In July, Apple noted that an upcoming ‘product transition’ would affect future profit margins, prompting speculation. For once, such speculation has started to fade, but now rumors regarding the new MacBook are beginning to surface: an aluminium case, LED backlit display, multi-touch. Does that sound like anything to you?
Is Apple going to ditch the ‘Pro’ from MacBook Pro and streamline its laptop range, leaving just a ‘standard’ MacBook (with different screen sizes and minor tinkering possibilities under the hood), and the Air for people who happily set fire to 50-dollar bills? (Clearly, they would once have lit their cigars with said bills, but you’re not allowed to smoke anywhere in the free world these days.)
Obviously, this is idle speculation, but such streamlining would make sense. Run SuperDrives across the new MacBook range, and position the low-end model at an aggressive price-point, but with roughly the grunt of today’s mid-range MacBook (albeit with some extra toys), and then beef up the mid- and top-ends with larger screens and a graphics card, but slice their price-tags, too.
According to resellers we’ve spoken to, laptops are the Apple hardware that continues to outperform the market and expectations, and so if Apple really does want to make a play for market-share, this could be the way to do it.
Update: As Gruber just pointed out, Apple was likely referring to the new iPods introduced last week and the guidance was for the quarter about to end. But what the hell—I still have an inkling that the laptop line-up is going to change rather dramatically over the coming months. So there.