We’ve heard plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Apple’s 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros in recent months, which are soon expected to adopt a new form factor and Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors. However, according to one analyst, there may no longer be a MacBook Pro… or a MacBook Air.
Instead, Apple will release an all-new MacBook that combines the qualities of both, while the 17-inch MacBook Pro will be discontinued completely.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a research analyst with KGI Securities, has published a new report in which he predicts Apple’s largest notebook will soon meet its death. Kuo feels the Cupertino company will introduce a “fully new” MacBook this year that will combine “the advantages of the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.”
The 17-inch model, which isn’t as popular as its smaller siblings, could be discontinued:
Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors. Three of which are: (1) Mountain Lion, which integrates iOS features with Mac OS, Apple TV’s interaction function, will be launched in June; (2) upgrading to Ivy Bridge; and (3) back-to-school demand. We forecast Apple will sell 5.32mn units of the Mac series (up 28.5% QoQ and 35.2% YoY) in 2Q12, making it the main growth driver.
We also predict Apple will roll out a fully new MacBook model in early 3Q12, boasting strong performance and easy carryability by combining the advantages of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17” MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy.
So, according to Kuo, there may no longer be a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, but rather one MacBook that combines the qualities of both. Recent rumors have claimed that the MacBook Pro would adopt a thinner, lighter form factor much like the MacBook Air, but this is the first time we’ve heard that it could replace it.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro, according to Kuo’s estimates, is by far Apple’s best-selling Mac, accounting for nearly half of its 3.1 million notebook sales during the first calendar quarter of 2012. In contrast, the 15-inch model could account for 500,000 units, while the 17-inch model could account for just 50,000 units.
As for the MacBook Air, Kuo estimates Apple will sell around 1.1 million units altogether, with the 11- and 13-inch models accounting for roughly 550,000 units each. That sounds like a pretty great sum, but according to Kuo, the Air is only meeting Apple’s expectations rather than exceeding them. It is believed the machines solid-state drives are still too small to satisfy the majority of customers.