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

post #1 of 184
Thread Starter 
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 ]
post #2 of 184
I need a gig ethernet port on a pro, just saying Apple.
post #3 of 184
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.

 

 

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post #4 of 184
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"
post #5 of 184
Any chance this will have a 1920 by 1080 display? Or will that have to wait for the 17 incher..
post #6 of 184
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.
post #7 of 184
I don't want thinner, I just want lighter, faster with a better screen.
post #8 of 184
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.
post #9 of 184

C.
post #10 of 184
Screw that. I want my optical drive and ethernet port.
post #11 of 184

sadfsadfsadfsd


Edited by xacattaque - 5/8/13 at 1:42pm
post #12 of 184
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.
 
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post #13 of 184
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.
post #14 of 184
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...
post #15 of 184
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.
post #16 of 184
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?
post #17 of 184
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.
post #18 of 184
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.
post #19 of 184
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.

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post #20 of 184
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?
post #21 of 184
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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post #22 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

if the above rumor is true, then you could either use a usb/ethernet adapter or get the 17"

USB won't cut it for gigabit, unless it's USB3 (highly unlikely)
post #23 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

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

I think my point is being missed. I understand that thunderbolt is still expensive. The point is that if you can't give us a cheap thunderbolt to gigabit adapter, just leave the port in instead. I can't imagine they are completely unable to work in the ethernet port even in a slimmer form factor.
post #24 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmallon View Post

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.

Agreed.. Apple is moving into business. Ethernet is very important here.

The optical disk is worthless. Better to carry an external one.
post #25 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by mausz View Post

USB won't cut it for gigabit, unless it's USB3 (highly unlikely)

Why is USB 3.0 highly unlikely? It will be natively supported in Ivy Bridge. I'm expecting Ivy Bridge based macs to include it.
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post #26 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by xacattaque View Post

I don't see them killing the Pro unless they manage to lower prices considerably. I have Pro and would love to "upgrade" to an Air, but I get more for my money with the Pro right now.

I agree that they won't kill the Pro just yet but not due to price so much as capacity. the 15 and 17 inch pros are the powerhouse machines and a 256GB drive just won't cut it. When the drives can be at least 500GB then those machines might be killed off. Also they need thunderbolt to be more mainstream to counter killing off the firewire ports and it wouldn't hurt to have 802.11ac actually out.

Now I can see them bringing out a model or two of a 15 inch Air alongside the Pro for now. See if it sells. it might not. They might discover that no one really wants an Air that big. In the end we could have the Airs as the 11 and 13 inch machines (kill off the 13 inch pro) and the Pro as 15 and 17

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post #27 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJameson View Post

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...

My thoughts exactly.
post #28 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Why is USB 3.0 highly unlikely? It will be natively supported in Ivy Bridge. I'm expecting Ivy Bridge based macs to include it.

Because of their push for Thunderbolt so heavily. Including USB 3.0 at the same time would do nothing but diminish any reason to go to Thunderbolt. At least in the case of having USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt you have enough differentiation. USB 3 and Thunderbolt, not as much. Sure, theoretical peak is only half of thunderbolt, but that's substantially less difference than than the 20 times slower USB 2.0. And honestly you are probably not going to ever saturate USB 3.0 completely very often anyway.
post #29 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

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

C.

I'm not. My line of work requires transfer of information between various departments, auditors and 3rd party vendors. We have email caps, so we can't go that way. We don't give out USB drives either. We tried FTP, but some vendors are clueless.
post #30 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Agreed.. Apple is moving into business. Ethernet is very important here.

The optical disk is worthless. Better to carry an external one.

I like the idea of taking out the optical drive to add a second HDD.

But that falls under the categories of "options" and "customization", neither of which are important in the post-PC world we're being dragged into.
post #31 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

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.

Yeah, but the actual port is important for Pros and techies.

The biggest "gotcha" in dealing with MacBook Airs in terms of tech support is the missing Ethernet port. The whole thing about it not having an optical drive is, in practice, rarely a problem at all. Not having an Ethernet port however makes it very difficult to work with on a daily basis. The average consumer or end user can get by without an Ethernet port, but once you are servicing the thing all you can think about is how much you wish it had an Ethernet port.

Perhaps some of those patents that surfaced just before the Air came out with the collapsing Ethernet port will be used.
post #32 of 184
I hope/wait for this redesign. I have an older 13 inch pro that is starting to show it's age. I now need to run at least one VM and with only 2 cores it's not working. Quad Core makes a big difference when running multiple OSs (and doing development inside each).

It's interesting how needs change. I used to really love the 13" size laptop. It was small enough to use at home in the living room and bed room so was a much better internet device then larger laptops. But that has now been completely replaced with the iPad.

Now for strict work (and I'm a developer) there is a tug of war between screen size/resolution and portability. To me a 15" air would be almost perfect. It's still small enough to carry from the car to work/home/coffee store. To me the 17" is too large for that (on a close to daily basis). If I travelled a lot then I would probably still look at the 13" air.

My only remaining concern is HD space. Running several VM, each with their own tools development installs takes up a lot of room. Not sure the SSDs for that size is affordable yet. My dream would be a small SSD with a separate standard disk. I think in a 15" with no optical they could fit that in.

I'm not buying a new laptop until they update their lines (but then My dual core is only 3.5 years old and is still running fine)
post #33 of 184
I want a Macbook Pro with a Retina Display!
post #34 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I agree that they won't kill the Pro just yet but not due to price so much as capacity. the 15 and 17 inch pros are the powerhouse machines and a 256GB drive just won't cut it. When the drives can be at least 500GB then those machines might be killed off. Also they need thunderbolt to be more mainstream to counter killing off the firewire ports and it wouldn't hurt to have 802.11ac actually out.

Now I can see them bringing out a model or two of a 15 inch Air alongside the Pro for now. See if it sells. it might not. They might discover that no one really wants an Air that big. In the end we could have the Airs as the 11 and 13 inch machines (kill off the 13 inch pro) and the Pro as 15 and 17

The 13" Pro is a very popular machine at the $1,199 price point. Unless they can get the 13" Air to that price point with 256GB SSD, the 13" Pro will continue. Perhaps, with the Anobit acquisition, this will happen. I am sure Apple is working hard to lower the cost of flash memory because that would give them a huge competitive advantage.
post #35 of 184
Or if nothing else stick the ethernet port on the back rather than the side where it's got enough thickness even on the Airs to support the port.
post #36 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmallon View Post

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.

Why rush out to buy a Pro based on rumors? If Apple does drop it, there will be plenty of places to buy existing stock - and probably at a discount.

Best move is to buy a computer when you need it. If you don't need it, don't buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xacattaque View Post

I don't see them killing the Pro unless they manage to lower prices considerably. I have Pro and would love to "upgrade" to an Air, but I get more for my money with the Pro right now.

I don't see them killing the Pro at all. Read the quote - 'killing the Pro FOR THE AVERAGE CONSUMER'. I would anticipate that the Pro would remain the high end laptop.

One possible scenario would be to drop the 13" pro to make the new lines:
MBA - 11, 13, and 15"
MBP - 15 and 17"

The main differences would be that the Pro has more ports (including Ethernet), optical disk and discrete graphics. For some people that would be worth a significant premie, so I don't see how they would reduce prices.

It would, however, significantly reduce the volume of Pro systems. I suspect that there are a lot of people like me. I love the Air, but can't manage with a 13" screen. If there were a 15" Air, I'd buy one. If not, I'll get either a 15 or 17" Pro.
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post #37 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

The 13" Pro is a very popular machine at the $1,199 price point. Unless they can get the 13" Air to that price point with 256GB SSD, the 13" Pro will continue. Perhaps, with the Anobit acquisition, this will happen. I am sure Apple is working hard to lower the cost of flash memory because that would give them a huge competitive advantage.

That's what I'm hoping too. Apple needs to do something to drive SSD prices down substantially before removing the option of HDDs right now. As much as I don't mind connecting external drives up when at my desk, I'd much rather be able to have tons of built-in storage so that I don't necessarily need to carry around a bunch of external drives all the time.
post #38 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I'm not. My line of work requires transfer of information between various departments, auditors and 3rd party vendors.

I can see your need, but in my opinion, optical drives have moved from necessity to legacy. I don't think they belong in a consumer product.

Although Apple should certainly offer an external drive peripheral.

C.

(PS. Have you considered shared Dropbox folders? - A lot less fuss than FTP)
post #39 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

(PS. Have you considered shared Dropbox folders? - A lot less fuss than FTP)

I can't speak for the person you are talking to, but sharing data over Dropfox folders where I work and have worked would get you in serious criminal trouble hence why optical disks are still widely used. Email and FTP is also not a possibility either.
post #40 of 184
We've had the 13" MB, MBA. and MBP all at the same time but we're suppose to believe that by introducing a 15" MBA that the 15" MBP would be killed off? That's an excessive leap.


PS: I can't believing I'm seeing posters say a Pro needs an ODD. Really?! It's 2012.

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