Electricpig spent a couple of hours at CU Exposed yesterday, the UK’s premier, if hilariously-named, showcase for Mac accessories. Alongside continued coos about how the new iPad’s display will ruin everything else in sight, we heard word from one anonymous vendor that Apple’s likely to launch a 15-inch MacBook Air in April, effectively killing the Pro for the average consumer.
Let’s be straight: this isn’t the first such rumour – word that a larger, 15-inch MacBook Air will drop in April has been fairly well covered. But to hear it said in such a certain manner from a premium Mac accessory maker was pretty convincing.
This particular company is a key player in MacBook docking solutions, so they’ve got to keep abreast of the finer details of what’s coming. And what is coming? If you take our source’s word for it, a 15-inch MacBook Air with ports on both sides, no optical drive and no ethernet cable.
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While our source wasn’t certain that this would completely destroy the Pro (he also stated that Apple might hold on to the 17-inch model, which would make sense for the sizeable audience of professional editors out there), he was fairly sure that the shakeup will happen in April. To that end, our source’s company’s got its manufacturers on standby to be able to make and ship a new product lineup inside of 90 days.
A lot of this makes sense. Apple’s been trying to phase out the optical disc drive for a while now, with the help of iCloud, the Mac App Store and the continued use of the phrase ‘post-PC’. Get rid of that and – aside from screen estate – the MacBook Pro really won’t stand to offer much in the way of a USP in the coming years. That’s especially so if the Airs get suitably more powerful.
Is Apple about to kill the Pro in favour of an all-Air lineup? It would definitely tie in with the company’s policy of a simple and streamlined product range. We’ll have more for you when we get it.