Apple discontinues MacBook Air with M1 Chip, but what does that mean for its users?

Just a few weeks ago I have been thinking about, what I am doing with my ageing MacBook Air with an M1 chip.

The MacBook Air Air with M1 was introduced in November 2020 but I purchased mine in July 2021, officially from Apple, but from their refurbished store.

I saved a bit on a base model and thanks to that I have been able to take 3 years of Apple Care and still meet my budget.

Despite that nothing happens along the road, so I don’t need to use this plan, I still wonder, if, after these 3 years, I will be able to buy, at least, a year more.

The device working well. I would like to have a bit more internal storage (currently got 256GB base), but apart from that everything working fine. The device is still fast and reliable. For my needs, I don’t see a reason for change.

I have been thinking about a possible upgrade when the MacBook Air is introduced with the M3 chip and that is what happens today (4th March 2024) through press release.

At the same time, Apple decided to discontinue MacBook Air with an M1 chip. Its place, in the same price range, has been offered to a 13-inch MacBook Air with an M2 chip, which is typical.

But what does that mean for users, who use MacBook Air with an M1 chip? Also, what does that mean for people, who just now decide to buy MacBook Air with an M1 chip?

Apple is still selling MacBook Air with an M1 chip on its Refurbished Store where a base model can be bought for £759 (compared to £849 when I purchased it in July 2021).

Let’s remember, that Apple has various terms for their product depending on their circle of life.

These are discontinued, vintage and obsolete.

Discontinued means that new items are no longer for sale. Replacements and parts will still be available for quite some time and you can still buy these devices as refurbished.

Products are considered vintage when Apple stopped distributing them for sale (new items) more than 5 and less than 7 years ago. Counting from today that will be somewhere between March 2029 and November 2031.

Products are considered obsolete when Apple stopped distributing them for sale (new items) more than 7 years ago. For Air with M1 chip that that will be past November 2031.

If all the calculations are right (Apple may change these terms) Apple will support MacBook Air with an M1 chip for over 8 years since launch. There will be still a possibility to purchase Apple Care, which will still be available till at least March 2029.

Of course, you need to purchase your Apple Care plan up to 30 days from purchase or up to 30 days past the current Apple Care plan expiration (if not purchased with the goods).

As my Apple Care is due to expire in July 2024, if I extend this in Annual intervals, I will be able to use my device for longer with peace of mind, if nothing happens.

But are this will be possible?

I am asking this question as the freshly updated AppleCare Product page for Mac does not include prices from M1 anymore.

Just over a week ago, I asked a question to Apple Support, will I be able to purchase Apple Care for my computer past 3 years of support?

The answer was yes, as long I will do that in 30 days after my Apple Care expires.

In light of the updated AppleCare Product page and the fact that the device has been discontinued, I decided to ask that question again.

Through a very friendly phone call, I confirmed that I will be able to purchase an extension of my Apple Care plan as long I do not pass the 30 days and that calling a product discontinued does not affect that.

It’s good to hear that.

On one side I would like to upgrade to MacBook Air with M3, but on the other, there are other things that I would like to prioritise this year, hence if my device can serve me a bit longer and be covered, that will give me peace of mind.

I think I will go for that. Overall this shall not cost me more than £64.99 annually, which is the bottom plan for MacBook Air 13‑inch (M2).

So, in the end, what does it mean for its users?

Not much. If the device is under Apple Care, or even if it’s not, there will be still a possibility to get the support needed.

For people without active Apple Care, the cost of repairs may go up and repairs may will require sending the device away and will take some time to get it mended.

In that case, sometimes it will be more economically viable to buy a new (or refurbished) device rather than fixing the old one.

Overall Apple devices, when handled properly, serve its users way above the standard warranty and initial Apple Care period.

Apple devices, in most cases, meet the SAD FART rule easily.

Apple Care may not be an economically viable option when you just spend X amount of money on a new Apple device, but in the long run, it “pays” for itself.