWDC 2023
Apple's upcoming WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is rumoured to be host to a lot of high-profile launches, the highlight being Apple's first-ever mixed-reality headset. A new MacBook Air is in the pipeline, too, that will supposedly debut Apple's shiny new M3 chip. However, a news report from a Taiwanese Media outlet says it will stick with the Apple M2.
The Apple M3 is rumoured to be one of the first chips to be manufactured on TSMC's new N3B node. While TSMC claims N3B mass production is going as planned (after numerous delays), the M3 isn't scheduled to hit the assembly line until Q3 2023. The current capacity is likely reserved for the A17 Bionic, which is slated to power the upcoming iPhone 15 series.
Furthermore, Apple will likely wait a bit longer before introducing the M3. If the M2 is anything to go by, a two-year wait between subsequent chip launches is the current trend. Therefore, one can expect to see M3-powered laptops hit shelves sometime in 2023. iPads could follow suit later, along with some interesting new additions to the MacBook lineup, such as an OLED MacBook Air and touch-enabled MacBook Pros.
A previous report said Apple had to cut down production by as much as 50% due to low demand. That, combined with the sky-high price of N3B wafers, is enough to dissuade Cupertino from pushing new chips before time. To make matters worse, N3B isn't performing as expected due to FinFET limitations, forcing companies to opt for the slightly-less-potent N3E node instead.