The upcoming launch of Apple’s redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers “worried” that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes.
“A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks,” the report claims, with “Wintel” referring to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. “Sales of Wintel’s high-end models will face further challenges as consumers have less to spend due to inflation.”
Pricing for the new MacBook Air starts at $1,199 in the United States, with the M2 chip offering up to 18% faster CPU performance and up to 35% faster graphics performance compared to the already impressive M1 chip in the previous model. Apple says the new MacBook Air will be available in July, with an order date expected to be announced soon.
In 2020, Apple announced that the Mac lineup would be transitioning from Intel processors to its own custom-designed silicon chips, with Apple promising industry-leading performance per watt. The is now nearly complete, with the only remaining Intel-based Macs sold being a higher-end Mac mini configuration and the Mac Pro tower, both of which are expected to be updated with Apple silicon chips later this year.
Apple silicone has been game changing for the Mac lineup. In 2020, benchmarks revealed that the $999 MacBook Air with an M1 chip outperformed a $2,999 maxed-out Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro. Likewise, the M2 chip is faster than the 8-core Intel Xeon W processor in the base model Mac Pro tower, which starts at $5,999.
Last year, Intel ran ads promoting Windows PCs over Macs, and it even recruited former “I’m a Mac” actor Justin Long for the campaign. Meanwhile, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said his company would “fight hard” to “win back” Apple’s business.