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An M3 MacBook Air already? Oh, Apple, are people getting bored of new iPhones?

Another new MacBook Air is allegedly approaching. Are MacBooks suddenly the focus of Apple's marketing?
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer
MacBook Air M2 with ZDNET homepage on a table
Cliff Joseph/ZDNET

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

Apple traded on that perpetual sense of wonder for a long time. I wonder whether that's getting quite difficult. I only sink to this thought because, according to vibrantly excited rumors, Apple will shortly launch an M3 MacBook Air.

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This feels personal.

I've used Airs for the longest time. For (almost) the longest time, nothing really seemed to change. They were silver or gray. The upgrades drifted toward the dull side of incremental. And every upgrade presented a MacBook Air shaped exactly like the previous one.

Then along came the M1 Air. Yes, it looked like the previous Air, but it brought with it a sense of real change. And real speed. Seemingly within months, an M2 Air appeared.

Review: MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Sleeker, faster -- and more expensive

Now this one looked so different. Gone was the sharpened wedge shape. And here was the advent of midnight blue, a color so very subtle and lovely that it tipped me over the edge -- the edge that made me buy one.

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

Yet now the rumormongers insist there'll be a new one, a better one. A slightly better one.

The M3 chip will apparently be just a little chippier 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, there to be festooned to oohs and aahs, because each Air is materially different from the last? I'm teasing, of course. Just as I hope the rumormongers are teasing, too.

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I can't help but think that the last two years of iPhones haven't been so very exciting. 

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

Once upon a day, the iPhone had an iconic look. These days, it's far more at one with the Galaxys

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And did you see that incredibly exciting Galaxy S23? Yes, the one that looks really quite like the incredibly exciting Galaxy S22.

Perhaps, I hear you whimper, Apple is gearing up for an exciting folding phone. And perhaps, I'll whimper back, it'll also release a folding AR and VR pair of glasses in a beautifully designed case made of leather.

Just imagine the marketing possibilities now, though. Each new Air will get a new number. It'll distinguish them. It'll encourage more people to get the latest one. Just to have the latest number. And what if, each year, the physical design gets slightly altered?

Oh, is that an M4? I feel so bad, I've only got an M3. 

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I suppose, though, that I'm secretly quite excited about laptops (maybe) becoming exciting again. You see, there's one big difference between a beautiful phone and a beautiful laptop. You don't stick the latter in an ugly plastic case the minute you buy it. 

When you use it, it's there for all to see. All of it.

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