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Comment: A new 12-inch MacBook couldn’t fit Apple’s current Mac lineup – and I’m glad it doesn’t

Three years ago, Apple discontinued the 12-inch MacBook. The fanless, light Mac got a lot of attention at the time, but as the years went by, people seemed to forget how bad of an option this computer was. Despite some rumors saying Apple could revive this Mac, here’s why I don’t think it will happen since the company already has the perfect alternative.

It was 2015, and Apple was committed to making bad choices. Remember the original butterfly keyboard? The 480p iSight camera? The cheap and underpowered Intel M processor series? What about a single USB-C port? If those questions make you feel “yikes,” well, you’re looking at the original 12-inch MacBook.

Of course, there were a few things that this Mac deserved to be praised for. It was very light, had a good battery, had beautiful finishes, and had a nice trackpad. Remember? It was 2015, trackpads were meant to be bad. But apart from that, it almost felt like this Mac was made to trick people.

The 12-inch MacBook was over $1,000. It was very pricey for a bad keyboard, a completely underpowered processor, and a terrible webcam. Of course, Apple took forever to give its Macs a proper webcam, but this one found on the 12-inch MacBook was the worst.

The M1 MacBook Air is the perfect 12-inch MacBook replacement

With all of that in mind, Apple did apologize for this terrible Mac experience five years later when it introduced a new fanless, light computer: the 13-inch M1 MacBook Air.

The power of the M1 processor had even Apple surprised. Based on the iPhone’s A14 Bionic chip, it was good enough to compete with the best processors available on the market while also bringing an amazing battery life: People could get up to 17 hours of battery life while surfing the web, working, using social media, consuming video, and streaming music. Indeed, the dream computer.

M1 MacBook Air

Although it doesn’t feature a 1080p camera or a new design, the 2015 era of MacBooks was at least good-looking. Now, with two USB-C ports, users can at least charge the computer and use the other port as they wish with the M1 MacBook Air.

What really got me thinking about why it doesn’t make sense for Apple to introduce a new 12-inch MacBook – at least for now – is, again, the M1 MacBook Air. Apple didn’t discontinue it when introducing the redesigned M2 option. It’s also important to note that it costs $999 – a reasonable price for a still very good computer.

How could a new low-cost MacBook make sense?

Last month, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on a 12-inch MacBook for the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. The publication said:

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. If Apple moves forward with the release, it would represent the company’s smallest laptop since it discontinued the 12-inch MacBook in 2019. 

Thinking that Apple is still a couple of years away from introducing this Mac, the company would be readying the fourth generation of its own silicon. With that in mind, it would make sense if Apple planned to introduce a cheaper option – probably with the M1 chip – but with a new brand. The problem is that this computer already exists.

Apart from this possibility, I can’t see why Apple would ever introduce such a small computer with a processor currently available on a nice Mac. Or maybe we could see MacBooks running the Apple Watch processor. Would you be into that?

Do you think Apple should bring back the 12-inch MacBook? And if so, how do you think the company would do that? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Avatar for José Adorno José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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