Rumor: Apple to launch 15-inch MacBook Air in April, 'effectively killing the Pro'

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014


Rumors of a larger 15-inch MacBook Air continue to surface, with the latest claim suggesting Apple is gearing up to launch a larger ultraportable notebook in April.



A Mac accessory maker who spoke with Electricpig at the CU Exposed show this week indicated that Apple is "likely" to launch its 15-inch MacBook Air in April. The anonymous source said the thin-and-light notebook would be similar to current MacBook Air models, with ports on both sides and no optical drive or Ethernet port.



The vendor reportedly speculated that the new 15-inch MacBook Air would "effectively (kill) the (MacBook) Pro for the average consumer." They suggested that the new MacBook Air could even replace the 15-inch MacBook Pro, leaving the "Pro" moniker only to Apple's high-end 17-inch model.



AppleInsider reported in February that Apple is gearing up to introduce radically redesigned MacBook Pro models this year, borrowing the super-thin design the company has pioneered with its MacBook Air. One person familiar with the new MacBook Pro designs said "they're all going to look like MacBook Airs."



Wednesday's report lines up with what AppleInsider relayed in February: The higher-volume 15-inch notebook would be the first to see a revamp, and a 17-inch model is expected to be introduced shortly thereafter. Apple used the same approach in late 2008 and early 2009, when the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro redesigns were spaced about three months apart.



Whether Apple's new 15-inch ultra-thin notebook is known as a "Pro" or an Air," the model has been rumored since last year. While it will lack an optical drive, as Apple continues its push for digital distribution of software through the Mac App Store, the new notebooks will be powered by Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge processors, which are scheduled to go on sale in the coming months.





An illustration of Apple's notebook lineup planned for the 2012 calendar year.







Wednesday's claim of a 15-inch MacBook Air launch next month comes on the heels of a separate rumor that claimed Apple was forced to drop Nvidia's next-generation "Kepler" graphics processors from its next low- and mid-range MacBook upgrades, leaving the systems to rely on Intel's integrated graphics solutions. Currently, Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro models use Intel HD Graphics 3000, but the company's higher-end 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros feature dedicated graphics processors from AMD.



A thinner and lighter 15-inch MacBook Pro without a dedicated graphics card could be difficult to differentiate from a 15-inch MacBook Air, which is why the anonymous accessory maker sees Apple "effectively killing the Pro" model. In anticipation of an upcoming MacBook refresh, their company's manufacturers are reportedly prepared to build and ship a new product in less than 90 days.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • johnnashjohnnash Posts: 120member
    I need a gig ethernet port on a pro, just saying Apple.
  • emig647emig647 Posts: 2,344member
    If the 17" "pro" is considerably faster than the only 15" air, count me out. My 15" is my main work machine, I go everywhere with it, 17" is just too big to lug around everywhere. They really need to keep the 15" pro imo.
  • solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnnash View Post


    I need a gig ethernet port on a pro, just saying Apple.



    if the above rumor is true, then you could either use a usb/ethernet adapter or get the 17"
  • leptonlepton Posts: 70member
    Any chance this will have a 1920 by 1080 display? Or will that have to wait for the 17 incher..
  • tmallontmallon Posts: 39member
    I second the need for the gig ethernet port, now the million dollar question to buy a Pro now, or wait and see what we end up with.
  • cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,146member
    I don't want thinner, I just want lighter, faster with a better screen.
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solsun View Post


    if the above rumor is true, then you could either use a usb/ethernet adapter



    Which is going to give substantially less throughput than a real gigabit ethernet port.
  • carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member


    C.
  • ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Screw that. I want my optical drive and ethernet port.
  • xacattaquexacattaque Posts: 3member


    sadfsadfsadfsd

  • auxioauxio Posts: 1,638member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnnash View Post


    I need a gig ethernet port on a pro, just saying Apple.



    And what about external drives? USB 2.0 is for people who have time to waste. Firewire or Thunderbolt please. With TB, you could do both gig ethernet and external drives with one port.
  • carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Screw that. I want my optical drive and ethernet port.



    Really?

    I am over optical media. When I last cleared out my office, I threw out the blank DVDs.



    C.
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    Screw that. I want my optical drive and ethernet port.



    I could live without both as long as I can hook up an optical drive through thunderbolt and have a thunderbolt to ethernet adapter so that you don't have to get pathetic 10/100 speeds from that lousy usb to ethernet adapter. The biggest thing for me is getting a real video card, not some integrated, toy card from Intel. That and if you are getting rid of the hard drives from SSDs, at least make the upgrading substantially cheaper and offer comparable storage. Paying an additional $1,100 for a 512 GB SSD to replace the standard 750 HD is ridiculous...
  • christophbchristophb Posts: 1,366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JJJameson View Post


    Which is going to give substantially less throughput than a real gigabit ethernet port.



    I'm holding off on new display purchase and new Macbook purchase pending Thunderbolt --> other i/o options such as Ethernet, USB3, e-sata. I'm normally only wired when at my desk so the new displays with the integrated i/o pulled off the Thunderbolt is appealing to me. I wouldn't mind packing in my bag a universal i/o device for those times in the field where I need options.



    I can see a Thunderbolt to GigE costing $100 - 150.
  • kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 48member
    13.3" is the sweet spot for me...



    Am looking to buy a MacBook. Am indifferent between the Air and Pro - would probably go for the MacBook Pro for value for money reasons....



    Is now a good time to buy a 13.3" MacBook Pro - - or is this likely to be refreshed in April too?
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    I can see a Thunderbolt to GigE costing $100 - 150.



    Why? That would be a total rip off.
  • rokkenrokken Posts: 236member
    It's just rumours after all and I hope few would get too worked up because of it. I do hope apple keeps the Pro line despite that I don't have a need for it. What that source seems to imply is the new 15 inch MacBook air will effectively kill the appeal of a MacBook pro for average consumer and I agree with that. There aren't that many people need to use the optical drive and the horsepower, while the portability of an Air is much appreciated.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,977member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JJJameson View Post


    Why? That would be a total rip off.



    What do you mean "why?"? Thunderbolt stuff is still expensive.
  • jjjamesonjjjameson Posts: 69member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    What do you mean "why?"? Thunderbolt stuff is still expensive.



    Because that's a substantial rip off compared to them just leaving in the port?
  • auxioauxio Posts: 1,638member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JJJameson View Post


    Why? That would be a total rip off.



    But not outside the realm of possibility given the cost of this Thunderbolt to Expresscard adapter
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