Bloomberg — Apple Inc. (AAPL) launched its first large-screen MacBook Air and new versions of the Mac Studio and Mac Pro, seeking to better compete with Windows PCs and reverse a sales slide that plagued its most recent earnings.
The larger MacBook Air, announced Monday at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, has a 15.3-inch screen, compared with a 13-inch display on most MacBook Air models since the product debuted in 2008. The new product, which starts at $1,299, sports the M2 chip and offers 18 hours of battery life, Apple said during the event in Cupertino, California.
The company also introduced a second-generation version of its Mac Studio desktop for creative professionals and software developers. The new models look similar to last year’s version — small desktop computers with ports and no built-in displays — but add two new chips: the M2 Max and the M2 Ultra. The latter processor is the most powerful chip created for a personal computer, Apple said.
And the company is bringing its in-house chips to the Mac Pro desktop system, which costs $6,999. The current version of the device still runs an Intel Corp. chip, making it a holdout in Apple’s switch to homegrown processors. The new Mac Pro, which will arrive next week, will complete the company’s switch away from Intel.
The new lineup will give consumers a fresh reason to upgrade, especially since many have been clamoring for a larger MacBook Air. Apple is contending with a broader slump in the computer industry, which had seen sales surge during the pandemic-fueled work-from-home frenzy. The slowdown has hit the company particularly hard, with its Mac sales falling 31% last quarter to about $7.2 billion — a steeper drop than Wall Street feared.
Apple’s switch to homegrown processors is credited with helping its computers last longer and perform better under heavy workloads. The latest Macs also boost battery life and can run iPhone apps.
The changes have been a mixed blessing for Apple since some consumers now don’t upgrade their machines as often. That, alongside economic challenges, may be contributing to the sales slowdown. Prior to Monday, Apple hasn’t launched a major new Mac since last year’s MacBook Air.
But the company has further upgrades in the works. It’s working on an M3 chip, along with updates to the 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the iMac, Bloomberg has reported.
Monday’s announcements also are expected to include Apple’s long-awaited mixed-reality headset, its first foray into a market currently dominated by Meta Platforms Inc.
News in progress
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