Supply of Apple's white MacBook severely constrained ahead of Lion debut

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Availability of Apple's current $999 white MacBook, built with hardware that is now getting long in the tooth, has become constrained, potentially signaling a forthcoming update to the entry-level notebook.



Many of the Apple authorized resellers that can be found on AppleInsider's Mac Pricing Guide are completely sold out of the polycarbonate MacBook. Specifically, Amazon, MacConnection, On Sale and J&R are all out of stock. In addition, inventory of the entry-level portable is low at DataVision.



In addition, one of Europe's largest distributors is completely out of stock of the white MacBook, and lists no estimated time of arrival for new shipments. Sources indicated that this is unusual, but not necessarily a sign that the current model will be discontinued.



AppleInsider has not received any specific word of a MacBook refresh, but the timing makes sense, as the polycarbonate MacBook was last updated more than a year ago, in May of 2010. The entry-level hardware was given GeForce 320M graphics and an Intel 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.



The reduced availability could also be a result of a somewhat recent educational discount price drop, from $949 to $899.



Any new hardware that may be released is not expected to debut until after the launch of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. As first reported by AppleInsider, Apple is expected to freeze all new Mac introductions until the release of its next-generation operating system.



A lot has changed in the Apple product lineup since the last MacBook refresh occurred. Namely, the company now offers a second notebook at the same $999 price point: the 11.6-inch MacBook Air released last October, which instantly found strong sales.







With the new MacBook Air occupying the $999 price slot with great success, it's possible that Apple could lower the price of its white MacBook. It's a strategy that has paid off for Apple in its iPhone business, where it has maintained high margins and achieved lower prices during tough economic times by selling last year's model.



Apple has also embraced Thunderbolt, a new high-speed data port that debuted in March with Apple's latest MacBook Pro models. Thunderbolt also came to the iMac in May, and Apple is expected to add the port to the rest of its Mac lineup as refreshes are rolled out.



Also due for an impending update is the aforementioned MacBook Air, which is expected to receive Intel's latest-generation Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt support. The new notebooks are believed to currently be in production, but are also not expected to be released until after the launch of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.



In addition, contrary to some recent reports, there is no indication that Mac mini inventory is currently constrained, according to distributors in both the U.S. and Europe.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member
    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    The low end MacBook Pro is just a couple of hundred bucks more. So people who need those features can migrate up to that. The rest may be happier with an Air.
  • Reply 2 of 152
    algralgr Posts: 18member
    Yes, the last time I checked, the Macbook made no sense at all given how much more you got for the 13' pro.
  • Reply 3 of 152
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,029member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    The low end MacBook Pro is just a couple of hundred bucks more. So people who need those features can migrate up to that. The rest may be happier with an Air.



    Couldn't agree more, they are the same price after all. For most people I would assume that the MacBook Air's power and storage capacity are more than ample.



    And let's not forget that the Air is a much nicer looking machine, certainly does more for the brand than the cheap white MacBook's do.



    If they are not discontinuing it then I hope they replace it with a black MacBook, it looked so much better!
  • Reply 4 of 152
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    With the popularity and price point of the MacBook Air, the white MacBook really makes no sense. At that point, the MBA should just become the new MacBook.
  • Reply 5 of 152
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    The low end MacBook Pro is just a couple of hundred bucks more. So people who need those features can migrate up to that. The rest may be happier with an Air.



    I don't think so. Anecdotally speaking the first and closest table to the doors at my local Apple Store is all white MacBooks. I don't recall Apple ever putting EOL products at the front of the store and at such a quantity for the same configuration if it's going to be deprecated.



    I think an update, and possibly a price point drop, is more likely based on what I've seen.
  • Reply 6 of 152
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    The low end MacBook Pro is just a couple of hundred bucks more. So people who need those features can migrate up to that. The rest may be happier with an Air.



    I was thinking the same. This seems to be coinciding with an Air refresh which could potentially include a low end replacement.
  • Reply 7 of 152
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    Couldn't agree more, they are the same price after all. For most people I would assume that the MacBook Air's power and storage capacity are more than ample.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    With the popularity and price point of the MacBook Air, the white MacBook really makes no sense. At that point, the MBA should just become the new MacBook.



    Note the iPod Classic still exists yet the iPod Touch offers pretty much more of everything, except capacity, and starts at a lower price than the Classic. This is not unlike the MacBook having much greater capacity than MacBook Air. You have to buy the $1,599 MBA to match the capacity in the $999 MB, and for another $100 you can get 500GB HDD in that white casing, not to mention more RAM and a faster processor and more ports.
  • Reply 8 of 152
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    You have to buy the $1,599 MBA to match the capacity in the $999 MB, and for another $100 you can get 500GB HDD in that white casing, not to mention more RAM and a faster processor and more ports.



    Currently. But after the Air refresh, features per dollar will probably be much better.



    I doubt you will get "more" ports though, port reduction is inevitable what with thunderbolt and wirelesss technologies.
  • Reply 9 of 152
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Currently. But after the Air refresh, features per dollar will probably be much better.



    So what can we expect on the capacity side? doubling of capacity for the same price? 512GB for $1,599? That still leaves the MacBook at a lower starting price of $999 (the 13" MBA is $300 more) and only (currently) $1,099 for 500GB. I just don't see it going away with all the factors I've mentioned.
  • Reply 10 of 152
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    Next time you're in a college town visit a few cafes near the campus and count the macbooks. It's been a while since I was in the states but the last time I did this they were still far and away the most popular entry level option for students.
  • Reply 11 of 152
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I still think,, along with some others, that the Macbook will be discontinued at some point. Possibly that time is now.



    The low end MacBook Pro is just a couple of hundred bucks more. So people who need those features can migrate up to that. The rest may be happier with an Air.



    Well keeping the white CLASSIC plastic almost AS IS ... and take 50 bucks off. Give it a pride of lions . And we have a World Wide HALO like mass market entry level machine to attack AFRICA INDIA CHINA RUSSIA South America Markets . 3 BN people are now locked out of MAC>OS>X>LION. .



    Yet as Mel thunders !!! The MBA could be A great choice for entry level market ..



    The MBA is WEAK CRIPPLED SISTER but, AS economies of scale rachet down prices and apple finds ways to give MBA A faster GPU/CPU and a longer BATTERY life set up . MEL may just be right .



    the MBP low end machines are going soon . MBA will take over .



    9
  • Reply 12 of 152
    lukeilukei Posts: 297member
    The MacBook also has a bigger screen than the 11.6 Air and for a lot of people who use them at home not just on the move this is an important factor.
  • Reply 13 of 152
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So what can we expect on the capacity side? doubling of capacity for the same price? 512GB for $1,599? That still leaves the MacBook at a lower starting price of $999 (the 13" MBA is $300 more) and only (currently) $1,099 for 500GB. I just don't see it going away with all the factors I've mentioned.



    Just for the record. I'm not 100% behind this prediction. But I do see the Air replacing the macbook at some point. Maybe in a few weeks. Maybe in a year.
  • Reply 14 of 152
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by algr View Post


    Yes, the last time I checked, the Macbook made no sense at all given how much more you got for the 13' pro.



    The last time I checked, it makes sense for price-conscious buyers such as the educational market.



    The white MacBook still has a place in schools.
  • Reply 15 of 152
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So what can we expect on the capacity side? doubling of capacity for the same price? 512GB for $1,599? That still leaves the MacBook at a lower starting price of $999 (the 13" MBA is $300 more) and only (currently) $1,099 for 500GB. I just don't see it going away with all the factors I've mentioned.



    If the 13" MBP drops a little I could see that, combined with the 999 price point for the MBA squeezing it out - then you have your choice of capacity or size.
  • Reply 16 of 152
    aross99aross99 Posts: 84member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    The last time I checked, it makes sense for price-conscious buyers such as the educational market.



    The white MacBook still has a place in schools.



    I agree. For those students/people coming from the Windows world of $500 laptops, the jump to $999 is barely reachable. $1,199 is too much for that segment of the market - and they need 13" screens...
  • Reply 17 of 152
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    The last time I checked, it makes sense for price-conscious buyers such as the educational market.



    The white MacBook still has a place in schools.



    I think iPads make more sense.



    Even with keyboards they are cheaper. And kids have good eyes.
  • Reply 18 of 152
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aross99 View Post


    and they need 13" screens...



    I disagree. My wife's entire school division bought "mini Dells" which only have about 10" screens.
  • Reply 19 of 152
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,310member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don't think so. Anecdotally speaking the first and closest table to the doors at my local Apple Store is all white MacBooks. I don't recall Apple ever putting EOL products at the front of the store and at such a quantity for the same configuration if it's going to be deprecated.



    I think an update, and possibly a price point drop, is more likely based on what I've seen.



    You're one of the ones who have been advocating for years that Apple discontinue optical drives, and I don't see them doing that with the MacBook. Now that Apple has supplied OS X on a stick, as those prices have finally dropped enough to do so, and with Lion coming as a download, the need for optical is finally receding. You can put the OS on an 8GB stick, even if you download it.



    I don't think that we can go by what we see now in the store. Apple is known to use curtains if necessary while they do their re-arranging. If they do decide to discontinue the MB, they won't let us know until it's done, which will be the day the new Air's come out, and not an hour before, unless some dumb dumb somewhere updates a web page too early.



    I'm also not saying that they will do it now, only that it would be a good time to do it, as it would also simplify their product lines, and thus make it easier for people to make a choice, which also leads to more profit, as fewer SKU's cost less to maintain in every way, and there's one thing we know Apple likes to make, above all—profit.
  • Reply 20 of 152
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    if a macbook goes for $799 or so and gets sandy bridge i'm all over it



    i have an android phone, wife iphone 4 and we have an ipad 2 in the house. 2 work laptops. the laptops rarely get used. the ipad and phones get used the most. my wife wants a Mac but i could care less. this would fit the bill. all i need a laptop for is to hold the itunes library and our photos.



    $1199 for a computer in 2011 is way too much. i don't care about backlit keyboards, aluminum, titanium, adamantium, IPS, super duper GPU's or the faster i7's. i need a simple laptop to hold some data and i don't want a desktop to take up space
Sign In or Register to comment.