SOMETHING IN THE AIR

After a decade, Apple may finally put the MacBook Air to sleep

Ten years ago, the iPhone looked like this:

Now it looks more like this:

Apple has upgraded the design and abilities of the iPhone with each passing year. The MacBook Air, however, which was unveiled a decade ago last week, has been left more or less unchanged. It’s received minor processor upgrades over the last few years, but still lags far behind what Apple offers on other laptops. Apple quietly killed off its 11-inch version of the Air in 2016, but new reports suggest that the time has finally come for its bigger brother.

Chinese technology news site Digitimes reported today, Jan. 23, that General Interface Solution, a display manufacturer, has started shipping new 13-inch display panels to Apple for new MacBooks it expects to be released in the second half of 2018. Gizmodo sees this as the death knell for the MacBook Air, as the MacBook has so far only shipped in a 12-inch size, and the new panels are intended for a bigger version of the MacBook that would replace the Air in Apple’s laptop lineup. Apple wasn’t immediately available to comment on its MacBook plans.

The 13-inch Air is currently the most affordable laptop that Apple sells. Starting at $999, it’s about $300 less than a MacBook, and your only Apple computing option for under $1,000 that isn’t an awkward iPad with a keyboard case attached. It would make sense for Apple to kill the Air and replace it with a cheaper MacBook option with a Retina HD screen and modern internals, but many will likely miss the razor-thin form-factor of the Air, which ushered in an entire category of “ultrabook” laptops competing against it.

Here’s former CEO Steve Jobs when he first unveiled the Air, with the help of a manila envelope:

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