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How much longer will the basic Macbook Pro exist?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

First, I guess I should preface this question with the following information: I'm not on board with the Retina MBP. I don't like that there is no DVD drive (which can now, thankfully, be upgraded to a blu-ray drive via third-party hardware), no ability to upgrade the RAM, no regular (i.e., non-flash) HD, and no ethernet port. As far as I'm concerned, these are all essentials that are thankfully still a part of the non-retina MBP line.

 

So my question is: how long do you think Apple will continue to make the regular MPB that has all of the features listed above? I've been an Apple laptop guy for years, but the day they stop making their laptops with the features listed above will be the day I will, with much regret, have to stop using their product.

post #2 of 19
I'll go with when 2014. Retina is the future, kill the internal DVD drive, but perhaps gluing the battery and not allowing RAM to be replaced was crazy.

So yeah when the Rockwell model is rolled out and by then it'll be time tested.
post #3 of 19

Until the retina models can have the same margins at the same prices of the old models.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Until the retina models can have the same margins at the same prices of the old models.

Well there's always a bit of wiggle room in that costs will vary a bit throughout such cycles. An important point would be if production yields can keep pace with the overall growth of the line rather than a subset of it. LG is still one of the largest display panel manufacturers out there. If they are able to produce generic parts at these resolutions, that will really help. Right now Asus has an LG 1920x1080 IPS panel in one of their ultrabooks. Keep in mind that IPS is a technology, not a display design and that the panel used is only part of it. I wouldn't be surprised if more of this appears in notebooks over the next couple years. They've really pushed way ahead of desktop displays, probably due to it being a much smaller market once you get past the $200 24" displays. It might be an issue of enough volume to overcome the large fixed costs. If you look at displays right now, it's often 3 years between major panel updates presumably due to constrained margins and large fixed costs.

 

I don't agree that it ever comes solely down to margins. There is a lot of balancing to it. Right now their margins are high enough to allow for some flexibility on the earlier portion of a product cycle.

post #5 of 19

Maybe when the economy picks up and Apple feels they can jack the price points on the MacBook Pro line.  

 

The lack of a retina display on the iPad mini suggests that it will be some time before Apple can offer Retina displays at the same price points as conventional low res displays.  When Retina-like resolutions are offered by other laptop manufacturers perhaps LG will have the volume needed to lower prices.

 

As far as losing the optical drives and soldering the DIMMs, that will be done on the next MBP revision.  Thin now supersedes all other aspects of an Apple product.  Consider that the MBP is 0.95" thin, while the rMBP is 0.71" thin.  That makes the rMBP a full 0.24" better.  The MBP also has an optional spinner HDD, those are ancient tech.  You don't want an HDD with MOVING parts, that's just like an ODD!  SSDs are the new thing and that's what you'll get with the next MBP revision, and YOU WILL LIKE IT!

 

As for those MBP users who think they're clever because they swapped out the ODD for a HDD, think again.  They are using MBP with an SSD boot drive and a ginormous HDD for storage, on some immensely thick laptop.  Apple will drag them into the future with new laptops that have only a single SSD and are finally thin enough to enjoy using.  Once they use only 0.71", they will not miss the extra HDD storage.  And with such a thin laptop, carrying around an extra external HDD and external ODD will be much, much thinner.  It's all about liberating us from old rotating storage devices that are so 20th century.  

 

 

 

Quote:
I don't agree that it ever comes solely down to margins. There is a lot of balancing to it. Right now their margins are high enough to allow for some flexibility on the earlier portion of a product cycle.

 

Look at where rMBP prices are now at the beginning of the product cycle.  Those prices are calculated based in part on estimated costs to build one at the end of its cycle.  There is just no way Apple will get rMBP prices down to MBP levels anytime in the next couple years.  

 

Also, the history at Apple suggests that when a product acquires significantly new technology, it's base price goes up.  The Mac Pro is a case study in this, and Apple very likely wants to do the same thing with the MBP lineup.  Fill the current MBP price structure with MBA, and shift the MBP up to the $2000+ range.  Think of the rMBP as a test balloon.

 

 

 


Edited by Junkyard Dawg - 12/4/12 at 12:22pm
post #6 of 19
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

As far as losing the optical drives and soldering the DIMMs, that will be done on the next MBP revision.

 

It's already done. It's called the retina MacBook Pro. Why would they redesign their old model a second time for absolutely no reason whatsoever?

 

Thin now supersedes all other aspects of an Apple product.

 

Stop this.


Consider that the MBP is 0.95" thin, while the rMBP is 0.71" thin.  That makes the rMBP a full 0.24" better.

 

Thinner.

 

YOU WILL LIKE IT!

 

Shut up and buy something else? Please? How can you not comprehend this? You do. Which means you're trolling.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Maybe when the economy picks up and Apple feels they can jack the price points on the MacBook Pro line.  



 

Not all of their pricing reductions have come during bad years.

 

Quote:

Look at where rMBP prices are now at the beginning of the product cycle.  Those prices are calculated based in part on estimated costs to build one at the end of its cycle.  There is just no way Apple will get rMBP prices down to MBP levels anytime in the next couple years.  

 

Also, the history at Apple suggests that when a product acquires significantly new technology, it's base price goes up.  The Mac Pro is a case study in this, and Apple very likely wants to do the same thing with the MBP lineup.  Fill the current MBP price structure with MBA, and shift the MBP up to the $2000+ range.  Think of the rMBP as a test balloon.

 

This is kind of the opposite of what they're likely to do. They start off with limited production capacity. If they can sell out at a base price of $2200, then sell for that. As production ramps up, they will hit flattened growth at that price point relative to other products in their line. They've debuted things at higher price points and slid them down on many occasions.  The macbook pro entered the market at $2000. The first unibody machines came with a higher price tag. The original Air was around $1800 without an ssd. The original powerbook G4 was $2500 or so for the 15". If they moved it all north of $2000, they'd be extremely reliant on the Air.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Stop this.

 

Thinner.

 

 

Shut up and buy something else? Please? How can you not comprehend this? You do. Which means you're trolling.

 

So what do I do with all the Macs I own?  Three Intel Minis, a 17" MBP, and a Hexa-core Mac Pro.  I can do without the minis, but the MBP and the Hexa-core?  Anyone tries to separate me from those, and they'll be glad Apple never made an iGun.

 

Why not try being part of the solution?  When Apple effs up a design, call them out.  If enough Mac faithful hammer Apple over idiotic design choices, they may correct course.  Ive lost his way, but I believe he still has a few brilliant designs left to create.

post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Why not try being part of the solution?  When Apple effs up a design, call them out.

 

Oh, don't worry. When they actually do that, I will.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #10 of 19

Two years maximum, but Apple usually relents a bit on control after the first model. I'd expect swappable RAM and SSD within a few years. I use a remote disc drive via an iMac to use disks on my RMBP.

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post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

So what do I do with all the Macs I own?  Three Intel Minis, a 17" MBP, and a Hexa-core Mac Pro.  I can do without the minis, but the MBP and the Hexa-core?  Anyone tries to separate me from those, and they'll be glad Apple never made an iGun.

 

 

Don't tempt me to draw one. My imagination is far too silly.

post #12 of 19

I believe that when the next refresh hits (haswell) we won't see more regular macbook pros, only retina models. For me, i see it as a great thing, and i hope they put a dedicated graphics card on the 13" pro, after all it was found that it has free space inside... perhaps with great engineering skills they can do it.

 

If they manage that and have a decency to include a full HD IPS display on the AIR models (or the 16:10 equivalent), they will have the perfect line up.

I love my Air, but after looking at those retina models... damn. I don't feel envy from other ultra books because they lose a lot on everything else (against the air), but i don't see why Apple does not want to improve the air's screen.

 

CD reader/burner is obsolute, together with HD.

post #13 of 19
I think this is the last iteration of the "classic" MacBook Pro. That is unfortunate. The rMBP gives up too much, and costs too much, for it to be a viable alternative for me. Three reasons:

First, I require Ethernet and an optical drive. Wifi is not authorized where I work, and data transfer from one secure level to another is done by burning it to disc - and will be for a long time, given how slowly the government moves with respect to classified data. I do not view using an external optical drive or a Thunderbolt to ethernet dongle as an alternative - that defeats the point of an all in one laptop.

Second, the lack of upgradability make the rMBP a non-starter. I have extended the life of many a Mac by upgrading memory and mass storage over the years, instead of buying a new machine (which is of course part of the reason Apple has gone this route). We've seen this coming, most obviously with the introduction of the Air. But it is a mistake in the long run, as people will tire of being forced to buy a new machine instead of being able to extend the life of their existing one.

Third, the rMBP is a terrible value relative to the cMBP. This is particularly true for the 13", which requires a $500 premium in exchange for one-quarter the storage space and a better display. Also, you are locked in to the machine as purchased - there is no way to upgrade it without voiding the warranty. The rMBP commands a huge price premium to give you less usefulness.

I am not one who thinks the "retina" screen to to be a game-changer - it is not. It is a nicer screen, but not worth the money. I Apple is now pushing form over function, and pursuing thinness for its own sake. That is a mistake. As someone who travels a lot for work, I don't care about the weight reduction - it's a gimmick. If you think a MBP is heavy, you need a gym, not a different laptop.

So buy the classic MBP you want now - I will be astonished if there is another iteration of it. And that will be a big step in the wrong direction.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

First, I require Ethernet and an optical drive. Wifi is not authorized where I work, and data transfer from one secure level to another is done by burning it to disc - and will be for a long time, given how slowly the government moves with respect to classified data. I do not view using an external optical drive or a Thunderbolt to ethernet dongle as an alternative - that defeats the point of an all in one laptop.

 

You mean that all in one laptop with the external power brick, cables, etc you need when traveling?  

 

Given that I've never seen a classified MBP the odds are you're not going to be able to use that internal DVD burner for file transfer anymore either so that's a moot point.

 

 

Quote:
Second, the lack of upgradability make the rMBP a non-starter. I have extended the life of many a Mac by upgrading memory and mass storage over the years, instead of buying a new machine (which is of course part of the reason Apple has gone this route). We've seen this coming, most obviously with the introduction of the Air. But it is a mistake in the long run, as people will tire of being forced to buy a new machine instead of being able to extend the life of their existing one.

 

You can replace the SSD stick inside the MBPr with 3rd party sticks.  The RAM is a shame but mostly from the perspective that you can't spec 32GB.  The price is high and that's annoying but not killer.

 

 

Quote:
As someone who travels a lot for work, I don't care about the weight reduction - it's a gimmick. If you think a MBP is heavy, you need a gym, not a different laptop.

 

I've traveled a lot for work and I think this is an extremely narrow minded opinion.  And yes, to the same kind of places you go and more, I've humped my MBP around in the field...not just to a hotel and another air conditioned office. 

 

The weight reduction isn't just so your load is lighter but so you can carry more of the other shit you want to have when on travel. If I were still traveling a lot I'd be sporting a MBA.

post #15 of 19

Well, nice of you to imagine you understand my world.  1rolleyes.gif

 

In order:

 

Funny, the only cable I travel with is for power . . . removing capability from an all-in-one laptop defeats the point of it for a lot of people.   

 

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you've never seen a classified MBP.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of them.  In my world, burning a disc is the only authorized means of transferring information.  So my internal optical drive gets used daily.  Which makes it not a moot point, since you've no idea what you're talking about. 

 

While you can replace the flash storage in a rMBP, you void the warranty by doing so.  The game is not worth the candle.  And doing so makes the rMBP an even more absurd value. 

 

I'd be happy to bet you've never had a MBP in some of the places I have, or carried as much other gear as I have.  While you can certainly have your own opinion, the weight difference remains irrelevant for me.  If one pound is significant, I'd suggest buying the base cMBP and investing the balance in a gym membership - it would do wonders beyond the physical. 

 

As for the Air, I don't care for it.  Too flimsy feeling, insufficiently powerful for the price, and far too limited expansion-wise. 

 

To stay on point, the classic MBP is most likely in its last iteration.  And that's a shame, for the reasons I've outlined.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

You mean that all in one laptop with the external power brick, cables, etc you need when traveling? 

 

 

Given that I've never seen a classified MBP the odds are you're not going to be able to use that internal DVD burner for file transfer anymore either so that's a moot point.

 

 

 

You can replace the SSD stick inside the MBPr with 3rd party sticks.  The RAM is a shame but mostly from the perspective that you can't spec 32GB.  The price is high and that's annoying but not killer.

 

 

 

I've traveled a lot for work and I think this is an extremely narrow minded opinion.  And yes, to the same kind of places you go and more, I've humped my MBP around in the field...not just to a hotel and another air conditioned office. 

 

The weight reduction isn't just so your load is lighter but so you can carry more of the other shit you want to have when on travel. If I were still traveling a lot I'd be sporting a MBA.

post #16 of 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

 

Funny, the only cable I travel with is for power . . . removing capability from an all-in-one laptop defeats the point of it for a lot of people.   

 

Lol...I call bullshit that the only thing you carry is your power cable on travel.  No media?  You wanna burn discs right?  No ethernet cable?  Only a dumbass doesn't travel with their own ethernet cable if they use a lot of ethernet.  Or a short extension cord for all the times that the outlets are all already being used. 

 

 

Quote:

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you've never seen a classified MBP.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of them. 

 

Nope.  Sorry, don't believe it.  Been a lot of places and I've seen Mac Pros (running linux), XServes (also linux), even a Mini doing god knows what but usually it's a sea of Toughbooks, Dells and HPs with a rare MBP or two that isn't allowed to connect to anything.  I'm sure there is some pockets of MBP users around given how large the government is but "lots of them" is a serious exaggeration.  

 

I would hazard that the number of classified OSX instances to be far far below 1% of all classified systems.

 

 

Quote:

 In my world, burning a disc is the only authorized means of transferring information.  So my internal optical drive gets used daily.  Which makes it not a moot point, since you've no idea what you're talking about. 

 

Maybe in your world with the "lots of MBPs" it might matter but no where else does anyone care if the MBP retains a DVD burner or if you have to carry an external one.

 

Regarding discs, a lot of shops don't allow those anymore either. No, I will not be more specific as to what is allowed.

 

 

Quote:

I'd be happy to bet you've never had a MBP in some of the places I have, or carried as much other gear as I have.  While you can certainly have your own opinion, the weight difference remains irrelevant for me.  If one pound is significant, I'd suggest buying the base cMBP and investing the balance in a gym membership - it would do wonders beyond the physical. 

 

LOL, I'll take that bet.  I've had to carry a lot of extra electronic gear on top of my own kit.  I guarandamntee you that folks will almost always rather carry a pound of extra batteries or water than an extra pound of laptop.  

 

My opinion is that internet tough guys telling others who want lighter electronics to hit the gym have never actually had to hump any gear in the field.  

post #17 of 19

Sigh . . .

 

Never mind.  Clearly you have all the answers and can't fathom the possibility that someone else just may have spent more time in the field . . . E-5?  Sounds like it.

 

Another bet you'd lose - that I've been in the field more recently than you have . . .

 

Enjoy your over-priced retina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

Lol...I call bullshit that the only thing you carry is your power cable on travel.  No media?  You wanna burn discs right?  No ethernet cable?  Only a dumbass doesn't travel with their own ethernet cable if they use a lot of ethernet.  Or a short extension cord for all the times that the outlets are all already being used. 

 

 

 

Nope.  Sorry, don't believe it.  Been a lot of places and I've seen Mac Pros (running linux), XServes (also linux), even a Mini doing god knows what but usually it's a sea of Toughbooks, Dells and HPs with a rare MBP or two that isn't allowed to connect to anything.  I'm sure there is some pockets of MBP users around given how large the government is but "lots of them" is a serious exaggeration.  

 

I would hazard that the number of classified OSX instances to be far far below 1% of all classified systems.

 

 

 

Maybe in your world with the "lots of MBPs" it might matter but no where else does anyone care if the MBP retains a DVD burner or if you have to carry an external one.

 

Regarding discs, a lot of shops don't allow those anymore either. No, I will not be more specific as to what is allowed.

 

 

 

LOL, I'll take that bet.  I've had to carry a lot of extra electronic gear on top of my own kit.  I guarandamntee you that folks will almost always rather carry a pound of extra batteries or water than an extra pound of laptop.  

 

My opinion is that internet tough guys telling others who want lighter electronics to hit the gym have never actually had to hump any gear in the field.  

post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

Enjoy your over-priced retina.

 

Doesn't misusing that word automatically invalidate one's opinion these days?

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Automaticftp View Post

E-5?  Sounds like it.

 

 

LOL...nope.  Wrong again.

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