For a while now, it has been speculated that the MacBook Air product line will be discontinued - or at the very least that Apple will no longer manufacture newer generations. The theory is at large because of the latest 2016 MacBook Pro, its weight and dimensions, which slightly negate the need for an Air notebook completely. Nevertheless, there are still arguments to the contrary and a new lightweight laptop might still be in the mix.
As MacWorld noted, the MacBook Air actually did receive an update last year, although it was generally disappointing. Apple included an optional RAM upgrade for its 13-inch model, but nothing happened with the 11-inch model. The Cupertino tech giant is not one to make severe upgrades to each notebook line on an annual basis and it did focus its attention on the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Could 2017 be the year for the Air?
During Apple's October 2016 event, there was no mention of a new MacBook Air. The publication even reports that tech blogger Jack March, who claims to have spoken with individuals close to the project, has mentioned that all the Air lines will soon be discontinued, including the iPad Air. This is a definite possibility, but this means that the company would be removing its entry-level products from the market.
For those that want to use Apple products, but do not need the same power and price tags like the Pro units, this news is a little disappointing. But while the company might have presumed that market is not profitable anymore, there is no denying that the market does exist. As no official statements have been released, only time will tell at this point.
That idea aside, the MacBook Air could go for a much-needed upgrade. According to the publication, this will mean a stronger and more modern processor. As intel has started to ship its Kaby Lake processors, this is a definite possibility and it offers support for USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and Thunderbolt 3. Another option that Apple might go for, however, is something called the Arm Hurricane.
The chip is not well known, not by a long shot, but this might just be because Apple is opting for a custom ARM chip, much like the ones used in the iPhones. Reportedly, the chip will improve the battery life of the 2017 MacBook Air, as well update features like emails while the device is asleep. A longer battery life might be enough for Apple to choose a lower-power processor.
It is also estimated that the 2017 MacBook Air might arrive in the market with an E-ink keyboard. This means that the key labels can be altered almost instantly, depending on the need of the system or service currently in use. It would basically work the same as the Touch Bar, except on a larger scale. This rumor has been around for a while and an updated Air might actually be the perfect time to release the feature.
According to BGR, however, leaks are already pointing towards an update for the newly released MacBook Pro devices. Apple's MacOS 10.12.4 beta files have apparently given clues to the same. And while the leak can be trusted more than others - as it comes from files of the company itself - it might mean that a 2017 MacBook Air really is no longer on the table.