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MBP Timing: A Corporate View

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm in product management, but not at Apple. However, the business equation is straightforward. Timing of new MBPs depends on four things:
  • iPad introduction
  • MBP revenue
  • Product readiness
  • Steve Jobs

iPad - Apple is getting a billion dollars of free advertising and PR for the iPad. This is something Apple has mastered. Communicating MBP changes (or anything else) is a waste of money as they are only competing for attention with themselves. The standard play here is to wait until the iPad furor starts to dissipate before launching anything.

MBP Revenues - unlike the iPad factor, this demands immediate action. If everyone expects an update, then MBP sales go off a cliff. There are people who's jobs depend on making MBP budget numbers. They are probably stressed. I'm guessing they missed a Feb window due to product issues, now they have to wait until mid-end April at the earliest.

Product Readiness - Does it work? Is it reliable? When moving to a new platform, these can be problems that take awhile to iron out. As above, I'm guessing they missed a Feb launch window due to performance, reliability or integration issues (like getting custom Apple components working on the new Intel motherboard). No matter what, they can't launch until all these issues are solved. But as we don't know about product issues, this tells us nothing about the launch date.

Steve Jobs - He is a unique and unpredictable part of the equation. Normally, even a CEO doesn't have freedom to delay something like an MBP launch because he wants to. The market won't let them get away with it. Unlike a mortal CEO, Steve Jobs can do or not do as he pleases, the markets don't care about an MBP refresh while they try to figure out what the iPad is going to do to the whole industry. My total speculation is that if they missed a Feb window, he said "June". And that was it. Can't wait too long, however, they have a lot of new product to get out this year.

So there's my completely speculative take from a Marketer's point of view. I'm guessing June.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by capitalist tool View Post

So there's my completely speculative take from a Marketer's point of view. I'm guessing June.

Just like everything else, everyone has an opinion. As a marketer, I could make an equally compelling argument that the increased PR/noise/activity related to the iPad can be utilized to increase the effectiveness of the marketing across all product lines, without negatively affecting anything. A rising tide lifts all ships, etc. and therefore wouldn't affect the announcement of updated MBPs or MPs.
post #3 of 5
I also think the iPad argument is wrong. Those two products don't really compete in functionality and with all the attention the iPad gets new MBP can only benefit from it.

The rest might be true. Maybe something just gave them difficulties. After all there are some Notebooks out there from Dell(SXPS), Lenovo (TX10) and HP(Envy) that seem to not support the IGP to dedicated GPU switch properly for whatever reason. Only Optimus seems to work without a problem on Windows for now.
Cooling issues and stuff should be sorted out by now as they knew about this stuff for a long time. Still it takes too long. Waiting till June with half a year later new chips already
post #4 of 5
I think the main issue is availability of the core i-processors. There are reports that intel has issues of meeting demand already. If Apple switches the entire MBP-line to Core i5, that would double if not triple demand for the things (since Apple sells an awful lot of high end systems compared to Dell and the likes).

Not getting in the iPad's limelight seems a viable reason, but at this point Apple probably isn't selling much MBP's anymore except to very uninformed customers (which may very well be over half of their buyers...)

Laptops are a HUGE source of revenue for Apple, they won't hold them back just because they also have to launch an oversized iPod.
post #5 of 5
I have a said since the January non-release that apple will not be up[dating the MBP until June (around WWDC) so it will be fresh for back to school sales. Plus releasing one right now would screw with their sales cycles.

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Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

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