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Apple’s 1 size fits all – a harsh reality

Size matters we are told – so if Apple is making a bigger MacBook Air, why stop there?

Apple and 1 size fits all - really?

It’s in the air

Apple’s MacBook Air, the M1 & M2 machines, are pretty much loved by anyone that uses them. Great machines – quiet, quick, comfortable, and reasonably priced too. What’s not to love – just one thing – the screen size.

Well, if the word on the street is to be believed, we are about to be spoiled with a new bigger screened model. Gird your loins team – welcome the dawn of the 15-inch MacBook Air.

Under starters orders

In February Ross Young tweeted that panel production for the 15-inch’er had started, and in March production had been ramped up another gear. At the time Young said that “I don’t know the precise launch timing but I assume that it could happen in late April/early May.”

Apple certainly needs a boost in Mac sales. With the next potentially gloomy financial results due 4th May, sales of Macs have taken a real beating over the past few months which I wrote about here.

With no spring event, Apple could decide to replicate what they did a year ago and release the new iteration of the MacBook Air lineage on stage at WWDC. Heavens knows, if the headset is delayed again, they will be needing some headlines at the June event.

And it’s a gap worth plugging too. When the MacBook Air was first launched, you could buy it in two sizes – 11-inch and 13-inch versions. But then in the same year that Apple cut the 12-inch MacBook, they also culled the smaller MacBook Air.

Since 2019 that has left an obvious gap in the market. To get a decent big panel now on your laptop, you have to fork out on a 16-inch MacBook Pro. Not everyone needs the power that offers Mac offers or has the cash available either. An affordable 15-inch MacBook Air with an M3 chip, possibly even with the new 3-nanometer architecture could be the star Apple are looking for this year.

Size sells

Usually, bigger displays sell better.

The news and rumours surrounding this 15-inch Mac are not new. Within days of my M2 MacBook Air arriving last July Bloomberg had already started to report that Apple was looking at the 15-inch option.

Apple is all over the facts of larger screens too. Since iPhone 6 you’ve been able to buy a ‘big’ iPhone. On the current range of iPhone – the 14’s they introduced the 14 Plus, and this year’s best seller has been the Pro Max – so size really does matter then. We like our screens BIG.

The Air sits perfectly in Apple’s lineup too. I’m sure after last year’s re-design there will be no major changes this year, but the larger screen size alone could be enough to get the cash registers ticking over again.

So if the size analogy is to be continued why stop at the MacBook Air? There are other Macs that could benefit from choice and not the one-size-fits-all mantra that we currently have.

Love for the iMac

My second-ever Mac was an iMac and I still have it. For over two decades now it has been the poster boy of Macs – the one that is most recognisable even to Apple users.

iMac did get the M1 silicon treatment a few years back, but since then has been left in the shadows languishing. That’s a shame as the new colourful design, sleek slender body and power of Apple silicon make it a really good value Mac.

But with the re-design came the now all too familiar Apple trick of reducing our options. Until the M1 iMac debuted you could choose between a 21.5-inch and a 27-inch iMac. Since April 2021 though we’ve been reduced to that one size for all tag.

The iMac is after all a desktop, and that kind of desk work generally benefits from more screen size. It is not only designers and video editors that need more screen real estate either. Plenty of office workers would benefit from the extra space to have a few windows open, have spreadsheets open side-by-side, or look a two PDFs together. The size of the screen really is important in so many instances.

I still use my 27-inch iMac daily and the display is as good as ever. Apart from the display, the other benefit is the neat small footprint it puts down. It is still prettier than having a Mac Studio & Studio Display hooked up together – and cheaper too!

This year I have seen some quiet rumblings that the 27-inch iMac may be about to come back, and if it does, it won’t be a day too soon.

Flying in the face of logic

I wrote earlier that one area that Apple has adopted the idea of larger screens is with their iPhone range.

Yes, they did try selling the 12 & 13 iPhones as minis, and clearly, the experiment didn’t work out. But…

Those phones were not only mini in size, but also mini in features too. Everything from the camera down was paired back. The choice you made was to buy basic if you wanted to buy small. But here’s an idea. How about a Pro iPhone mini? Just hear me out, before tearing me down a strip.

The 14 Pro and Pro Max don’t suit everyone because of their bulk and size. Although my iPhone 14 is only the Pro, I did try playing around with the 14 Pro Max in an Apple Store recently. Now I have pretty big hands, but it was a hefty boy! Typing on it was not the easiest experience – it was pretty much a two-handed affair for balance if nothing else.

So how about a smaller iPhone that is feature packed – maybe minus a few tricks such as the rumoured periscope 6x zoom lens? I’m sure the smaller Pro would win over some friends – maybe it would also attract more woman iPhone users over to the Pros too? Apple has the same issue facing them with Watch Ultra as well – the sheer size of it means hardly any women will ever buy it.

Wrapping up

So I think there are two distinct areas that we can split down that the larger screen works for – Mac and non-Mac.

With our Macs, the more screen size options the better. The idea of a 15-inch, lightweight, powerful, transportable, bigger displayed MacBook Air gets a chef’s kiss from me.

The campaign to bring back some options for the long-loved iMac also gets two thumbs up from yours truly. A 24-inch, 27-inch, and if we are being greedy here for a moment, even an iMac Pro 32-inch – yes, yes, and yes!

As for the phones, I know that’s a wild card, but we have never had the option to (excuse the awful pun that is about to happen) compare apples with apples. Who’s to say that would be a potent addition to the lineup?

As for Apple’s gorgeous MacBook Air? Count me in – if they announce that 15-inch model in June expect to see a listing for a 2022 Midnight Blue M2 MacBook Air on eBay the next day.

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