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Apple may begin to phase out legacy 13-inch white MacBook

post #1 of 89
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Apple's white polycarbonate MacBook, which has long served as the company's entry-level notebook, may be slowly phased out this year, according to one insider.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities shared with AppleInsider Tuesday that industry checks show that Apple's internal shipment forecast for the white MacBook suspiciously drops-off in August of this year, which leads him to believe that the notebook may go "end of life" around the same time.

In his view, Apple's $999 MacBook Air is a more than suitable replacement for the identically priced white MacBook. An updated MacBook Air with 128GB minimum hard drive space is expected to see an introduction as early as Wednesday.

Kuo said that monthly shipments for the Core 2 Duo MacBook have fallen to between 80,000 and 100,000 units, and therefore comprised less than 10 percent of Apple's total Mac shipments during the first half of 2011. Though Apple continues to offer the yesteryear notebook as part of its Mac portfolio, this data indicates consumers are proactively choosing notebooks with the latest technology, like the new MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros.

While some industry-watchers believe the white MacBook could continue to serve as a low-cost, entry-level Mac with a price reduction (similar to what Apple has done with the iPhone 3GS), it's uncertain that the Cupertino-based company remains interested in continuing to market the hefty, previous-generation design alongside its sleek new Mac OS Lion operating system.

AppleInsider first revealed in late June that supply of the white MacBook was severely constrained. Weeks later, stock-outs remain at resellers like Amazon, where the notebook is advertised to ship within two to five weeks. However, that's the same lead time Amazon has reflected on an on-again, off-again basis for the past three weeks. In fact, just two of seven authorized resellers tracked in the Mac Pricing Guide (below) are reflecting availability.



The Intel-powered MacBook was first launched in May of 2006, replacing the PowerPC-based iBook and PowerBook. Sporting a 13-inch display, it originally came in both black and white flavors.

The notebook was redesigned in 2009, when it was given a unibody construction like the MacBook Pro. The new notebook was also given an LED-backlit display, integrated battery and multi-touch glass trackpad.



While the MacBook stood alone at the $999 price point among Apple's notebooks for years, that changed in 2010, when the MacBook Air was redesigned and expanded to include an 11-inch model. Upon its introduction, that $999 notebook saw strong sales as consumers took to the thin-and-light device.

Advantages for the current $999 MacBook Air over the existing MacBook include a unibody aluminum enclosure, and a thin-and-light design with fast and reliable solid-state flash memory storage. But the entry-level MacBook Air also has some disadvantages when compared to the white MacBook, namely a smaller 11-inch screen and fewer ports, including lack of Ethernet.
post #2 of 89
Or, Apple could just be drawing down on inventories for a product refresh. I think the biggest advantage of the MacBook is the optical drive.
post #3 of 89
Ha! Someone has been saying this might happen.
post #4 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Ha! Someone has been saying this might happen.

AI also spelled doom or the Mac mini mamestizomes over a very long period and yet it still exists and is better than ever.

I've been in several Apple Stores in many states over the last couple of months and they all have multiple white MacBooks at the front of the store. That doesn't sound like a product line they are going to depreciate. I'm much more inclined to see the alumimium MBP with an ODD to become the new MacBook and the new MBPs get thinner, lighter, faster, and have an SSD+HDD, and higher res display.
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post #5 of 89
It only makes sense. Macbook air will be $999 and take the place of Macbook. People who buy white macbooks don't need it for any pro apps or heavy graphics, so Macbook Air can easily replace it.
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post #6 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AI also spelled doom or the Mac mini mamestizomes over a very long period and yet it still exists and is better than ever.

This is a good point, but it seems to me that the Mac Mini is more "special" than the white MacBook. The Mini is a unique form factor and cannot easily be replaced by any other Mac because of that form factor. In other words, there's more to the Mini than just its lower price (which isn't even that low when you add in the price of a monitor, keyboard, etc). But there's nothing really special about the MacBook, except perhaps for its potential to be less expensive than the MBA.

Also, Apple seems to be making a statement with their product lineup that iOS devices are mainstream (the "cars") and that Macs are more professional machines (the "trucks"). I suspect that distinction becomes only more pronounced over time, and a cheap MacBook isn't consistent with that distinction.

So I think that the MacBook EOL rumor is more likely to come true than the Mini rumor was.
post #7 of 89
MacBook Air to drop the "Air" surname and replace the current MacBook.

You heard it here first*.


*Disclaimer: You probably didn't hear it here first.
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post #8 of 89
Less than 10%? Where did he pull that out of? Apple called it their best selling mac in the last video they made of it, that was very recent.
post #9 of 89
Either make the white Air cheaper, or just add a new lower-end Air.

There are rumors that the Air’s RAM and storage specs are doubling at the same price--which I’m skeptical of: I expect a price increase, which will still be a great deal. But assuming that happens, which would be awesome, the Air might start at 128 storage and 4GB RAM for $999. That would leave room for an $899 ~3GB Air with 64 storage that would meet the needs of most people really well! (Many would want to add an external display. You can then have a 22” subnotebook!) There are no rumors of that, though
post #10 of 89
The loss of the white Macbook in favor of the Macbook Air would force us to loose the optical drive, processing power, and the ability to upgrade internal storage. I guess we could always buy the Macbook Pro for that....
post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AI also spelled doom or the Mac mini mamestizomes over a very long period and yet it still exists and is better than ever.

"Mamestizomes"? Should that be "many times"?

That's the best spellcheck mangling I've seen in ages.
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post #12 of 89
The used Mac market suggests Apple would be foolish to abandon the MacBook. I've seen used MacBooks going for the same price as similarly aged MacBook Pros that originally sold for much more. A significant segment of the market apparently wants white and associates the colour with Apple.

I also think a lot of consumers don't consider themselves pros and avoid the MBP because they think a "Pro" model must have features they don't need and more importantly don't want to pay for. I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of potential customers want the "ordinary MacBook" rather than a "Pro" or ultralight model because they perceive both as specialty markets with higher prices.

I find it rather odd that the article mentioned the lack of Ethernet as a drawback of the new 11" MacBook Air, but didn't mention the significantly slower CPU or the 5 hour battery life versus 7 hours on the white MacBook.
post #13 of 89
"In his view, Apple's $999 MacBook Air is a more than suitable replacement for the identically priced white MacBook."


yes and no. If someone is getting the MacBook because all they need is to do email, type papers etc. Yeah, the Air is fine.

But anything more than that and they need a more fully realized computer. Faster processor, bigger HD etc.

That said, I could see Apple dropping the Macbook and knocking like $100 off the entry pro to split the difference. Or heck even knocking some off the Airs. I get that solid state is expensive but those model are a bit high for many to justify spending that price. Take it down to starting at $799 and it's more of a contender

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post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Ha! Someone has been saying this might happen.

Ha, I remember that thread
post #15 of 89
The 11 inch air is not an alternative to the 13 inch MacBook, primarily because of the screen size. Battery life and lack of optical drive are the other two factors getting in the way.

The 13" MacBook is a great entry level machine that people are comfortable with. It would make sense for Apple to maintain that machine at a lower price point. Hitting $899 or even $799 would be great for sales overall. It would bring over more converts that think Mac laptops are overpriced.
post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

It only makes sense. Macbook air will be $999 and take the place of Macbook. People who buy white macbooks don't need it for any pro apps or heavy graphics, so Macbook Air can easily replace it.

Actually, it doesn't make sense. The white MacBook can easily be used as a person's only Mac if their requirements are simple enough. The MacBook Air can't, at least not without compromise. It just doesn't have enough storage at the $999 price point and the screen is too small.

-kpluck

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post #17 of 89
It should be redesigned to be just like the MacBook Air but made out of plastic.
It should be available in Black and White just like the iPhone and iPad.
It should be available in 11" & 13" models priced at $799 & $999.
It should have mini DisplayPort but not Thunderbolt.
post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AI also spelled doom or the Mac mini mamestizomes over a very long period and yet it still exists and is better than ever.

I've been in several Apple Stores in many states over the last couple of months and they all have multiple white MacBooks at the front of the store. That doesn't sound like a product line they are going to depreciate. I'm much more inclined to see the alumimium MBP with an ODD to become the new MacBook and the new MBPs get thinner, lighter, faster, and have an SSD+HDD, and higher res display.

The Mac Mini is in a special segment. The MacBook isn't. Not any longer.
post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

The 11 inch air is not an alternative to the 13 inch MacBook, primarily because of the screen size. Battery life and lack of optical drive are the other two factors getting in the way.

The 13" MacBook is a great entry level machine that people are comfortable with. It would make sense for Apple to maintain that machine at a lower price point. Hitting $899 or even $799 would be great for sales overall. It would bring over more converts that think Mac laptops are overpriced.

I see this being more of the reality than dropping it entirely. I also think that the $799 marker is probably the one Apple needs to hit. Just give it a moderate bump in specs (HD size, minimum ram of 4GB, and a slight processor bump) and you have a true contender.

Now, they may even try to market the younger generation if they could make attachable plates for the front of it (nothing sophisticated, just a plastic "cover"), and now you have something that will appeal to the teenagers which will spark a whole lot more sales (plus the benefit of the sales of the accessory).

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post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

The loss of the white Macbook in favor of the Macbook Air would force us to loose the optical drive, processing power, and the ability to upgrade internal storage. I guess we could always buy the Macbook Pro for that....

The new Airs' are supposed to be pretty powerful. You can replace the SSD. With more RAM, much of that problem is taken care of. Most people never upgrade their machines. The Air is much lighter than the MacBook, and would be a better machine for schools. Unfortunately, FW is being depreciated. Thunderbolt will take over.
post #21 of 89
I think it's an indication of just how good the rest of the Apple notebook lineup has become (especially the Macbook Air) that to me the white Macbook looks like the only "cheap" thing in the Apple lineup.

I know it's still much better build quality than Windows based plastic laptops out there, but it just doesn't seem to fit with the incredible quality of the rest of Apples stuff.

If they can do a good Macbook Air at $1000, I can't see the need for the plastic Macbook anymore.
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

"Mamestizomes"? Should that be "many times"?

That's the best spellcheck mangling I've seen in ages.

Sometimes the iPad mangles my words so badly, I can't figure out what I wrote, and have to start again!
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Ha, I remember that thread

Amazing, isn't it?
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoo View Post

Less than 10%? Where did he pull that out of? Apple called it their best selling mac in the last video they made of it, that was very recent.

I have heard Apple say this as well, that the white MacBook is their best selling mac, but that is a vague statement. If you look at the numbers for the last 5 years, then I believe it probably is the best selling. However, I bet if you looked at the sales figures for only the last 12 months, the White MacBook is probably in severe decline. I see very few people toting these around compared to the Pros and the Airs, and I work at a large university where laptops are everywhere.

So, it can be both the best seller, and at the same time, less than 10% currently.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

The 11 inch air is not an alternative to the 13 inch MacBook, primarily because of the screen size. Battery life and lack of optical drive are the other two factors getting in the way.

The 13" MacBook is a great entry level machine that people are comfortable with. It would make sense for Apple to maintain that machine at a lower price point. Hitting $899 or even $799 would be great for sales overall. It would bring over more converts that think Mac laptops are overpriced.

This is my thought exactly!

There is a huge market for High School and College students who purchase these computers. They want optical drives for watching movies, they want the durability of the white plastic, and they want the larger 13" screen. Many of them need wired ethernet for their dorm rooms - without another dongle to lose.

The white macbook rocks for this market. At $799 it would be even better!
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

It should be redesigned to be just like the MacBook Air but made out of plastic.

Then what's the point of it?

Quote:
It should have mini DisplayPort but not Thunderbolt.

This is abject nonsense and you know it.

The white MacBook's purpose is to be a MacBook Air with an ODD and longer battery life. Making it into a plastic MacBook Air is completely pointless.

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post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

I have heard Apple say this as well, that the white MacBook is their best selling mac, but that is a vague statement. If you look at the numbers for the last 5 years, then I believe it probably is the best selling. However, I bet if you looked at the sales figures for only the last 12 months, the White MacBook is probably in severe decline. I see very few people toting these around compared to the Pros and the Airs, and I work at a large university where laptops are everywhere.

So, it can be both the best seller, and at the same time, less than 10% currently.

Looking at the Apple website the Macbook Pro and iMac outsell the Macbook.

The White Macbook needs to adapt to survive. Whether or not it's true, to many people the iPad is the "affordable Apple computer". If the Macbook Pro Aluminum drops to $999 next year with Carbon Fiber MBP's taking the higher price points, then there is little reason for anyone to buy a Macbook.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by aross99 View Post

This is my thought exactly!

There is a huge market for High School and College students who purchase these computers. They want optical drives for watching movies, they want the durability of the white plastic, and they want the larger 13" screen. Many of them need wired ethernet for their dorm rooms - without another dongle to lose.

The white macbook rocks for this market. At $799 it would be even better!

I see a bunch of you guys saying $799. What if Apple can't make it for $799? Has anyone thought of that? There always seems to be an assumption that prices can be lowered to whatever people want it to be.
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifan View Post

Looking at the Apple website the Macbook Pro and iMac outsell the Macbook.

The White Macbook needs to adapt to survive. Whether or not it's true, to many people the iPad is the "affordable Apple computer". If the Macbook Pro Aluminum drops to $999 next year with Carbon Fiber MBP's taking the higher price points, then there is little reason for anyone to buy a Macbook.

I agree that the white MacBook is likely on it's way out...it just looks very out of place. But what's this about carbon fiber MBPs? I definitely do not think this is where Apple is going.
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I see a bunch of you guys saying $799. What if Apple can't make it for $799? Has anyone thought of that? There always seems to be an assumption that prices can be lowered to whatever people want it to be.

Apple has the highest profit margins of any PC manufacturer. The Macbook is being profitably sold for $899 to students right now. If they wouldn't make money at $799 I'd be shocked because:

a: 1280x800 13 inch screens are not expensive to manufacture
b: Using an i3 would remove the need to also have a 320m (I could be wrong on this)
c: 250 GB harddrives are dirt cheap
d: Apple has mastered the production of touch-components for trackpads
e: It's made out of plastic

I know that simply listing component prices is idiotic for laptops as well-designed as Apple's, but I don't doubt they're collecting at least $200 per Macbook even with student discounts.
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I see a bunch of you guys saying $799. What if Apple can't make it for $799? Has anyone thought of that? There always seems to be an assumption that prices can be lowered to whatever people want it to be.

Exactly~ I can't see a way that they will have a $799 MacBook, no matter what enclosure it has. But to even attempt it, they would have to stick with white plastic, which should not even be an option. If they did try this, it would totally compete in the iPad price range. In addition, I think we can all agree that white plastic is a very dated design, and Apple really needs to get rid of this once and for all.

Apple was on the right track in 2008 when the MacBooks made the jump from white plastic to aluminum unibody. But, then a year later they reverted back to white plastic? This decision never made any sense to me.
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While some industry-watchers believe the white MacBook could continue to serve as a low-cost, entry-level Mac with a price reduction (similar to what Apple has done with the iPhone 3GS), it's uncertain that the Cupertino-based company remains interested in continuing to market the hefty, previous-generation design alongside its sleek new Mac OS Lion operating system.[/url][/c]

I'd really like to see a price-competitive entry-level MacBook- something to compete with the $400-$700 Windows-based laptops that are out there. When my 5 y.o. desktop PC died in April I was eager to get a mac of some sort - but frankly couldn't afford it. For my basic home needs (surfing, email, FB, photo file management) I could get a $500 laptop that was thinner and sleeker (and had a bigger screen) than the poor 13-inch MacBook. (We'll still go Apple someday, but I just couldn't justify the added expense in this case.)

Apple could introduce a lot of future customers to the Apple universe if they had something more competitive on price.
post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

The 11 inch air is not an alternative to the 13 inch MacBook, primarily because of the screen size. Battery life and lack of optical drive are the other two factors getting in the way.

The 13" MacBook is a great entry level machine that people are comfortable with. It would make sense for Apple to maintain that machine at a lower price point. Hitting $899 or even $799 would be great for sales overall. It would bring over more converts that think Mac laptops are overpriced.

Totally agree. [In April, I purchased a 15" Windows-based laptop, built-in WiFi, DVD drive, etc, for $700 -- and that was with me walking into the Best Buy interested in buying an Apple product. (And no, a salesman didn't talk me out of it... though their Apple guy was pretty non-functional; it simply boiled down to price and features.)

Apple could get into a lot more homes (meaning: a lot more potential buyers of additional Apple products) if they had something that would compete with this sort of laptop on a price basis.
post #34 of 89
I really don't understand the posters saying Apple will trash the MacBook line. I can't think of any reason why they would remove a popular and positive brand just to settle with only the MBA and MBP brands.

Getting rid of the plastic casing and moving the current MBP casing into the MacBook arena makes a lot more sense. Apple needs to grow their brands, not reduce them!
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post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The Mac Mini is in a special segment. The MacBook isn't. Not any longer.

  1. You seem to be saying they 1) can't drop the price of the MacBook any farther than $999 and still make a solid profit [yet there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support they can and should], 2) that they can't make $999 computer with aluminum [yet they do with both the 11" MBA and eve cheaper Mac mini which can be seen as "over engineered" to be milled from a solid block of aluminium], and 3) that they will willfully remove the MB line from their ranks to support only the MBA and MBP lines. Is this correct?

  2. All segments are special cases but what is so special about the Mac mini that would make it's aluminum cheaper and more worthwhile to produce over the MB? Are you suggesting the MB sells less than Mac mini, a desktop PC?
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post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Sometimes the iPad mangles my words so badly, I can't figure out what I wrote, and have to start again!

The worst part is the mangling of web adresses. You would think that once the spell checker sees www. it would stop spell checking right there. Maybe I should apply for a patent on that simple concept.
post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

"Mamestizomes"? Should that be "many times"?

That's the best spellcheck mangling I've seen in ages.

Gotta say, I hit cmd-ctrl-d just to make sure I wasn't missing something major .
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post

I have heard Apple say this as well, that the white MacBook is their best selling mac, but that is a vague statement. If you look at the numbers for the last 5 years, then I believe it probably is the best selling. However, I bet if you looked at the sales figures for only the last 12 months, the White MacBook is probably in severe decline. I see very few people toting these around compared to the Pros and the Airs, and I work at a large university where laptops are everywhere.

So, it can be both the best seller, and at the same time, less than 10% currently.

I hate to tell you this but university sales are more about status than anything. MacBook is a much better value to people that actually evaluate what they are buying.
post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I see a bunch of you guys saying $799. What if Apple can't make it for $799? Has anyone thought of that? There always seems to be an assumption that prices can be lowered to whatever people want it to be.

There is plenty of evidence that they can lower the price and still make a profit. The reality is this, the extra quality in a MacBook does not cost that much. One only has to look at similar HP hardware to realize Apple can move pricing downwards. The fundamental reality is that the hardware is the same, with a few extensions thrown in by Apple.

Now I don't expect Apple to meet HPs prices, but I do believe they can hit $800 without loosing margin. They would do that by trimming out the fat and going to AMD. Frankly AMD with it's Fusion line would make for a very capable MacBook. Especially if they can offer up an SSD boot drive.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Ha, I remember that thread




the classic shall never die

i feel to buy one just to have


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