The new MacBook Air has a long wait

Apple is poised to unveil a new MacBook Air at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, but even if it does, you might not be able to buy one right away. According to a report by BloombergMark Gurman, COVID-19 shutdowns at Chinese plants making MacBooks could mean limited supply of new devices or more distant release date.

China’s zero-COVID policy has led to the temporary closure of factories that make Apple products, including Pegatron and Quanta. Although China has begun to ease some of the movement restrictions it originally reintroduced in March, some neighborhoods in Shanghai still remain under lockdown.

Apple Analyst Ming Chi Kuo expected Apple will ship about six to seven million new MacBook Airs before the third quarter of this year when Quanta’s manufacturing capacity returns to pre-lockdown levels. He also believes there may be more shipments of the new MacBook Air compared to existing shipments of the 14- to 16-inch MacBook Pros — the new MacBook Air will ship from both Quanta and Foxconn while the MacBook Pro ships is only made by Quanta. Apple is currently on hold for new MacBook Pro orders until the end of July due to closures and parts shortages.

Both Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo agree that the upcoming MacBook Air won’t come in a wide array of colors. It’s more likely to feature some standard options like the existing space gray and silver, with two new colors including a dark blue and a “champagne-like gold”. Gurman also believes the MacBook Air will come with a 13-inch display, dual USB-C ports, MagSafe charging capabilities, and Touch ID. It’s not expected to come with a Touch Bar and might even have a notch like the MacBook Pro.

Referring to a new MacBook Pro, Gurman says that Apple originally planned to release a “faster” 13-inch version of the device around the time the Air launched. However, that date has reportedly been pushed back due to COVID-related lockdowns in China.

The launch of a new MacBook Air, which will likely sport an M1 processor, is expected to be a big part of Apple’s fast-approaching WWDC event on Monday – but so will Apple’s mixed-reality headset project, even if Apple isn’t does not specifically mention it. As Apple seeks to move beyond its existing devices and the software that pairs with them, WWDC is expected to have an undercurrent dominated by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

As noted by both Gurman and a report by That New York TimesApple will unveil new tools for developers to add mixed reality capabilities to their apps ahead of the headset’s release in 2023. Gurman notes that Apple is working to include AR and VR capabilities in its own apps as well. possibly creating VR versions of FaceTime, Maps, Notes and Calendar, as well as a way to see a Mac’s display through the headset.

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