Apple to streamline notebook lines? MacBook Air + MacBook Pro = MacBook

Gerald Lynch reports for TechDigest, “At the new iPad 3 launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook teased a big year ahead for the Cupertino company: ‘Only Apple could deliver this kind of innovation in such a beautiful, integrated way. It’s what we love to do. It’s what we stand for. Across the year, you’re going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started.'”

“Depending on which sources you read, Apple are either preparing to slim down their 15-inch MacBook Pro offering so that it’s as lightweight and skinny as a MacBook Air, or that the MacBook Air line is expanding to include a 15-inch model,” Lynch reports. “Those two stances don’t necessarily mean the same thing either. A thin MacBook Pro would be suggestive of the same processing grunt (or more) that the current Pro line offers, squeezed into a smaller chassis. A large 15-inch MacBook Air, a first for the line, may sport a bigger screen in that same lightweight design, but wouldn’t necessarily have to boast the discrete graphics chip or processing power of the Pro line.”

Lynch reports, “What’s more interesting is whether the production of a 15-inch MacBook Air or a superslim 15-inch MacBook Pro means that the production of the other will not happen. Some rumours have suggested that the MacBook Pro and Air lines are to be combined, streamlining Apple’s laptop range under the simple ‘MacBook’ banner once more.”

Read more in the full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Hopefully they don’t unify and keep more heavy lifters like MBPros separate. I love my 11″ i7 Air, but it’s not the desktop replacement that my 15″ MBPro is for more intensive duties (like playing Skyrim;)

    1. You spend 2,600 to play a 65 dollar game?
      Oh gee, gaming definitely is an intensive duty, lol. Great game but duty, i would not say that. Work comes first, to people requiring Pro level machines.

    2. steve’s Box… remember the grid. Consumer and Pro…. They aren’t going to blur the lines there. At all.

      Yes, they may remove redundancies… like the polycarbonate macbook… but they are not going to blur the lines.

  2. Read on TechzTalk.com yesterday that Apple will continue with MacBook Pro lineup and the new Pro will offer over 50% increase in performance with new Ivy Bridge processor and NVIDIA GeForce 600 series graphics. I don’t think even Apple could fit quad core processor and dedicated graphics in MacBook Air

  3. What a dumbass article. No, a merger of the Air & Pro lines would be super dumb as they address different market segments.

    Why doesn’t this dumbass suggest that all cars merge into a box with four wheels in each corner & damn the styling.

      1. At present the internal configuration of the Air prevents user accessible parts like the hard drive (SSD) or RAM which means you’re stuck with it. Also due to space constraints you’re likely to miss out on an Ethernet port, FireWire port and SD card slot.

        I like to have a dual drive configuration where I replace my MBP 5400 RPM drive that came standard with the machine with a 256GB SSD and to install the HD in an OptiBay frame in the optical drive bay.

        The weight saving of an Air over a Pro in a 15″ configuration will be minimal, not enough to offset the increased number of ports and user customability.

        1. “User serviceable parts”

          “Ethernet port”

          “Firewire port”

          “optical drive”

          Are u still stuck in the 1990’s?

          I think a super thin 15″ or 17″ would be an awesome idea and having a single line of laptops ranging from 11″ to 17″ would be simple and efficient. If you still need to use all of those older peripherals, you can simply use an adapter.

          1. Wireless (not yet anyway) and/or adapters are NOT viable solutions for moving Giga Bytes of data between either Macs or storage peripherals. GigE, eSata, Thunderbolt, and FireWire ARE viable.

            I do a 20GB backup three times a week between my MBP and iMac. That alone would be excruciating S L O W over Wireless. Now lets talk about keeping backups of my ever growing Media Library…with 1080p now an option for both AppleTV and iPad, my library has already grown by 200GB in just the last 10 days…and I’m not counting all the new iPad Apps that just grew 3x in size due to Retina updates…

            While I like Thunderbolt, I really don’ t want to have to spend $$$$ to upgrade my all my storage peripherals because Apple drops FireWire and/or GigE …at least not until more cost-effective options become available…

            Just my 2 cents…

    1. For the Post-PC era, Apple only needs one line of full laptop computers, primarily aimed for professional use.

      Full computers aimed for the consumer masses, such as the MacBook and Macbook Air, are vestiges of the past (like disk drives.) The niche for these computers is already being rapidly replaced by iOS devises.

      But are they going to call the new laptops Macbook? Naming the next operating system OS X Mountain Lion suggests that Apple is phasing out use of the word Mac. I think they are more likely to rebrand the laptops with something matching the iPod, iPhone, iPad scheme – something like iBook, but obviously not that now that the name is being used for Apple’s e-book platform.

  4. Laptops in general will likely struggle somewhat in the coming decade – for most people, iPad + iMac would make more sense than iPad + Macbook (Pro or Air) or Macbook + iMac. Laptops will become the third device, rather than the first.

  5. I’m sure Apple has been working on this for a few years at least. If I had to guess (which I do), I’d say they want come out with one line only. Not sure if it’s feasible quite yet though… But it’s on the drawing board, that’s for sure.

    We can always look back to Steve’s whiteboard drawing of “Two categories, consumer & pro. One notebook, one desktop for each”. But that was 15 years ago and a lot has changed.

    They’ve also been known for opting for a weaker processor at times, and boosting the overall speed using other methods. The “megahertz myth”, and all that jazz.

    It’s going to be interesting to see… But I can guarantee this. If it becomes one MacBook line, there will be a lot of whining by the “pros”, bad press, etc., but after two months or so everyone will see Apple leapfrogged everyone.

    For reference: See nearly every product Apple release in the last 15 years.

  6. MacBook Pro – rotating.disk – optical.dvd.drive + flash.memory = MacBook Air Pro

    Or something like that. I think it’s a great idea, to eliminate all moving parts from the design.

    1. That is inevitable. Less moving parts internally. iPad and iPhone have only two physical buttons – to create a pro level iPad running OSX this year would be amazing. To announce the iMac in 30, 40 and 50″ screens that are also the iTV – for me would be that mind blowing Apple style I expect Cook has planned.

  7. So far Cooks latest products are iPad new and the Apple TV revised. The promise for a really big year ahead has not gained momentum other then the glorious stocks. The year now is approaching the halfway and nothing in the rumours field either seems so dazzling. Talks of new processor upgrades, slimmer models, OSX 10.8 but no new products or really innovation that is revolutionary. And no, resolutionary just ain’t where I’m interested.

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