Apple's Rumored 12-Inch MacBook: What We Know

Apple used to sell a 12-inch Retina MacBook with a low-power Core M chip, but it was discontinued back in 2019. Apple's smallest notebooks have since been the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models, but current rumors indicate that Apple might be bringing back a smaller 12-inch form factor.

2016 12 inch macbook feature
This guide covers everything that we know so far about the 12-inch MacBook.

Sizing

We don't know specifics about the 12-inch MacBook at this time, such as its exact size beyond the 12-inch rumor. At 12 inches, the MacBook would be the smallest notebook in Apple's lineup, and it would even be smaller than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Design

As with sizing, rumors about the design of the 12-inch MacBook are sparse at this time. Since Apple is using the same general look for the ‌MacBook Air‌ and the MacBook Pro, it's likely that any 12-inch MacBook that comes out will look quite a bit like the ‌MacBook Air‌ and MacBook Pro.

We don't know what family the MacBook might be in. It could be a ‌MacBook Air‌, or it could be in its own "MacBook" category. There's also a chance that it could replace the 13-inch MacBook Pro, joining the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple Silicon Chip

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that development on the 12-inch MacBook is in the early stages, but the machine is expected to feature an M3 chip.

Twitter user Majin Bu, who has something of a mixed track record, has suggested that it could be a MacBook Pro equipped with next-generation M2 Pro and ‌M2‌ Max chips. The ‌M2‌ Max chip is expected to feature a 12-core CPU and up to a 38-core GPU, an improvement over the M1 Max that has a 10-core CPU and a 32-core GPU. It is not yet clear if this rumor is accurate.

12-Inch MacBook Controversy

While reliable sources like Bloomberg have indicated that a 12-inch MacBook is in the works, another source who often has accurate insight into Apple's plans is skeptical.

Display analyst Ross Young said that he isn't sure Apple is working on a 12-inch model. Young believes that Apple is focusing on notebooks that are 13-inch or larger at the current time, and companies that he spoke with in Apple's supply chain are not aware of work on a 12-inch machine.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that he has not heard rumors of a 12-inch MacBook.

Launch Date

If it's actually in the works, the 12-inch MacBook could launch at the end of 2023 or in early 2024, according to Bloomberg's ‌Mark Gurman‌.

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