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View Poll Results: What do you think will happen to the non-retina MacBook Pro at the next refresh?
It will be discontinued in favor of the retina models 99 37.64%
It will stick around for another rev 93 35.36%
It will co-exist with the retina models for the foreseeable future 71 27.00%
Voters: 263. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Dec 17, 2012, 09:48 PM   #26
throAU
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I reckon this is the last of the cMBPs. Maybe they'll get a mid-life spec bump, but no new generation of hardware I don't think.

Once apple get volume production of the retina screens sorted out (which shouldn't take long) I think you'll see the cMBP discontinued.

The Airs will maybe be bumped to 16gb RAM, standard for retina pros will be 16gb with option for 32gb. This will be "enough" to make memory upgrades not worth it within the lifetime of the machine.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 12:11 AM   #27
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IMO they would be silly to get rid of the cMBP at this point or within the next couple years. If we look at these points:
  • The MBA has an incredibly poor quality screen compared to all other Apple products and only really appeals to consumers looking for solid ultra portable laptops who's use and needs match more to the form factor and price than anything else.
  • The cMBP has much better quality screen, while sacrificing a bit on portability, but offering more performance and more storage/expansion options for those who can make use of it. Kind of the 'workhorse' line of laptops.
  • The rMBP is the best mix of power and portability, but aimed squarely at the forward thinkers/early adopters. Expandability is decreased, and the retina screen mostly appeals to developers who can make use of it (use it to develop for and test high DPI apps/designs) - or those enthusiasts who just want the best screen quality in the lightest package possible/have the latest and greatest.

You can see that of course there are 3 distinct uses, and 3 distinct choices to make even just based on screen quality alone.

Professionally speaking, depending on your usage, the retina screen may not be the way to go. For example, some web devs I know aren't willing to jump on the high-DPI systems yet because they are not wide-spread enough to have become a necessity to develop for. So, they want the best 1:1 pixel mapped screen in a portable device they can find since this gives the best quality and most accurate representation of their work. Definitely as mentioned the workhorse of the notebooks (cMPB).

I could go on... but I think the key is that while high-DPI displays in the notebook/desktop space aren't yet widely adopter, there will still remain a definite need/desire for the cMBP with its standard DPI screens. Less to do with cost, and more to do with filling a gap.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:05 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Poisonivy326 View Post
The issue is Apple is always under-speccing their "consumer" machines in hopes that you ideally have an iMac or some other "main computer." The cMBP is a machine that's underspecced at its basics but easy to upgrade -- literally takes about 5 minutes to pop in more RAM and barely more to upgrade the HD. It also has a lot of the more "old fashioned" features that people might associate with a "main computer" (optical drive, ethernet ports).
Come to think of it, as a 2012 cMBP owner, myself, I do feel like my cMBP is more than adequate to be my only Mac for the reasons you specify here. It seems perfect for nearly any purpose I'd need a Mac for that I wouldn't outright need a Mac Pro to do instead.

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Originally Posted by Poisonivy326 View Post
The MBA line is in an awkward position because right now the basic ones are just underspecced enough that it can't be the "main" computer for most people. If they want to make the MBA the main consumer line then I think they need to at least upgrade the baseline RAM to 8 GB and upgrade storage to 128 GB SSD in the 11" and 256 GB in the 13". Put a better processor and while we're at it get a much better screen -- my friend has an 11" MBA and the screen sucks. It's not even low-res but it's just sort of washed out looking. I think they're still hoping that people with MBA's also buy iMacs and/or the rMBP.

The MBA's have been around long enough that they're losing their coolness factor and Apple has to decide whether to upgrade it so that more consumers can use it as their sole computer. JMO.

Frankly, I think the higher-end 13" Air has clout and could totally be a standalone computer, or at least an only Mac. The high-end 13" when maxed out is also perfectly viable, both in terms of storage and in terms of RAM/CPU.

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Originally Posted by richnyc View Post
It is surprising how equally are our opinions divided on the future of cMBP line
It'll really be interesting to see what plays out and how predictions might shift between now and the next refresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chorner View Post
IMO they would be silly to get rid of the cMBP at this point or within the next couple years. If we look at these points:
  • The MBA has an incredibly poor quality screen compared to all other Apple products and only really appeals to consumers looking for solid ultra portable laptops who's use and needs match more to the form factor and price than anything else.
  • The 13" Air has a higher resolution screen than the 13" non-retina Pro. Sure, it pales in comparison to some of the other 13" ultrabook displays, but within Apple's line, it's not the worst.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chorner View Post
  • The cMBP has much better quality screen, while sacrificing a bit on portability, but offering more performance and more storage/expansion options for those who can make use of it. Kind of the 'workhorse' line of laptops.
  • If we're talking about the 13", the screen is worse on the cMBP than either the MBA or the rMBP.

    As for performance, the cMBPs and the rMBPs have the same CPUs, the only difference is that the Core i7 in the higher-end 13" cMBP is a CTO option on the 13" rMBP.

    Storage, I'll grant you; though the cMBP doesn't have an option for 768GB SSD; that seems to be an mSATA blade-only option with Apple.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chorner View Post
  • The rMBP is the best mix of power and portability, but aimed squarely at the forward thinkers/early adopters. Expandability is decreased, and the retina screen mostly appeals to developers who can make use of it (use it to develop for and test high DPI apps/designs) - or those enthusiasts who just want the best screen quality in the lightest package possible/have the latest and greatest.
Apple sees Thunderbolt as offering all the expansion one might ever need in a laptop. To be fair, given that you can convert a Thunderbolt port to be either Gigabit Ethernet or FireWire 800, they certainly give you the ability to have the same external expansion as on the cMBP (albeit at the cost of buying the adapters). Lack of upgradable RAM is a real bummer; though fairly accessible (with the right screw-drivers) SSD isn't too much of a downgrade from how easily accessible the storage is on the cMBPs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chorner View Post
You can see that of course there are 3 distinct uses, and 3 distinct choices to make even just based on screen quality alone.
I guess...it really seems more like two and a half. If you go non-retina on the 13", you have the choice of baseline (13" cMBP), or better (13" MBA); and if you go retina, you have...retina. On the 15" you have baseline 15" cMBP, or 15" cMBP with high-res/1680x1050, and then retina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chorner View Post
Professionally speaking, depending on your usage, the retina screen may not be the way to go. For example, some web devs I know aren't willing to jump on the high-DPI systems yet because they are not wide-spread enough to have become a necessity to develop for. So, they want the best 1:1 pixel mapped screen in a portable device they can find since this gives the best quality and most accurate representation of their work. Definitely as mentioned the workhorse of the notebooks (cMPB).

I could go on... but I think the key is that while high-DPI displays in the notebook/desktop space aren't yet widely adopter, there will still remain a definite need/desire for the cMBP with its standard DPI screens. Less to do with cost, and more to do with filling a gap.
I'd agree were it not for Apple's history of developing a new technology and then aggressively pushing it on the industry like it's the thing to do. I feel like they did this with the current style of MacBook Airs and how that evolved into the Ultrabook, and I feel like very soon, we'll see this with retina displays. Of course, that will likely mean that Microsoft will have to retool Windows 8 (and hopefully 7 too) to take advantage of it and not look like crap. But no, I wouldn't expect Apple to keep the cMBP around to appease those that are hesitant to get onboard with the technology that they're eager to push people towards. That's not how Apple tends to operate.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 08:48 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post

Frankly, I think the higher-end 13" Air has clout and could totally be a standalone computer, or at least an only Mac. The high-end 13" when maxed out is also perfectly viable, both in terms of storage and in terms of RAM/CPU.
That's the higher end Air. I'm saying the BASELINE entry level Airs (11" - 4 GB, 64 GB HD, 13" - 4 GB, 128 GB HD) isn't enough to be anyone's main computer, even the average "consumer." So Apple will have to make a choice about whether to upgrade the baseline Airs so that they can be a consumer's sole computer, or they can continue to make the Air a computer mainly for lighter computing. Right now I think they're still lowballing the specs on the baseline Airs in hopes that people buy another Mac -- an iMac, a rMBP, even a cMBP. If they want to do away with the cMBP's either the retina screen prices have to drop sharply within the next few months or they have to really focus on making the Air more feasible as the sole computer.

I also think they don't want the Air sales to cut too much into the iPad/ipad mini sales so they've lowballed the Air's screen (it might be fairly high-res but I've used them before -- they suck) but that's sort of neither here nor there.

Last edited by Poisonivy326; Dec 18, 2012 at 09:04 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:53 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorner View Post
IMO they would be silly to get rid of the cMBP at this point or within the next couple years. If we look at these points:
  • The MBA has an incredibly poor quality screen compared to all other Apple products and only really appeals to consumers looking for solid ultra portable laptops who's use and needs match more to the form factor and price than anything else.
  • The cMBP has much better quality screen, while sacrificing a bit on portability, but offering more performance and more storage/expansion options for those who can make use of it. Kind of the 'workhorse' line of laptops.
  • The rMBP is the best mix of power and portability, but aimed squarely at the forward thinkers/early adopters. Expandability is decreased, and the retina screen mostly appeals to developers who can make use of it (use it to develop for and test high DPI apps/designs) - or those enthusiasts who just want the best screen quality in the lightest package possible/have the latest and greatest.

You can see that of course there are 3 distinct uses, and 3 distinct choices to make even just based on screen quality alone.

Professionally speaking, depending on your usage, the retina screen may not be the way to go. For example, some web devs I know aren't willing to jump on the high-DPI systems yet because they are not wide-spread enough to have become a necessity to develop for. So, they want the best 1:1 pixel mapped screen in a portable device they can find since this gives the best quality and most accurate representation of their work. Definitely as mentioned the workhorse of the notebooks (cMPB).

I could go on... but I think the key is that while high-DPI displays in the notebook/desktop space aren't yet widely adopter, there will still remain a definite need/desire for the cMBP with its standard DPI screens. Less to do with cost, and more to do with filling a gap.
The same arguments could be used with the MacBook Uni white vs MBA when they were both introduced at the same pricing. However...
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:29 AM   #31
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Pricing, pricing, pricing. They are not willing to lose out on thousands of customers, just to have only the best of the best available for the crowd. And yes, a lot of people choose the cMBP because of the price-tag. A lot of people see no use for SSD's and retina displays yet, and therefore go for a cheaper option. A lot of people want a mac, but cannot afford the most expensive models right there and then.
And for Apple, the most important thing is not only to earn the most money (which i guess they still do on the cMBP's anyways), but to get OSX and Mac's out to the people, so they turn away from Windows-based machines. And with a somewhat cheaper Pro-model, they can do just that. Having only the retina and the air models to choose from would be a bad move for now since people have a wide variety of price-efficient Windows-based computers to choose from that does exactly what a cMBP can do, and that's still something a lot of people need and want. I'm guessing they might fade it out over a few years, but i think we'll have cMBP's with us a couple of more years.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:43 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorner View Post
  • The MBA has an incredibly poor quality screen compared to all other Apple products and only really appeals to consumers looking for solid ultra portable laptops who's use and needs match more to the form factor and price than anything else.
  • The cMBP has much better quality screen, while sacrificing a bit on portability, but offering more performance and more storage/expansion options for those who can make use of it. Kind of the 'workhorse' line of laptops.
  • The rMBP is the best mix of power and portability, but aimed squarely at the forward thinkers/early adopters. Expandability is decreased, and the retina screen mostly appeals to developers who can make use of it (use it to develop for and test high DPI apps/designs) - or those enthusiasts who just want the best screen quality in the lightest package possible/have the latest and greatest.
  • If you need higher quality screen, you are a Pro customer.
  • An rMBP with fusion drive will have enough storage and be faster than a cMBP in all respects.
  • Apple are the ones to aggressively push the envelope with respect to new types of hardware (USB back in the mid-late 90s, thunderbolt, no floppy drive, etc). Forgetting for a second what you think is appropriate, at the moment apple are maintaining 3 production lines to build 6 different unibodies for their laptop line. They can cut tooling, design and logistics costs significantly by scrapping the classic chassis and just building more air/retina chassis.
  • Another few years down the track, I see the MBA's life as limited also (especially the 13"). Once retina displays are cheap enough, i see the 13" rMBP displacing the 13" MBA, and possibly an 11" rMBP variant. The "pro" label will be dropped from the lineup and all we'll have are "Macbook" machines in varying rMBP form factors.
  • Those who don't need anything that powerful will end up with an iPad (or something not made by apple).


The above isn't something that will suit all people - but apple aren't about pleasing all people with niche machines.

They're very much about simplifying their lineup to get economy of scale and also make the choice easier for the customer.

A simple case of "do you need more than a tablet" followed by "which size screen do you want" should be enough for most of the population to make purchasing decision off Apple's website from their portable lineup.
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Last edited by throAU; Dec 19, 2012 at 03:50 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 03:55 AM   #33
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throAU

this pretty much on the spot, except i don't think the Pro will be dropped until size/performance ratio is reduced to insignificant.

But at the moment we're just two cores away from that - and even then this could be done already with i.e. cMBP chassis...
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 01:53 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Poisonivy326 View Post
That's the higher end Air. I'm saying the BASELINE entry level Airs (11" - 4 GB, 64 GB HD, 13" - 4 GB, 128 GB HD) isn't enough to be anyone's main computer, even the average "consumer." So Apple will have to make a choice about whether to upgrade the baseline Airs so that they can be a consumer's sole computer, or they can continue to make the Air a computer mainly for lighter computing. Right now I think they're still lowballing the specs on the baseline Airs in hopes that people buy another Mac -- an iMac, a rMBP, even a cMBP. If they want to do away with the cMBP's either the retina screen prices have to drop sharply within the next few months or they have to really focus on making the Air more feasible as the sole computer.

I also think they don't want the Air sales to cut too much into the iPad/ipad mini sales so they've lowballed the Air's screen (it might be fairly high-res but I've used them before -- they suck) but that's sort of neither here nor there.
Ah...then yes, I definitely agree about the entry level 11" MacBook Air. That thing is such a joke with only 64GB of storage. I think someone could make a case for the entry level 13", but for a lot of people, even that wouldn't fly. But I definitely see what you're saying. An entry level 13" Air is very obviously designed to be the mobile counter-part to a set-up in which a user has a beefy iMac, or maybe a Mac Pro, and then hops around on an entry 13" Air to to most basic things on the go. It is irritating that barring either a high-end non-retina 15" MacBook Pro or a really high-end 15" retina, one sort of needs a beefier desktop if they want to offset the technological short-comings in the 13" laptops (all three of them) and the 11" Air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggot FF View Post
Pricing, pricing, pricing. They are not willing to lose out on thousands of customers, just to have only the best of the best available for the crowd. And yes, a lot of people choose the cMBP because of the price-tag. A lot of people see no use for SSD's and retina displays yet, and therefore go for a cheaper option. A lot of people want a mac, but cannot afford the most expensive models right there and then.
And for Apple, the most important thing is not only to earn the most money (which i guess they still do on the cMBP's anyways), but to get OSX and Mac's out to the people, so they turn away from Windows-based machines. And with a somewhat cheaper Pro-model, they can do just that. Having only the retina and the air models to choose from would be a bad move for now since people have a wide variety of price-efficient Windows-based computers to choose from that does exactly what a cMBP can do, and that's still something a lot of people need and want. I'm guessing they might fade it out over a few years, but i think we'll have cMBP's with us a couple of more years.
Choice and variety are not things Apple historically has cared about. They see the MBA and the rMBP as "notebooks of the future" whereas they see the cMBP as machines for "those who are still living in the past". They have made public statements to this effect! The online marketing for the rMBP and the cMBP show this contrast clearly. The only issue they have is pricing for those wanting a 13" machine. Luckily the 13" Air is getting cheaper. The Mid 2012 13" Airs are cheaper than their Mid 2011 predecessors were. Similarly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Apple found it within themselves (or at least within their suppliers) to be able to drop the price of the rMBPs down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
  • If you need higher quality screen, you are a Pro customer.
  • An rMBP with fusion drive will have enough storage and be faster than a cMBP in all respects.
  • Apple are the ones to aggressively push the envelope with respect to new types of hardware (USB back in the mid-late 90s, thunderbolt, no floppy drive, etc). Forgetting for a second what you think is appropriate, at the moment apple are maintaining 3 production lines to build 6 different unibodies for their laptop line. They can cut tooling, design and logistics costs significantly by scrapping the classic chassis and just building more air/retina chassis.
  • Another few years down the track, I see the MBA's life as limited also (especially the 13"). Once retina displays are cheap enough, i see the 13" rMBP displacing the 13" MBA, and possibly an 11" rMBP variant. The "pro" label will be dropped from the lineup and all we'll have are "Macbook" machines in varying rMBP form factors.
  • Those who don't need anything that powerful will end up with an iPad (or something not made by apple).


The above isn't something that will suit all people - but apple aren't about pleasing all people with niche machines.

They're very much about simplifying their lineup to get economy of scale and also make the choice easier for the customer.

A simple case of "do you need more than a tablet" followed by "which size screen do you want" should be enough for most of the population to make purchasing decision off Apple's website from their portable lineup.
First off, an "rMBP with fusion drive" ain't gonna happen. Period. This will be problematic for those of us who want a 15" MacBook Pro with a ton of crap on it (or maybe recent college grads who want a 13" MacBook Pro because they were going from a MacBook that was always full). Luckily for Apple, this likely doesn't represent that large of a portion of the people buying MacBook Pros, so the fact that we're limited with SSD capacities moving forward won't matter too much as SSDs are much closer to the maximum 2.5" Hard Drive capacities than they are to the 3.5" Hard Drive capacities. The "Fusion Drive" idea is solely to hold out those with iMacs, Mac Pros (and maybe, to a lesser extent seeing as they use 2.5" drives as well, Mac minis too) until SSD capacities surpass 3.5" hard drives. I don't see the 13" rMBP displacing the 13" MBA/rMBA until the CPUs that are able to fit in the 13" cMBP and 13" rMBP are able to fit in the 13" MBA. My guess is that we have a couple years before Intel manages to work that one out. I don't believe Apple will merge laptops into one line. Otherwise I agree with everything else you have said.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:31 AM   #35
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I hope not. I, along with many I assume, refuse to lose my 16GB RAM and 500+ GB hard drive for under $1,300.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:48 AM   #36
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This actually makes sense.
15" MBP was often without a discrete GPU.

replace 13" cMBP with 13" air (performance/power-consumption of haswell will allow it)
Replace 15" cMBP with 15" retina with no discrete graphics.

In reality, apple is again doing what they did before they dropped the MacBook.
Charge roughly the same for:
a) expandability (MacBook)
b) portability (MBA)
Based on sales, MacBook was dropped, MBA was retained as the new entry-level laptop.

The only thing I regret is if the cMBP outsales rMBP, that means we're going to see one heck of a machine in summer.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 12:16 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Ah...then yes, I definitely agree about the entry level 11" MacBook Air. That thing is such a joke with only 64GB of storage. I think someone could make a case for the entry level 13", but for a lot of people, even that wouldn't fly. But I definitely see what you're saying. An entry level 13" Air is very obviously designed to be the mobile counter-part to a set-up in which a user has a beefy iMac, or maybe a Mac Pro, and then hops around on an entry 13" Air to to most basic things on the go. It is irritating that barring either a high-end non-retina 15" MacBook Pro or a really high-end 15" retina, one sort of needs a beefier desktop if they want to offset the technological short-comings in the 13" laptops (all three of them) and the 11" Air.
Now that you think about it, good point in that Apple low-balls their most portable devices in each line almost on purpose. The 13" rMBP is ridiculously low-balled compared to the 15" rMBP. The 11" Air is a joke and the entry level 13" is not really feasible as anyone's main computer either. The cMBP's can be easily fixed into quite high functioning machines which is why they are still popular.

I think either way Apple has to stop low balling their 13" inch machines in hopes that people buy the 15" counterparts or the iMac. I suppose this will all depend on how well the iMacs sell -- whether Apple still goes with "iMac at home/laptop to carry around" strategy.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:44 PM   #38
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I think the non-retina devices will stay around for a while. Apple needs to keep a few low-end, entry level computers for the average Joe on the market. Case-in-point, my fiancee. She wanted a MacBook Pro badly for a long time and the $1129 13" (on sale for xmas) was the perfect fit. The retina versions priced her right out of the game.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:54 PM   #39
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I think the non-retina devices will stay around for a while. Apple needs to keep a few low-end, entry level computers for the average Joe on the market. Case-in-point, my fiancee. She wanted a MacBook Pro badly for a long time and the $1129 13" (on sale for xmas) was the perfect fit. The retina versions priced her right out of the game.
The MBA 13" will get enough performance with Haswell (HD4600 + very nice performance from low TDP cpus) to drop the cMBP 13" completely - no reason to keep it anymore.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 02:01 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Poisonivy326 View Post
Now that you think about it, good point in that Apple low-balls their most portable devices in each line almost on purpose. The 13" rMBP is ridiculously low-balled compared to the 15" rMBP. The 11" Air is a joke and the entry level 13" is not really feasible as anyone's main computer either. The cMBP's can be easily fixed into quite high functioning machines which is why they are still popular.

I think either way Apple has to stop low balling their 13" inch machines in hopes that people buy the 15" counterparts or the iMac. I suppose this will all depend on how well the iMacs sell -- whether Apple still goes with "iMac at home/laptop to carry around" strategy.
For the most part, I'd say that a majority of those buying a 13" Machine, whether it's an MBA, rMBP, or cMBP, are probably fine with the low-balling. Only a select few 13" MBP customers (relative to those buying the machines at large) care about giving them any oomph, be it in the form of CPU, RAM, or storage options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
This actually makes sense.
15" MBP was often without a discrete GPU.
Only once in 2009.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
replace 13" cMBP with 13" air (performance/power-consumption of haswell will allow it)
Replace 15" cMBP with 15" retina with no discrete graphics.
A 15" rMBP without discrete graphics could be interesting, especially if they are able to lower the price as a result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
In reality, apple is again doing what they did before they dropped the MacBook.
Charge roughly the same for:
a) expandability (MacBook)
b) portability (MBA)
Based on sales, MacBook was dropped, MBA was retained as the new entry-level laptop.
The MacBook wasn't dropped based on sales. It was dropped because Apple felt the need to simplify the lines and felt that the 11" MacBook Air was the "future". It stuck around for a year thereafter for educational institutions only.

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Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
The only thing I regret is if the cMBP outsales rMBP, that means we're going to see one heck of a machine in summer.
?
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 04:32 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
For the most part, I'd say that a majority of those buying a 13" Machine, whether it's an MBA, rMBP, or cMBP, are probably fine with the low-balling. Only a select few 13" MBP customers (relative to those buying the machines at large) care about giving them any oomph, be it in the form of CPU, RAM, or storage options.



Only once in 2009.



A 15" rMBP without discrete graphics could be interesting, especially if they are able to lower the price as a result.



The MacBook wasn't dropped based on sales. It was dropped because Apple felt the need to simplify the lines and felt that the 11" MacBook Air was the "future". It stuck around for a year thereafter for educational institutions only.



?
I've read an article by iFixit guy, because apple usually kills of the old line when introducing the new one. (within the same price range!)

I regret it because I ordered a retina. :-)
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 06:32 AM   #42
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Unibody (classic) MBP's will be out for another year or two. As has been previously mentioned numerous times before in this thread, it will give Apple time to produce retina machines at roughly the same price point while making roughly the same profit margins as manufacturing costs come down. Sort of like what they did with the macbook airs.

It also gives all of us an adjustment period to the new design paradigm. Those who want to tinker with the internals can buy the classics and use them for another couple of years. I think without them, there would have been too much of an outcry, and 2012 would have been seen as the year Apple locked its users out of their machines. Almost kind of comic book villainy: "Wait, you want to configure our precious machines AFTER they leave the factory?!? Then you should buy the outdated, over-priced Mac Pro! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-hah!!!!" It would also make Tim's black turtleneck worn during presentations seem ominous.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:28 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
Unibody (classic) MBP's will be out for another year or two. As has been previously mentioned numerous times before in this thread, it will give Apple time to produce retina machines at roughly the same price point while making roughly the same profit margins as manufacturing costs come down. Sort of like what they did with the macbook airs.
Really, the only thing keeping the price-points high is the SSD cost as cMBPs configured with SSDs cost MORE than their retina equivalent. At least, such is the case on the 15" models. My guess is that either Apple won't care that the retina costs so much money, or they'll lower the cost on flash as, otherwise, the cMBPs stick out as being legacy laptops. Not that I have a problem with this personally (hell, I love the unibody cMBPs), but I think Apple does and has all but stated it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
It also gives all of us an adjustment period to the new design paradigm. Those who want to tinker with the internals can buy the classics and use them for another couple of years. I think without them, there would have been too much of an outcry, and 2012 would have been seen as the year Apple locked its users out of their machines. Almost kind of comic book villainy: "Wait, you want to configure our precious machines AFTER they leave the factory?!? Then you should buy the outdated, over-priced Mac Pro! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-hah!!!!" It would also make Tim's black turtleneck worn during presentations seem ominous.
Apple isn't one to provide adjustment periods when it comes to hardware (the only notable exception to this rule was the Intel transition). What we have here with two design generations both using the current technology side-by-side, is highly unusual. At best, last time, the 17" MacBook Pro took three additional months to transition to the unibody style.

I agree though, it is deeply sad that Apple, at least as far as MacBook Pros are concerned, are going from highly serviceable to glued-battery/proprietary-screws&SSD.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
I've read an article by iFixit guy, because apple usually kills of the old line when introducing the new one. (within the same price range!)

I regret it because I ordered a retina. :-)
Ah. I getcha. Buyer's remorse for eating a potential early adopter cost. I don't think it'll be THAT bad. Or at least, I don't think it'll be that bad relative to the drop in SSD pricing across the industry.

----------

The chart in the following article is one big reason why I think the cMBP will be discontinued. His predictions have been spot on so far.


http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/28/...-in-june-2013/
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:15 AM   #44
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This is a great thread, and definitely is something I've been bringing up in discussions on these forums for a short while. Frankly, I think that this is indeed the last year that the cMBP is on the market, because of how big the jump to Haswell is going to be for the MBA and the gradual reduction in price of the rMBP will do. It really can be seen in the name, the rMBP will go back to just being called the "MacBook Pro", while I actually wouldn't doubt that the MacBook Air will start being called just the "MacBook", because of how much it has set and industry standard. Remember how Steve Jobs said that the MacBook Air would lead the future of the MacBook line? Now is the perfect time to call it just the "MacBook" and have the Retina Display MBP be called the "MacBook Pro". Regular MacBook for casual computer users (Air), and the MacBook Pro (rMBP) for enthusiasts. We definitely don't want another Preforma situation going on!

I bought a 13 inch 2.9 GHZ i7 cMBP the other day over a MBA and the rMBP and I couldn't be more excited for it. I have a Samsung 840 Pro SSD and a 16GB stick of Corsair Vengeance RAM ready to throw in the machine and for me, a prosumer, the cMBP will always have a special place in my heart. I just can't say the same for the regular consumer, and that's where I think the cMBP will be at its end.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:03 AM   #45
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I'm sort of late to the thread but I wanted to add my two cents. I really hope they don't discontinue the cMPB line.

Right now, I'm stilling using an early 2006 Core Duo Macbook Pro and I still love it. I've extended the life of my machine by replacing the HD, the battery, and upgrading the Airport card and memory. I wouldn't be able to do any of these things with an rMBP. I don't buy new computers that often so I like being able to service the machine myself as much as possible.

The problem is the rMBP seems to be following the trend of the Air. Which is a shame because if I pay that much money for a professional grade device, I'd like to be able to open it up myself and easily replace parts when needed. There is no reason to lock out the user from being able to do very basic things like upgrading the memory.

I plan on buying a cMBP soon but I betting it will be the last opportunity to do so if the discontinuation of the Macbook is anything to go by.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:58 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THX2008 View Post
The problem is the rMBP seems to be following the trend of the Air. Which is a shame because if I pay that much money for a professional grade device, I'd like to be able to open it up myself and easily replace parts when needed. There is no reason to lock out the user from being able to do very basic things like upgrading the memory.
Yes and no. Slots take space. retention mechanisms take more space than glue.

IMHO, the ability to perform memory upgrades have become of limited use lately, assuming you buy an appropriate amount.

We're at the point now where memory capacity and storage capacity is outgrowing the average user's growth in requirements for it. Except for a few professional niche uses, there are not many users who actually need more than 16 or 32GB of ram in their machine. Most can get by with 1/2 or 1/4 of that and will continue to be able to for some years, as there's no "killer feature" that demands a heap more memory that most people will use. Ultra high def video maybe? Some years off yet though...

If the user is one of the few actual "pro" users who will need to upgrade memory within 2-3 year's time, then they're also most likely the type of user who will upgrade CPU and video as well due to the increased performance on offer with the new model machines at that point. So the ability to upgrade their old machine which is 1-3 generations of CPU old is not so attractive anyway.

Plus, if they're a pro, the new machine is likely a tax deduction anyhow.

No, i don't particularly like the loss of upgrades either. But it's not quite the massive deal breaker it used to be.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 04:12 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohamade View Post
This is a great thread, and definitely is something I've been bringing up in discussions on these forums for a short while. Frankly, I think that this is indeed the last year that the cMBP is on the market, because of how big the jump to Haswell is going to be for the MBA and the gradual reduction in price of the rMBP will do. It really can be seen in the name, the rMBP will go back to just being called the "MacBook Pro", while I actually wouldn't doubt that the MacBook Air will start being called just the "MacBook", because of how much it has set and industry standard. Remember how Steve Jobs said that the MacBook Air would lead the future of the MacBook line? Now is the perfect time to call it just the "MacBook" and have the Retina Display MBP be called the "MacBook Pro". Regular MacBook for casual computer users (Air), and the MacBook Pro (rMBP) for enthusiasts. We definitely don't want another Preforma situation going on!
While I agree with everything you say here, I'm skeptical that Apple will drop the "Air" moniker for quite some time. They really should given this push for ultra-mobility as a standard across the entire laptop line, but I don't think they'll do it seeing as the "MacBook Air" has been developing quite a positive reputation for itself independent from it simply being a "MacBook". For now, I'd say that the MacBook is already the modern day successor to the MacBook line and the iBook line before it.

Though I'm sure you're right about the retina MacBook Pros. And frankly, that makes only too much sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alohamade View Post
I bought a 13 inch 2.9 GHZ i7 cMBP the other day over a MBA and the rMBP and I couldn't be more excited for it. I have a Samsung 840 Pro SSD and a 16GB stick of Corsair Vengeance RAM ready to throw in the machine and for me, a prosumer, the cMBP will always have a special place in my heart. I just can't say the same for the regular consumer, and that's where I think the cMBP will be at its end.
The non-replacable non-upgradable RAM bit is irritating. Though it is true, most consumers don't upgrade their RAM. If one has the correct tools, the SSD drives are no more difficult to remove on the retina models (and the MacBook Airs for that matter) than the 2.5" drives were from the non-retina unibody models; but the fact that it is a proprietary drive type is REALLY irritating. I have a non-retina model from the current generation; could not be happier. Also could not be more content given my belief that the non-retina unibody design is perfect where the retina design isn't. Makes me hope that by the time they next change the design, either (a) what they did here stops mattering to me or (b) they rectify a lot of these issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THX2008 View Post
I'm sort of late to the thread but I wanted to add my two cents. I really hope they don't discontinue the cMPB line.
I'd like it too, but as I'm sure you know, it's not even remotely likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THX2008 View Post
Right now, I'm stilling using an early 2006 Core Duo Macbook Pro and I still love it. I've extended the life of my machine by replacing the HD, the battery, and upgrading the Airport card and memory. I wouldn't be able to do any of these things with an rMBP. I don't buy new computers that often so I like being able to service the machine myself as much as possible.
This was the main reason why I didn't keep using my Early 2006 20" iMac until the time I bought my 2012 cMBP. Adding in storage is one of those things that you just need on a computer in order for it to REALLY last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THX2008 View Post
The problem is the rMBP seems to be following the trend of the Air. Which is a shame because if I pay that much money for a professional grade device, I'd like to be able to open it up myself and easily replace parts when needed. There is no reason to lock out the user from being able to do very basic things like upgrading the memory.
I agree with you, though I don't feel like the lack of upgrade ability is necessarily something that completely limits its viability as a professional grade machine. Does it become substantially more annoying in those environments, absolutely. But if one were to spec out a top of the line retina model MacBook Pro (so, 15", 2.7GHz, 16GB of RAM, 768GB SSD), that machine would still be able to haul some serious ass relative to a top of the line non-retina model.

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Originally Posted by THX2008 View Post
I plan on buying a cMBP soon but I betting it will be the last opportunity to do so if the discontinuation of the Macbook is anything to go by.
Yeah, your time to do so, I'd guess, is quickly running out. There will be refurb models up for a while yet. But yeah, definitely get on that. I'm extremely happy my upgrade cycle timed when it did. If all goes according to plan, I may very well skip the "retina" body design entirely between MacBook Pros.

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Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Yes and no. Slots take space. retention mechanisms take more space than glue.
The space increase required to at least have removable RAM isn't THAT much. Would it have made the machine thicker, yes, probably, and by a hair. From the looks of it, they had to glue the battery into place as having the cells be a part of a whole battery unit (like in the current body style of the MacBook Air) would've required room that they clearly didn't have. Still though, I think everyone would have been fine sacrificing yet another hair of thickness so that the battery could still be removed without having to scrap the entire top case assembly.

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Originally Posted by throAU View Post
IMHO, the ability to perform memory upgrades have become of limited use lately, assuming you buy an appropriate amount.
It has become limited in popularity among consumers. That I'll definitely buy you. But of limited use overall? No way. Going from 2GB of RAM to 4GB of RAM on a Mid 2007 15" MacBook Pro makes a world of difference, especially if one is to be using the latest version of OS X on there. With the original 2GB of RAM it is barely usable. With 4GB, it is perfectly functional. This happens with every new version of OS X in which the minimum RAM requirement is doubled from the previous. Mountain Lion is the first version since Panther to not do this. Though I don't expect that to become a trend. It always makes sense to max out your RAM as to prolong the speed, compatibility, and usefulness of the machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
We're at the point now where memory capacity and storage capacity is outgrowing the average user's growth in requirements for it. Except for a few professional niche uses, there are not many users who actually need more than 16 or 32GB of ram in their machine. Most can get by with 1/2 or 1/4 of that and will continue to be able to for some years, as there's no "killer feature" that demands a heap more memory that most people will use. Ultra high def video maybe? Some years off yet though...
Again, when the minimum RAM requirement for OS X bumps up to 4GB, users who bought 2010 and 2011 MacBook Airs and DIDN'T configure them to 4GB at the time of purchase will be screwed out of that upgrade, which will, sooner rather than later, eventually leave them out of updates to basic software like Safari, iTunes, and Adobe Flash Player. Similarly, way down the road when 16GB becomes a minimum requirement, those who bought 15" rMBPs with only 8GB of RAM will be left out, whereas with machines with removable RAM, a $60 upgrade kit (if that much) could squeeze an extra year or two out of a machine. Given that these can cost a pretty penny to only last around 5-6 years, that's huge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
If the user is one of the few actual "pro" users who will need to upgrade memory within 2-3 year's time, then they're also most likely the type of user who will upgrade CPU and video as well due to the increased performance on offer with the new model machines at that point. So the ability to upgrade their old machine which is 1-3 generations of CPU old is not so attractive anyway.
That's not necessarily true. Unless they are gamers (and even then, it's limited) a lack of RAM will show itself far more clearly than an old CPU or video card. If my machine is 4 years old, cost me $2500, and adding more RAM makes it run smoother, that is economically beneficial, if not a no-brainer. Do I think the average consumer will do that, no. But not every Mac user is an average consumer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Plus, if they're a pro, the new machine is likely a tax deduction anyhow.

No, i don't particularly like the loss of upgrades either. But it's not quite the massive deal breaker it used to be.
I'll agree with you here on both fronts. If one needs it for work, it's likely a tax deduction or a machine provided by a company that is footing the bill for the computer, in which case, it's not the problem of the user. Similarly, if I bought a 15" retina MacBook Pro tomorrow and maxed it out with 16GB of RAM (which is the maximum supported by the chipset anyway), then the issue of not being able to upgrade the RAM would be 100% moot. Still the idea of a failing RAM "module" costing the logic board doesn't sit well with me. Though RAM failures are not happening as often.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 06:17 AM   #48
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I own the 13" cMBP and I do like the fact I can upgrade it a few years down the line. It'll be sad to see the cMBPs go - if I wanted a thin laptop I would have bought the Air.

I wish Apple would allow me to pay extra to have the retina display on a cMBP. Then those who want the thin-ness can have it and those who want the upgrades can.

Just my thoughts.

I have a feeling Apple will discontinue the cMBPs this year.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 08:42 AM   #49
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I think the 13" will definitely stick around for another revision next year and will serve as an affordable entry Pro or be rebranded as a Macbook. I think the 15" will disappear next year.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:06 AM   #50
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I thought I would add my two cents here.

I have owned computers for a long time now, and I have never upgraded any of them (one might say I was your average Joe in computer terms). However, as technology has been rapidly changing, I have now really learned to appreciate the ability to perform user upgrades, and as such, I decided to purchase a 13" cMBP as opposed to the current Retina offering.

I purchased the entry level model at $1,199. I have since ordered a 16GB Corsair RAM upgrade kit for $65, and a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD for another $200. Once the upgrades are completed, I will only be set back $1,465 in total.

I priced out a "comparable" Retina version (RAM and SSD), and it came out at $2,000 with a Max of 8GB of RAM!

Granted, I don't get the Retina screen, which undoubtedly is beautiful, and the smaller form factor and weight. However, I'm more than happy that I have an opportunity to upgrade the RAM and SSD myself and turn this little bugger into a powerhouse within my own budget.

I'm guessing the classic model's days are numbered.
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