Already an M3 MacBook Air? Oh, Apple, are people getting bored of new iPhones?

Cliff Joseph/ZDNET

Sometimes it’s hard to drum up excitement. In a fearful world, many people just want old, familiar feelings. Like security, safety and, well, common sense. This can make things difficult for companies that want their customers to feel a perpetual sense of wonder.

For a long time, Apple acted on that perpetual sense of wonder. I wonder if that won’t be so difficult. I’m only sinking into this thought because, according to lively rumors, Apple will be launching an M3 MacBook Air soon.

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This feels personal.

I’ve used Airs the longest. For (almost) the longest time, nothing really seemed to change. They were silver or gray. The upgrades drifted to the boring side of incremental. And each upgrade presented one MacBook Air shape exactly like the previous one.

Then came the M1 Air. Yes, it was similar to the previous Air, but it brought with it a sense of real change. And real speed. Apparently within months an M2 Air appeared.

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Now it looked so different. Gone was the sharpened wedge shape. And here was the arrival of midnight blue, a color so subtle and lovely that it kind of awed me — the edge that made me buy one.

It has become an excellent companion. Fast, yet, did I mention, subtly beautiful. I should also mention that I thought this would be it for a while. If you’re an Air user, that’s what you expect.

But now the rumor makers insist there is a new one coming, a better one. A slightly better one.

The M3 chip will apparently be slightly more chippy than the M2. But what if there are more colors? What if Apple chooses to make the whole look of the Air even more exciting?

Will the launch of a new Air suddenly become an annual event, celebrated with oohs and aahs, because each Air is fundamentally different from the last? Of course I tease. Just as I hope the tabloid press teases too.

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I can’t help but think that the last two years of iPhones haven’t been all that exciting.

Oh, the camera is even better. Oh, did we say that last year?

The iPhone once had an iconic appearance. Today it is much more one with the Galaxys.

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And have you seen that insanely exciting Galaxy S23? Yes, the one that is very similar to the incredibly exciting Galaxy S22.

Maybe, I hear you wail, Apple is preparing for an exciting foldable phone. And maybe, I sigh back, there will also be foldable AR and VR glasses in a beautifully designed leather case.

Now imagine the marketing possibilities. Each new Air gets a new number. It will distinguish them. It will encourage more people to buy the latest version. Just to have the last number. And what if the physical design changes slightly every year?

Oh, is that an M4? I feel so bad, I only have an M3.

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However, I suppose I’m secretly pretty excited that laptops are (maybe) getting exciting again. You see, there is one big difference between a nice phone and a nice laptop. You don’t immediately put the latter in an ugly plastic box when you buy it.

If you use it, it will be visible to everyone. Everything.

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