Will Apple Bring Back the 12-Inch MacBook in 2023?
Apple has many MacBooks in its 2022 product lineup. However, one particular MacBook model has been missing from the line since 2019; the 12-inch MacBook.
With the power-efficient Apple silicon chips taking MacBooks to new vertical heights, a new 12-inch MacBook makes perfect sense in this day and age, but will Apple bring it back?
Why Apple Discontinued the 12-inch MacBook
We can only speculate on this topic, as Apple hasn’t officially revealed why it discontinued the 12-inch MacBook. This particular model was controversial since it made radical compromises to achieve its design and introduced changes that hindered the user experience.
To start, the 12-inch MacBook was the first computer to use Apple’s controversial butterfly keyboard. Its design allowed dust and debris to get under the key easily, causing it not to work correctly. The butterfly keyboard issues were so widespread on Apple’s laptops that it needed to open a repair program for the faulty keyboards.
Another controversial change Apple made with the 12-inch MacBook is using only one USB-C port for most of its connectivity, which caused headaches for consumers if they wanted to charge and connect a different peripheral to the laptop at the same time.
Lastly, the 12-inch MacBook featured a mediocre 480p FaceTime camera, even though the 720p cameras in other MacBooks at the time were one of the multiple disadvantages of buying a Mac.
In addition to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro selling for nearly identical prices, the 12-inch MacBook didn’t make much sense to have in the lineup, especially with the underwhelming performance of Intel Core M chips and a fanless design. However, we think Apple wouldn’t face these issues if it released a new 12-inch MacBook with an Apple silicon chip.
How a New 12-Inch MacBook Would Compare to the Old One
The 12-inch MacBook was already very thin and light, so a new one likely wouldn’t see much more progress in those aspects. However, we could potentially see the squared-off design we’ve come to know and like in the M2 MacBook Air, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The 12-inch size would make it extremely portable and easy to carry around—one of the reasons why people love buying MacBooks in the first place.
Apple silicon would undoubtedly improve the performance and battery life since the Intel Core M chips used inside the machine were not ideal for a computer that cost $1,299. We can expect it to feature the same display as the MacBook Air, and just like other models, it could ditch the butterfly keyboard for a scissor-switch one, which Apple introduced at the end of 2019 with the 16-inch Intel MacBook Pro.
Is Apple Working on a 12-Inch MacBook?
Well-known Apple reporter Mark Gurman has speculated the return of the 12-inch MacBook in the near future. According to Gurman’s Bloomberg article:
“Apple has also begun work on a new 12-inch laptop and is considering launching it at the end of 2023 or in early 2024.”
That said, Gurman is unsure whether the redesigned 12-inch MacBook would be a low-end device or a higher-end model that’ll sit alongside the MacBook Pro line currently available in 13-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch screen sizes.
On the other side of the rumor mill, a MacRumors report back in June 2022 stated that Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, is skeptical of a new 12-inch MacBook.
However, there isn’t much information regarding specifications or the design of the rumored 12-inch MacBook, so we will have to wait and see if more details will emerge in 2023.
Should Apple Bring Back the 12-Inch MacBook?
Despite some rumors of a possible 12-inch MacBook revival, it is likely it won’t happen since there isn’t much detail about the product, and supply chain leaks don’t support the rumors. Moreover, Apple already has a wide variety of MacBooks in its lineup.
However, Apple silicon does enable the possibility of a new 12-inch MacBook since it can resolve a fair amount of the issues the original had in terms of performance. So, we strongly think Apple should give the 12-inch MacBook another shot in 2023 and see how the community responds.