Apple quietly pulls 12-inch MacBook from sale

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited July 9
Amid changes to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple has removed the 12-inch MacBook from its online store's product lineup, a move that will push consumers towards models from the other two MacBook varieties.

Apple 12 inch MacBook in Gray


Unmentioned by Apple but happening alongside a refresh of both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro ranges, the product icon for the MacBook line was taken down from the App Store's Mac list at the top of the screen. Usually on the far left of the list, "MacBook" is no longer visible, with the MacBook Air now the left-most Mac.

Attempts to visit the former MacBook product page by AppleInsider now redirects visitors to the general Mac page.

The MacBook lineup from the Apple Website as of July 8 (above) and July 9 (below)
The MacBook lineup from the Apple Website as of July 8 (above) and July 9 (below)


The removal of the MacBook range now means consumers no longer have the option to acquire a 12-inch notebook from Apple. The current smallest models in terms of display are the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 13-inch variants of the MacBook Pro. Shoppers can still order units from Apple Authorized Resellers with savings of up to $200 off, although inventory is limited.

The last update to the MacBook line took place in June 2017, where the range saw updates to the dual-core processors, the introduction of Intel HD Graphics 615 GPUs, Bluetooth 4.2, and a second-generation butterfly mechanism for the keyboard.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    I wonder if it's dead forever or if it will be reborn into apples first ARM Mac. It's certainly a bummer because I have one of those 12 inch MacBooks and well, it's incredible. Its lightness and smallness were simply unmatched. The new MacBook Air is impressive, but once this little guy has spoiled you, it will be hard to move to something heavier. If only it could somehow have had two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports it would be my personal "perfect" Mac. 

    RIP little guy!
    tmaychiarogifan_newcaladanianchasmracerhomie3GabyAppleExposedcurtis hannahwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 245member
    I am sure it’ll come back once they start to release ARM based laptops. 
    tmayrogifan_newchasmracerhomie3radarthekatAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,802member
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    caladanianAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,153member
    melgross said:
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    The lineup was a bit of a mess. It’s much simpler now. I’ve read elsewhere that Intel was no longer making chips suitable for this machine. Did Apple actually confirm this product is dead for good? The iPad Air went away for a while but now it’s back. Maybe the same will happen with the MacBook.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Four and a half years ago I gave the MacBook a serious thought, before I decided for a MacBook Pro. The main disadvantage, in my opinion, was the Core M put-putter of a processor that was inside, which didn’t make a good pair with my scientific computing needs.

    I agree with the previous comments, the writing is on the wall for a ARM based MacBook, perhaps in the near future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,193member
    melgross said:
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    1) You're claiming that the removal of an Intel-based Mac is proof that there will not make an ARM-based Mac. 🤦‍♂️

    2) Do you really not recall the MacBook going away for years just to resurface as a 12" machine? How many said that Apple would not have killed off the MacBook if they had planned to ever resurrect it?
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member
    MacBook didn't provide much of a value proposition alongside the MacBook Air and the 13" MacBook Pro.  Most people likely opted for the latter two options. 
    entropys
  • Reply 8 of 30
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,649member
    The biggest issue with the MacBook was that it was priced higher than the MacBook Air, which (especially in its current incarnation) was a beefier all-around computer. A lack of updates was also a major factor in its (temporary?) demise, though it remained popular with people for whom weight was everything for a long time. I think that crowd has moved on to an iPad-and-keyboard combination in the meantime.

    That said, a updated (and possibly ARM-based) MacBook with a just a bit more oomph and storage than the present model but priced at $899 or less would still be a very attractive option for the casual computer user and traveller. I hope Apple will consider that move at some point when its viable for them to do so.
    edited July 9 tmayAppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    jccjcc Posts: 216member
    Once again Cook shows that he doesn't know anything about product. Steve would have had this portable lineup:

    MacBook 12"
    MacBook Pro 13" Touch bar
    MacBook 14"
    MacBook Pro 15" Touch bar

    It means there's a flavor for everyone from 12" all the way up to 15". NO 16"!!!
    AppleExposedwilliamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 30
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,117moderator
    chasm said:
    The biggest issue with the MacBook was that it was priced higher than the MacBook Air, which (especially in its current incarnation) was a beefier all-around computer. A lack of updates was also a major factor in its (temporary?) demise, though it remained popular with people for whom weight was everything for a long time. I think that crowd has moved on to an iPad-and-keyboard combination in the meantime.

    That said, a updated (and possibly ARM-based) MacBook with a just a bit more oomph and storage than the present model but priced at $899 or less would still be a very attractive option for the casual computer user and traveller. I hope Apple will consider that move at some point when its viable for them to do so.
    I think you are on the right track.

    The 12” MacBook filled a real niche back before there was a retina MacBook Air, and I recall people speculating that a retina MacBook Air would spell the demise of the MacBook.  So here we are.  No surprise.  And Apple pushing more use cases toward the iPad Pros left the entry-level and a bit under-powered MacBook as the odd machine out.  

    Will it be resurrected in its current form as an ARM-based MacBook?  Hmm...  seems like that would just confuse things and still be the odd machine out.  

    What specific use cases would it be designed to handle that the heavier but more powerful Air wouldn’t cover or the lighter iPad Pro wouldn’t cover?  Is there some set of use cases that an ARM-based 12” MacBook would be the ideal computer to address?  I don’t think there is.  Instead I think we see Catalyst continue to merge iOS and MacOS to make room for an ARM-based MacBook Air.  Same form factor and same use cases as existing MacBook Airs, only powered by Apple rather than Intel.  A seamless transition for end users who wouldn’t need to consider also a different size machine/display.  
  • Reply 11 of 30
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 605member
    chasm said:
    The biggest issue with the MacBook was that it was priced higher than the MacBook Air, which (especially in its current incarnation) was a beefier all-around computer. A lack of updates was also a major factor in its (temporary?) demise, though it remained popular with people for whom weight was everything for a long time. I think that crowd has moved on to an iPad-and-keyboard combination in the meantime.

    That said, a updated (and possibly ARM-based) MacBook with a just a bit more oomph and storage than the present model but priced at $899 or less would still be a very attractive option for the casual computer user and traveller. I hope Apple will consider that move at some point when its viable for them to do so.
    I think you are on the right track.

    The 12” MacBook filled a real niche back before there was a retina MacBook Air, and I recall people speculating that a retina MacBook Air would spell the demise of the MacBook.  So here we are.  No surprise.  And Apple pushing more use cases toward the iPad Pros left the entry-level and a bit under-powered MacBook as the odd machine out.  

    Will it be resurrected in its current form as an ARM-based MacBook?  Hmm...  seems like that would just confuse things and still be the odd machine out.  

    What specific use cases would it be designed to handle that the heavier but more powerful Air wouldn’t cover or the lighter iPad Pro wouldn’t cover?  Is there some set of use cases that an ARM-based 12” MacBook would be the ideal computer to address?  I don’t think there is.  Instead I think we see Catalyst continue to merge iOS and MacOS to make room for an ARM-based MacBook Air.  Same form factor and same use cases as existing MacBook Airs, only powered by Apple rather than Intel.  A seamless transition for end users who wouldn’t need to consider also a different size machine/display.  
    Spec-to-spec, the Air isn’t that much faster compared to a 12” MacBook, let alone having a blower and heftier chassis.  I can still run mine more than 250-280cb with Cinebench R15, which is about 10~20 point differences.

    The greatest thing about the MacBook is being passively-cooled, it won’t blow dust in and always quiet, yet the cooling performance isn’t all that bad.  I was hoping the upcoming ARM versions could do all of that with the performance of an iPad Pro.
    edited July 9 tmay
  • Reply 12 of 30
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,395unconfirmed, member
    It's a beauty and light. I can usually hold it up between my thumb and index finger.

    Bring it back with less bezel and 2 thunderbolt ports. Would be a dream machine.

    melgross said:
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    The lineup was a bit of a mess. It’s much simpler now. I’ve read elsewhere that Intel was no longer making chips suitable for this machine. Did Apple actually confirm this product is dead for good? The iPad Air went away for a while but now it’s back. Maybe the same will happen with the MacBook.

    I think removing the "Macbook" makes it more complicated.Now there's an obvious hole missing.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,802member
    melgross said:
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    The lineup was a bit of a mess. It’s much simpler now. I’ve read elsewhere that Intel was no longer making chips suitable for this machine. Did Apple actually confirm this product is dead for good? The iPad Air went away for a while but now it’s back. Maybe the same will happen with the MacBook.
    Not there in the listings. It’s always possible. I would love a well thought out ARM Macbook. I just think it’s harder to do than a number if others do.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,298member
    jcc said:
    Once again Cook shows that he doesn't know anything about product. Steve would have had this portable lineup:

    MacBook 12"
    MacBook Pro 13" Touch bar
    MacBook 14"
    MacBook Pro 15" Touch bar

    It means there's a flavor for everyone from 12" all the way up to 15". NO 16"!!!
    Says an anonymous nobody on the web. Meanwhile, Cook’s Apple has grown into the most successful public company in history. 
    tmayanomefastasleepwilliamlondonzoetmb
  • Reply 15 of 30
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,608member
    The 12" MB was the most beautiful laptop ever made imo. Such a pretty thing. Unfortunately it was an outlier form the get go. Not powerful enough and too expensive, and the 'Air' moniker was and is pretty powerful. Maybe a future iteration of the Air will be the 12" MB reborn in form. It makes more sense (to me), for the 'Air' to represent the consumer version for lack of a better word, and the 'Pro' to be higher end version. To have something in the middle makes little sense.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    A single port on an expensive notebook meant it as never an option for me no matter how light and pretty. And that is the case for many people I suspect, as they were uncommon, especially compared with the MBA. At least in schools.
    I suspect it took years to recoup its development cost.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 30
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 746member
    I suppose to avoid confusion they could call a MacBook Air with an ARM chip the MacBook AiRM.
    macplusplus
  • Reply 18 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,193member
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    Yup. I knew people would be posting about an ARM Mac as soon as this bit came out. I would imagine that Apple would have kept the Macbook in the lineup longer if that were the case though. An ARM Macbook would be a major announcement, and why have people speculate about it months before it happens? If it were true, it seems that the announcement could come as a “one more thing” right after the new iPads are announced in September.
    The lineup was a bit of a mess. It’s much simpler now. I’ve read elsewhere that Intel was no longer making chips suitable for this machine. Did Apple actually confirm this product is dead for good? The iPad Air went away for a while but now it’s back. Maybe the same will happen with the MacBook.
    Not there in the listings. It’s always possible. I would love a well thought out ARM Macbook. I just think it’s harder to do than a number if others do.
    I think you're conflating a difficult and longterm undertaking with an impossible one as I can't recall anyone saying (or even suggesting) that it was easy to change the Mac architecture. What I have seen is Apple making chess move after chess move to put make the transition to yet another architecture for the Mac easier and smoother for users and developers than in any other time in the past.
    edited July 9 fastasleep
  • Reply 19 of 30
    anomeanome Posts: 1,294member
    jcc said:
    Once again Cook shows that he doesn't know anything about product. Steve would have had this portable lineup:

    MacBook 12"
    MacBook Pro 13" Touch bar
    MacBook 14"
    MacBook Pro 15" Touch bar

    It means there's a flavor for everyone from 12" all the way up to 15". NO 16"!!!
    Says an anonymous nobody on the web. Meanwhile, Cook’s Apple has grown into the most successful public company in history. 
    "But he's just coasting on Steve's success...9 years later..." I mean the "Steve would have..." thing was getting old a long time ago, but at this point it's looking absurd to keep harking back to it.

    On the other hand, the MacBook/MBP announcement does mark a reduction of the line in a similar manner to the famous "Four Quarters" model Steve introduced. It's just that there are 6 products instead of 4, with the iMacs on their own line.

                     Consumer       Professional
    Desktops: Mac mini         Mac Pro
    Laptops:   MacBook Air   MacBook Pro
    iMacs:       iMac                iMac Pro
    (Lovingling formatted, and probably not going to last.)

    It would be hard to reduce the line any further from there, at least until they get to a point where the price of the Mac Pro can come down significantly. Then again, keeping a consumer headless Mac has numerous benefits. So maybe they could just get to 5, with the iMac Pro just becoming the top end model of the iMac.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 605member
    anome said:
    jcc said:
    Once again Cook shows that he doesn't know anything about product. Steve would have had this portable lineup:

    MacBook 12"
    MacBook Pro 13" Touch bar
    MacBook 14"
    MacBook Pro 15" Touch bar

    It means there's a flavor for everyone from 12" all the way up to 15". NO 16"!!!
    Says an anonymous nobody on the web. Meanwhile, Cook’s Apple has grown into the most successful public company in history. 
    "But he's just coasting on Steve's success...9 years later..." I mean the "Steve would have..." thing was getting old a long time ago, but at this point it's looking absurd to keep harking back to it.

    On the other hand, the MacBook/MBP announcement does mark a reduction of the line in a similar manner to the famous "Four Quarters" model Steve introduced. It's just that there are 6 products instead of 4, with the iMacs on their own line.

                     Consumer       Professional
    Desktops: Mac mini         Mac Pro
    Laptops:   MacBook Air   MacBook Pro
    iMacs:       iMac                iMac Pro
    (Lovingling formatted, and probably not going to last.)

    It would be hard to reduce the line any further from there, at least until they get to a point where the price of the Mac Pro can come down significantly. Then again, keeping a consumer headless Mac has numerous benefits. So maybe they could just get to 5, with the iMac Pro just becoming the top end model of the iMac.
    Well there are two iMacs & MacBook Pros, if you judge from the processor, the MacBook and the MacBook Air are more similar than other twos.  There’s nothing wrong with the form-factor and could have the same name, just with different size.
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