Originally Posted by opnsource
And for heaven's sake, they are not and will not bring back the 12" to the pro line. The only thing that the poor, unfortunate souls who are ultra portable Mac fans can do is cling desperately to their aging Powerbooks and try to avoid the inevitable: buying the BlackBook.
And Apple will never produce a phone.
Actually you're right, Apple will never bring back the 12" because it was a mini cousin of the Pro line not much faster then the iBooks. A proper subnotebook is a different story. I'n not saying they will, just that it's a big hole in their line-up and their laptop sales are going up fast enough to allow for a more expansive selection of computers (arguably a 15" MacBook, and an 11" MacBook nano).
As Ireland says a unified design language would be very interesting. Notably the iMac has always represented the consumer section, and this update dumps their consumer styling. Likewise it now makes their Pro styling look outdated. Apple could: unify their computer design language along the iMac's lines and toss the difference between pro/non-pro. Use the iMac's language for MacBooks, and establish a new Pro language. Use the iMac's language for MacBook Pro's, and establish a new consumer language. Those, as I see it, are their main options in computer design going forward.
So what if they do actually unify their language? Offer a MacBook at 11" (subnotebook), 13" (current MacBook), 15" and 17" (current MacBook Pro). As it is the differences between the regular and Pro models are pretty darn slim at this point (GPU, mainly) so why not just offer a models a base model that can be specced upwards?
Perhaps, because of the GPU, a base model and top-end model at each size (perhaps tag the 13", 15", 17" top-end models with the Pro tag, and give the 11" model a Nano tag or something). Top-end model gets the niceties (keyboard lighting) and the features (top-end CPU/GPU) and the base model doesn't have that. Both models can be BTO'd upwards or downwards in RAM/HDD but if you want to switch GPUs or CPUs you're automatically upgraded/downgraded to the relevant model.
The subnotebook would likely be the least configurable and perhaps the 17" model would lack a low-end version. That way stores get two SKUs for 13" and 15", and one SKU for 11" and 17" (6 SKUs in total, compared against 6 SKUs now if you go by the Apple Store online).
No additional shipping complexity in return for a laptop line that adds non-Pro 15" model and an 11" subnotebook, and unifies Apple's design language going forward.