Rumor: Apple to phase out last non-Retina MacBooks with CD/DVD drive this year

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited July 2015
Apple's remaining low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro model, which features a thicker legacy design and continues to sport an internal optical drive, may finally be on the way out this year, if the latest supply chain rumors are to be believed.

MacBook Pro
Apple's 13" non-Retina MacBook Pro. | Source: Apple


The new claims come from the infamous DigiTimes, which once again on Wednesday cited its usual, anonymous Taiwan-based supply chain sources. According to those people, Apple will stop production of the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro in the second half of 2014, replacing the lineup with thinner models featuring high-resolution Retina displays.

"The sources pointed out that Apple has been reducing its MacBook Pro prices, narrowing the price gap between the MacBook Pro and the one equipped with Retina," the report said. "Apple stopped producing the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2013 and will end production of its 13-inch model in 2014."

While DigiTimes does have a notorious track record for being the source of questionable Apple-related rumors, the writing has been on the wall for the 13-inch legacy MacBook Pro for some time. Apple has continued to offer the models along side its newer Retina models, which feature a thinner design, only solid-state storage, and lack optical disc drives.

While Apple may finally discontinue its previous-generation portables, the company may also expand its lineup with an entirely new high-resolution notebook this year. Well-connected insider Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes Apple is planning to introduce a new 12-inch MacBook model this year.

According to Kuo, the entirely new MacBook will feature an "ultra-slim clamshell form factor" that he views as a marriage between the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the superior productivity of the 13-inch model. The display is also said to be on par with Apple's high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display.

Kuo believes the new MacBook will be powered by an Intel processor, not a custom ARM chip as has been rumored. He has predicted that the incoming model, which would expand the MacBook lineup, will "redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air."

Editors Note: For those interested in securing a legacy 13- or 15-inch MacBook Pro with CD/DVD, Apple Authorized Reseller MacMall is exclusively offering AppleInsider readers the lowest prices anywhere on these models (Between $100 and $395 off) when using the links in our Price Guides (segment below) and then applying Promo Code: APPLEINSIDER02. The reseller also only charges sales tax in a handful of states.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,830member

    In some ways this kinda sucks, but then again I can see why Apple would want to shrink its product line up and move people to the MBP retina. It would be nice to see the MBP Retina at the same price points as the non-retina one eventually. 

     

    I love my 15" MBP with the optical drive. I still need one and don't really want to carry around an external one. Plus I like having the ports I need on the side and not 20 dongles coming off it to give it the same functionality. I just threw an Intel 180GB SSD in it and its like a brand new laptop. 

  • Reply 2 of 61
    tzterritzterri Posts: 97member
    I just want the 17" to come back.
  • Reply 3 of 61
    irelandireland Posts: 17,571member
    About Tim.
  • Reply 4 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,167member
    I am sure this will be the case. RIP. The thicker design had a huge advantage for those of us that love to tinker. Despite having a new 2013 Mac Pro, I'm keeping my old MBP 15" till it drops to bits. I love it as my ''go to' computer and in truth use far more than my iPad Air. For the last year I have an .5 TB SSD and a 1TB HD after ripping out its optical which is in an external case now. This year maybe I go all SSD. Thanks to Apple Care it also had a new motherboard last year so it should last a long time. That all said I guess the new Airs are amazing I just don't need one ... yet ...
  • Reply 5 of 61

    Its all about the upgradeability.  I believe most could not care less about the SuperDrive being built it. 

    I would be all over a Macbook Pro retina if I could service basic parts like the RAM and Drive.   

    If you are a person that needs 1TB of storage, the Macbook Pro retina is unaffordable for most people.    A 1TB 7200RPM for the non-retina runs about $80.   A 1.5TB 5400RPM for the non-retina runs about $120.        And the argument of external storage is laughable.  Why would I want a 3mm thinner laptop just so I could carry around a portable drive?  NO! 



    A 16GB RAM, 1TB 7200RPM Non-retina 13" Macbook Pro can run you less than $1400.   The cheapest 13" retina model with 16GB (soldered) RAM and 1TB SSD is $2499 + TAX

    A 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD Non-retina 13" Macbook Pro can run you less than $1800.    Either way, you save a TON of money.  

    Apple can produce a retina Macbook Pro that is upgradeable but 2-3mm thicker.   EASY!!     Financially for Apple, they prefer your system have little resale value, require THEIR overprices "Geniuses" have to repair it, and force the system to obsolescence earlier and earlier.

    Its a money grab and/or its Apple designers with a one track mind.  Make it thinner at any cost of usefulness.

    VERY VERY Frustrated with Apple.

  • Reply 6 of 61
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member

    I was hoping for a Retina Air 13" this year, but this rumored 12" MBP may be even better...

  • Reply 7 of 61
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macboy Pro View Post

     

    Its a money grab and/or its Apple designers with a one track mind.  Make it thinner at any cost of usefulness.


    I think they are just skating to where the puck is going rather than where it is. Apple have knowledge of component supplier roadmaps and they probably know 1TB SSDs will be much cheaper in 6 months, that why the HD-based Macbook Pro is hanging around another 6 months (according to this article).

     

    It's the same with the new Mac Pro, people complain that the case doesn't have the internal expandability or cooling of a bigger (mini tower or tower) case, but CPU and GPU makers are more focussed on power efficiency now, not clock speed increases, so from a cooling perspective, they are just skating to where the puck is going. In 6 months to a year, today's thicker laptop and bigger workstation designs will look a poor match for available components.

  • Reply 8 of 61
    bernzbernz Posts: 5member
    If only they could find way to add a Kensington-type hole in the chassis to protect it. I just can't imagine leaving my 2000-3000$ MBP on my desk without a lock, and I can't put it in a drawer every time I need to leave for 2 minutes... And those bulky security solutions are just inadequate...
  • Reply 9 of 61
    jdmac29jdmac29 Posts: 34member
    Glad I purchased the 13 in pro last year. Still use optical drive and love large hard drive. Will upgrade memory and new Ssd later on.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Bernz View Post

    If only they could find way to add a Kensington-type hole in the chassis to protect it. I just can't imagine leaving my 2000-3000$ MBP on my desk without a lock, and I can't put it in a drawer every time I need to leave for 2 minutes... 

     

    Why not work somewhere that isn’t staffed by kleptomaniacs?

  • Reply 11 of 61
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    Its about time.  Nobody needs CD players anymore.  i'm glad Apple is going to get rid of them.

  • Reply 12 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Why not work somewhere that isn’t staffed by kleptomaniacs?

    Cool it! He has a point. Prior to purchasing my 2013 RMBP I would use my Kensington lock to secure my 2010 MBP to the table at coffee shops where I like to study. One could probably have removed it from around the base of the table if they tried but it would have been clumsy and obvious, and taken more time than it took me to use the bathroom. Now I don't have that option so instead of packing everything up for a pee break I simply trust those around me.


    PS: Does anyone else find it weird we ask strangers or are asked by strangers to watch their stuff? I always say sure but at the same time I don't want the pseudo-responsibility and I'm sure if a different person walked up and said "thanks" most of the time I wouldn't know it was a different person.

    sudonym wrote: »
    Its about time.  Nobody needs CD players anymore.  i'm glad Apple is going to get rid of them.

    Be careful with absolutes.
  • Reply 13 of 61
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,123member

    It's a shame they don't keep it around and throw in a fusion drive, I think it'd be a compelling buy that way for a lot of people.

  • Reply 14 of 61
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,961member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    Its about time.  Nobody needs CD players anymore.  i'm glad Apple is going to get rid of them.


     

    That’s what I thought when I bought my late 2013 iMac14,2. Less than six months later I have purchased a Superdrive. Archiving purchased DVDs and converting them to format for iTunes and AppleTV kinda requires one. Same goes for ripping audio CD collections into iTunes. So does burning a disc for people with legacy hardware and a slow broadband connection.

  • Reply 15 of 61
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Awesome! Now they can use that place on the website to sell a useful product like a bigger iPhone. While you are at it, kill the mini too. Focus Apple.

  • Reply 16 of 61
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

     

    In some ways this kinda sucks, but then again I can see why Apple would want to shrink its product line up and move people to the MBP retina. It would be nice to see the MBP Retina at the same price points as the non-retina one eventually. 

     

    I love my 15" MBP with the optical drive. I still need one and don't really want to carry around an external one. Plus I like having the ports I need on the side and not 20 dongles coming off it to give it the same functionality. I just threw an Intel 180GB SSD in it and its like a brand new laptop. 


    Market research of one.    The "Where the puck will be" of laptops  is pretty much 2 USB3.0, WiFi (Wireless Cell would be nice... but I think Apple's master plan is to make your iPhone that $99 Tethering MiFi), Thunderbolt, and a power cord.   The differentiator between Air and Pro will be screen resolution, and CPU/Memory/SDD options

     

    And you're smart enough to upgrade in place...  So why should Apple build a production line around a system that no one really needs (since you are even able to extend your current system to meet your needs)?  

     

    It's one of those "1000 no's" that Apple has to deal with.   Or maybe not...  As it's just a rumor to keep Digitimes (and AI) readers clicking through ads

  • Reply 17 of 61
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    That’s what I thought when I bought my late 2013 iMac14,2. Less than six months later I have purchased a Superdrive. Archiving purchased DVDs and converting them to format for iTunes and AppleTV kinda requires one. Same goes for ripping audio CD collections into iTunes. So does burning a disc for people with legacy hardware and a slow broadband connection.


    The former requirements is your cost of conversion to the internet model Apple aspires to.

     

    The market in the next three years in laptops is targetted for people leaving home, and likely spent the last 3 years buying their music over the net.  No conversion needed.

     

    Your latter requirement is paying for the inadequacies of your 'people.'   Shame them into upgrading!!!! ;-)

  • Reply 18 of 61
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    ireland wrote: »
    About Tim.

    What about him? I guess you're posting from your phone and it auto-corrected time minus the 'e' with a capital. But yeah it is about time that Tim dropped the entry MBP.
    macxpress wrote:
    I like having the ports I need on the side and not 20 dongles coming off it to give it the same functionality
    macboy pro wrote:
    Apple can produce a retina Macbook Pro that is upgradeable but 2-3mm thicker. EASY!! Financially for Apple, they prefer your system have little resale value

    One thing that defines Apple's innovative approach to technology is their willingness to abandon legacy. Microsoft is only dropping support for Windows XP in April after 12 years, floppy drives are still being sold on Amazon and people are still buying them, Blackberry still sells phones with physical keyboards.

    SATA is legacy because it's too slow, Firewire is legacy because it's too slow, 1 Gigabit ethernet is useful but most people use wifi and wifi will reach 1 gigabit too and for the odd time a cable is required, a simple USB or Thunderbolt adaptor will do the job - given that the SD slot is a bit slow, an extra USB 3 port would be better but whatever. Replaceable RAM is a price issue, the idea being 'I want Apple to give me RAM slots because I don't want to pay Apple's RAM prices'. Their RAM isn't really overpriced any more anyway for typical amounts. 16GB on Crucial is $172, Apple charges $200. They are switching to DDR4 soon so having the slots is not much of an advantage.

    The reason to abandon legacy items is simple - if they didn't, people would keep using them and letting go just gets harder. People using SATA drives doesn't push down the cost of SSD drives, it maintains demand for platter drives and keeps their prices more attractive. Drives with moving parts aren't suitable for laptops, one drop and they can break.

    We have to go through the aches and pains of dealing with high prices and upgrade issues just now but as we've seen in the past, it all blows over in time and it moves faster when everyone adopts the new technology.

    If Apple is going to drop the old MBP, maybe the whole rMBP lineup can drop $100.

    I could see them scrapping the 11" and 13" Air for a single 12". If they make it a Retina model, that would be interesting but to maintain the price, I'd guess it will be a TN panel. I'd like to see it with a black bezel and laminated glass but that might add to the weight. 15" option would be good too.

    The 'Air' moniker is a bit redundant now so maybe they'll go with Retina Macbook next.
  • Reply 19 of 61
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Be careful with absolutes.

    Be careful with trying imagine that 'everyone's wants' are required to be met.    

     

    I drive a skid steer catapillar for work.  Why can't I have that steering interface on my Porsche Cayenne?  

     

    I want it, because that's how I learned to drive.  I'm willing to pay for it, if it's built in! 

     

    If you don't, then it's Porsche's fault not to meet my car driving needs, and forcing all other car manufacturers to 'race to the bottom' in taking out that input device.  

     

    Oh, I know I can install a skid steer on my own, or buy a bobcat for my commute... but Porsche... come on... don't you realize _EVERYONE_ still wants a skid steer Cayenne?

     

    Sound Stupid?

  • Reply 20 of 61
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,375member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

     

    That’s what I thought when I bought my late 2013 iMac14,2. Less than six months later I have purchased a Superdrive. Archiving purchased DVDs and converting them to format for iTunes and AppleTV kinda requires one. Same goes for ripping audio CD collections into iTunes. So does burning a disc for people with legacy hardware and a slow broadband connection.


    That shows a shortcoming in your ability to analyze your own hardware needs for the common functions that you personally use your computer for. You'll want to improve that if you wish to make better purchasing decisions in the future.

     

    I bought a portable Blu-ray drive for my MacBook Air 2013; it has never left the house because I don't rip discs on the road. Of course, that option remains available, but I'm happier that I have an ultra-slim notebook computer that doesn't have an optical drive that remains unused 99.9% of the time.

     

    Apple is wise to get rid of their own built-in optical disc drives and just let individual users opt for external peripherals.

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