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New MacBook 2017 release date, design, features and spec rumours

Lewis Painter | June 23, 2016
Apple’s 2017 12in MacBook may boast a Force Touch-enabled keyboard.

Apple recently released the 2016 variant of the 12in MacBook, but we're already looking to the future and what we could expect from next year's model, the 2017 12in MacBook.

Here, we collate the latest rumours surrounding the 2017 MacBook and also our personal predictions based on previous Apple events, and knowledge of the company. 

Those of you that want to find out more about the current 12in MacBook released in April 2016 can take a look at our 12in MacBook review, which covers everything from pricing to performance and design, sprinkled with our personal opinions of Apple's latest MacBook.

New MacBook 2017 release date rumours: When is the new 12in MacBook coming out?

So, when are we likely to see the next generation 12in MacBook? Considering that Apple only recently released the 2016 variant of the laptop, we imagine that we won't be seeing another upgrade until next year, 2017.

But when in 2017? We had originally expected to see the 2016 variant of the MacBook announced during 2016's Spring Apple event, which was one year on from Apple's unveiling of the very first models, but instead, Apple revealed the iPhone SE, a 9.7in iPad Pro and new Apple Watch straps, with no mention of an updated MacBook.

However, weeks later Apple surprised us by updating the MacBook without any bells and whistles or another event. The MacBook Air also got a tiny update that simply added 8GB memory as standard for the 13in model, and not much else. What does this tell us?

Apple is a company of habits - new iOS software is showcased every June (along with macOS, tvOS and watchOS) which is then released alongside the latest generation iPhone months later, in September. It has been that way for more than a few years now, with the only exception being with the launch of the iPhone 4. Following Apple's MacBook habits to date, it suggests to us that we'll be seeing the 2017 MacBook sat on our laps between March-May 2017.

New MacBook 2017 rumours: Will the 12in MacBook replace the MacBook Air?

Apple's MacBook Air is now eight years old, so it's quite possible that the MacBook is lining up to replace it in the near future. When the MacBook Air first launched, its biggest selling point was its thin and light design, hence the name, but the MacBook now outshines it in those areas so it seems unlikely that the MacBook Air has much of a future ahead of it. Plus, for those looking for ultimate portability there's the new iPad Pro with a 12.9in screen.

There is the question of price, though - the MacBook is much pricier than its Air sibling, starting at £1,049 compared with the Air's £749 starting price.


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