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Dual-mic MacBook Air expected at WWDC, legacy MacBook Pro to remain without update

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
While Apple's MacBook Air is rumored to receive an updated a dual-microphone system that would help with voice-driven features like dictation, the company's legacy MacBook Pro will not receive a hardware update at WWDC, a well-connected insider claims.

MacBook Air


Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said in a note to investors on Monday that Apple plans to unveil a slightly tweaked MacBook Air at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week. The thin-and-light will reportedly keep the same design as existing models, but will likely adopt a dual-microphone setup similar to the implementation seen in the current Retina MacBook Pro.

Kuo says the inclusion of a second mic comes as a result of positive feedback regarding the system's voice quality during VoIP and FaceTime calls. The microphones are also used for dictation, and the hardware revision could even be seen as a hint that Siri, Apple's voice-driven personal assistant for iOS devices, could be coming to the Mac.

As previously reported, the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are expected to be powered by Intel's next-generation Haswell CPUs, but Kuo now believes Apple will not be updating the entry level non-Retina MacBook Pro to the new processor tech. Instead, he said the current models will continue to be sold as-is, with previous-generation Ivy Bridge processors.

"We think Apple will discontinue the upgrade of MacBook Pro?s CPU to Haswell this year, basically because now neither hard disk drive nor optical disc drive creates a better user experience," Kuo said. "While we expect Apple to continue retailing Ivy Bridge-supported MacBook Pro, this product line will likely be withdrawn from the spotlight going forward."

SSD
Source: KGI Securities


With the older Pro model moving closer to being phased out, Apple is increasingly turning to solid state drives as a mainstream storage solution for its laptop lineup. In 2013, the analyst estimates the market share of MacBooks with SSDs to reach 64 percent, up from 45 percent in 2012, well ahead of the industry average 15 to 20 percent.

Kuo notes, however, that the move to discontinue non-Retina MacBook Pro upgrades will negatively impact Apple's laptop shipments as the overall PC market continues to show weak demand. Along with a product line transition and cannibalization by the iPad, the analyst forecasts a MacBook shipment decline of 10 to 20 percent in fiscal 2013.
post #2 of 11
1) Siri seems like the most likely reason for dual-mics at this stage but I think they should have included dual-mics years ago.

2) This is not good news for those that want the ODD. At least the rumour says they are keeping it. Hopefully they'll update it to Haswell later on after the RMBPs get their fill.

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post #3 of 11

if the MPB stays the same I can only see Apple justifying this with a price reduction.

post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
1) Siri seems like the most likely reason for dual-mics at this stage but I think they should have included dual-mics years ago.

 

Apple is going to limit Siri in OS X to people who own a retina MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro, aren't they?

They're honestly going to limit it to two models out of the thirty or so that will be able to run OS X, aren't they?

 

I don't know if I'm furious or depressed yet. Better just wait until they actually tell us, huh? lol.gif

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is going to limit Siri in OS X to people who own a retina MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro, aren't they?


They're honestly going to limit it to two models out of the thirty or so that will be able to run OS X, aren't they?

I don't know if I'm furious or depressed yet. Better just wait until they actually tell us, huh? lol.gif
It'll be interesting if that's the case- right?
Didn't even think about it until you posted it. Reminds me of my base model 2011 Mac mini being able to mirror to ATV and my 2.93 BTO 2010 27" iMac not being able to. But, of course, it was a "graphic card" issue. Lol

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is going to limit Siri in OS X to people who own a retina MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro, aren't they?


They're honestly going to limit it to two models out of the thirty or so that will be able to run OS X, aren't they?

I don't know if I'm furious or depressed yet. Better just wait until they actually tell us, huh? lol.gif

Perhaps, but I'd bet against it. The primary reason for Apple limited Siri to the iPhone 4S seems to be due to the number of users, not the built-in HW. All Macs capable of running Mac OS X 10.9 is small compared to the number of iDevices that can access Siri today. Then you have ML already being able to access system-wide dictation that uses the same Siri backend so it's hard for Apple to claim that it's a speech-to-text issue with the microphone tech. Finally, I would bet using Siri on Macs isn't used as extensively as with a more portable device since typing a command into Google is considerably easier and the users are likely more adept at internet searches. Overall I'd say it would be bet served as a value added to Mac OS X 10.9 than to use this feature to sell newer Macs.

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post #7 of 11
There's no way Apple would restrict Siri to the rMBPs. I only say this because Siri is (sort of) already on the entire MacBook line. Remember Dictation? It uses the same technology that is used to power Siri's voice-recognition software on iOS.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is going to limit Siri in OS X to people who own a retina MacBook Air and retina MacBook Pro, aren't they?


They're honestly going to limit it to two models out of the thirty or so that will be able to run OS X, aren't they?

I don't know if I'm furious or depressed yet. Better just wait until they actually tell us, huh? lol.gif
I doubt that, I just think Siri will work better on them, Probably by next year all the other devices will use the dual Microphones (next IMac/thunder display) add them to the next Mac Pro, and keep only one on the mini probably.

I think apple is looking for the old MacBook Pro to Change name to the old plain MacBook tittle and sell for price close to $1000 with running a year old specs will work.
post #9 of 11

We'll just have to wait a whole six days to find out. But that shouldn't stop us from making blanket statements of global product usage based on personal anecdotes. I'm sure we know better than Apple and the sales figures that only they have access to.

 

Andysol View Post
Reminds me of my base model 2011 Mac mini being able to mirror to ATV and my 2.93 BTO 2010 27" iMac not being able to. But, of course, it was a "graphic card" issue. Lol

 

I remember patching the firmware on my iBook G4's Radeon 9200 so it could do extended display rather than just mirror. It didn't perceptually impact performance.

We can say that their restrictions sometimes go too far in the name of an 'ideal experience,' but at least it's usually an easy fix. For Airplay there's the Airfoil app.

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post #10 of 11
Ah, but what's the battery life on these Haswell MBAs going to be like. That's what I wonder. If the battery life isn't a bit beyond ten hours, I don't see any reason to upgrade my sturdy little white MacBook. I'm strong enough not to notice a couple of extra pounds.

That and I'd like to see WiFi-ac in place of the now old n-standard. I try not to upgrade my laptops until they come with the latest WiFi standard.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Ah, but what's the battery life on these Haswell MBAs going to be like.
That won't be easy to answer because it will depend upon your usage. Running the processor hard with a heavy work load might even lead to worst battery life depending upon which processor Apple goes for. The general case though should be vastly better battery life.
Quote:
That's what I wonder. If the battery life isn't a bit beyond ten hours, I don't see any reason to upgrade my sturdy little white MacBook. I'm strong enough not to notice a couple of extra pounds.
If you are still rocking a white Mac Book I would suspect that raw performance would be far better.
Quote:
That and I'd like to see WiFi-ac in place of the now old n-standard. I try not to upgrade my laptops until they come with the latest WiFi standard.

I have a good feeling about WiFi-ac. Industry has smartened up this time around and isn't rushing things out the door before the standard is even ready. Hopefully this means a whole array of nice WiFi-ac hardware from Apple.
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