Potential bad news on new MBA's

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wdropo, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    #1
    Just came from the Apple Store in Sherman Oaks CA. Had a conversation with one of the geniuses about the Ipad, rollout, market for, and other aspects.

    Bottom line is he thinks and "strongly suspects" Apple will drop the MacBook Air upon successful rollout of the Ipad.

    I said that was bad news as I liked the product and said their is nothing like it in the mac world with the keyboard, thinness and full computing power for businesspeople. He said its is just where Apple seems to be going.

    So take it as you want, friends. Would be sad, but the logic is there.:mad:
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #2
    He knows nothing, his opinion counts as much as anyone in this forum. It's just an opinion.
    I don't think Apple will drop the Air, there's a market for it, if they do the right thing (read upgrades).
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    #3
    I am with you, brother. Still hoping for rev D (or C in some people's minds). But thought it was important to pass on this interaction.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #4
    I'm waiting for it, I would be happy with 4GB of RAM, that's it for me!
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

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  6. macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
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    #6
    That makes absolutely no sense in that direct competitive context - the two serve vastly different purposes and target audiences. Only one runs full Mac OS for example. A fairly big differentiator.

    Your genius is speculating wildly and almost certainly inaccurately - there have been many far more intelligent, rational and thoughtful posts about the MBA's prognosis on this board than what he "strongly suspects".

    Myself I've gone from likening the MBA's abortive evolution to my old faithful G4 Cube (pioneering design, limited hardware upgrade options, prohibitively high price point) to hoping and convincing myself of an all-new shiney black Alu MBA with OLED screen, 256GB SSD, 4GB+ RAM, 7 hour battery tech...[/Scottsdale].......to again mentally wearing a sandwich board, growing a long beard and proclaiming "the end is nigh", and back and forth many times since.

    If there is an MBA-killer, it is a lighter, thinner, smaller MBP. Not an iPad.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    Location:
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    #7
    Agree. The two are for different markets.

    Some say the MBA is the wave of the future for the MBP line. The MBP line will get thinner and drop the optical drive. Personally, I don't agree. I see the MBA, MB and MBP and three distinctly different lines.

    As for the iPad, it's with the iPhone / iPod touch lineup and doesn't compete directly with the laptops.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Veinticinco

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #8
    I'd be interested to know why you think that and any supporting thoughts, ideas etc.

    Reason being is that in an ideal world, that's exactly how I would segment the laptop offerings. Except in reality, it's hard to see a MBP future that doesn't mean lighter, thinner form factors (moving into MBA territory, its primary USP in fact), and almost impossible to argue against the fact that optical media (again, the lack thereof being the MBA's secondary USP) is circling the drain.

    *EDIT* To add to this, in an ideal world I'd like to see the MBA kept very much alive, as a pioneering platform for new tech and design - which was how it was originally conceived, first Alu unibody etc. A premium flagship if you like, a pull to get punters in the Apple door before the inevitable switch to the all-round 13" MBP.

    Sure, it will always be a loss leader rather than a volume seller, but then BA and Air France operated Concorde successfully along the lines of this business model, catering to the affluent and demanding cognoscenti (and the likes of Elton John sadly), and the once-in-a-lifetimers, whilst keeping the profit-making business and first-class passengers loyal to the airline by virtue of glamour by association and the promise of upgrades in the face of very stiff competition from the likes of Virgin Atlantic in particular. You can see where this analogy is going, but the (extremely poorly-judged IMO) decision to mothball the old girl for financial reasons hasn't really worked - AF has had to merge to stay alive, and BA has gone from the "world's favourite airline" to a sorry mess in the 7 years since it canned its flagship with a pioneering design and niche market.

    I'd love to say 'take note Jobs' at this point, but let's be honest in continuing the analogy here. The gargantuan difference between the two examples is that BA does not have $50 billion or whatever in cash reserves, and isn't, say, the world's leading car manufacturer. Long gone are the days when Apple cared about delivering a premium product to its core 'pro' Mac loyalists - cash is king and high volume consumer sales are all that counts - ask yourself when was the last time you saw a TV ad for the new MBP or iMac? Meanwhile spots for the iPod Touch run every half hour. To what end though? What's the point in having obscene amounts of cash if you're not prepared to write a tiny proportion of it off and reinforce your once-solid reputation as innovators and leaders? You can argue as a company they are looking at many new technologies for the future, which is true, but that doesn't absolve them of failing to keep their Mac hardware up to spec. And with that, reputation goes hand in hand - something that takes a long time to build up, but a very short time to destroy.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    iDisk

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #9
    Your story would have more clout if it came from a Apple Retail Manager. Not a Apple retail employee, shall I even say it, " Genius ".

    As you've found out in the previous article on MacRumors, these " Geniuses " don't even get information of new product until it's RELEASED.

    Apple Retail employees gossip .... ALOT!

    PS. I know first hand they love to feed (inaccurate) information to customers, just to later brag about it to there peers.
     
  10. macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #10
    Is that at all like the news you "broke" with such certainty a while back? :cool:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9244647&postcount=444

    OP: I would not say this is news, bad or not ... it's just a rumor.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    iDisk

    Joined:
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    #11
    You flatter me at times Jess.

    Yes my statement was slighlty off about the notebook refreshes. Though my statements here are pretty accurate.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #12
    Last night my dog barked three times and then ran around the room twice. This clearly translates to the 100% certain news that the Macbook Air will be replaced tomorrow by a thinner and lighter model called the Macbook Helium.

    Or alternatively, your genius friend is trying to get you to buy an iPad. My good friend the Lead Genius watches the keynotes just like the rest of us, as he has no insider knowledge of what's coming or going.
     
  13. gri
    macrumors 6502a

    gri

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    New York City, aka Big Apple
    #13
    Sidetrack: my wife once wanted to fly back from London to the US with AA. Plane was defect, delayed, no other option etc. After lots of aggravation she and some fellows were finally rebooked onto another flight by AA, a BA flight, Gate 1 but to hurry as it would be leaving soon. On the way to the gate someone noted that it was strange that the flight time was only supposed to be 3 hours - turns out they were reebooked onto the Concorde (they had economy tickets only). Of course at the gate they were not let onto the plane. BA was calling the AA agents to ask if AA would be paying the few thousands bucks per person for the upgrade to first class concorde and - oh surprise - the cheapskates at AA didn't want to. She took a later, normal flight.

    As for the MBA: The people in the stores don't know anything more than we do. I sincerely hope that the MBA survives as I am waiting for a real good one since it first came out. I would not be suprised though if it turns out that all MBP get the MBA form factor, maybe loose the optical drive (optional superdrive as external drive like now). May be one of the reason why it takes them longer to do get out with the upgrades and why the actual MBA was never really upgraded as this was the long term plan anyway. As for the optical drive - remember when Apple dropped the Floppy drive...?
    A 15' MBP/A? Love it!
     
  14. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    Slightly off? You're 6 weeks off and counting.....
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Leeds
    #15
    all they need to do is a few minor hardware updates and bring the price to within the reach of the average consumer and it's all downhill from there :rolleyes:
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #16
    Another senseless idiot Apple "Genius." All one has to do is consider the differences between the MBA and iPad to understand they're marketed to two completely different groups of people. Sure, some of the people who bought "dumped" original MBAs for $999 will probably buy an iPad next time, but that doesn't mean the iPad is a replacement for the MBA.

    The MBA's form factor is the future of the MBPs and MBs. We have already seen it as the MBA was first to sport the unibody design, large trackpad, non-removable battery, black keyboard, and other design elements. I fully expect the MB and MBP to eventually drop the optical drive just as the MBA and to also focus on wireless tech rather than ports. The future MBs and MBPs will be thin and lightweight like the MBA but will do the full workload required of the MB and MBP buyers. Does it make any sense at all for Apple to EOL the MBA unless it's changing the MB and MBP into MBAs of sorts? The Mac computer, especially not the MBA, is threatened by the iPad at all at this time. In the long run, the iPad will change everything... but it's going to be many years before the iPad seriously challenges the Mac for workload tasks... for observation and entertainment, the iPad will succeed sooner rather than later.

    The MBA is a luxury computer intended to be sold primarily to the business user/traveller/tech enthusiast willing to pay for the premium experience sold for ultraportability yet solid MB like computing that does real workload tasks. It's a premium device; technology always costs more when it provides a superior experience that requires less space or weight when on the go. Sure, the MBA user can view videos, read text, surf the web or check email from their MBA, but they also can do real work! Try typing a report on an iPad, and that's just the start of it... as the MBA has real computing capabilities.

    The iPad is a consumer device being sold as an entertainment device that doesn't do any real computing. The iPad allows someone to view anything from text to video, observation only. We will call it "input." The MBA allows input and output of information. There is the main difference and it's gigantic. The MBA allows people to do and see while the iPad just allows people to see. That is the primary difference that is obvious and tells us just how different these two products are right now. Information and ideas flow out and in on the Mac while info only flows in on the iPad.

    I see the MB being challenged more by the iPad than the MBA. Think about who buys the MB, consumers. Many of these people don't do anything other than watch videos, read email, and surf the web. These people will definitely consider the iPad as an alternative. Anyone that mainly observes on the MB will see the iPad as a better experience. Anyone that has to work on a MB, will see the MB as the only way to get real work accomplished. The keyboard is a gigantic difference and the differences get greater from there when considering computing performance and capabilities of the Mac over the iPad.

    Honestly wdropo, you should know better than this. I am disappointed that you didn't challenge this "Genius" and come up a strong argument against what this "Genius" told you. You're far more likely to learn something about Apple's business model in the MBA section at MacRumors.com than you are from a "Genius."

    I don't expect the MBA to go anywhere... and Apple didn't create the iPad to sell less MBAs to the luxury computer market. If anything, Apple created the iPad to further allow the MBA to succeed as a premium device. When there was no iPad, the MBA had to be temporarily repositioned (last June) to help take advantage of those who wanted an ultraportable device since Apple didn't have a netbook device. It came as an unexpected and unintentional repercussion for Apple when its first MBA failed miserably and it had to dump them for $999 just to get them out of inventory. Also, the netbook had taken off and Apple didn't have a device that was positioned at a lower price than the MB that offered just the "observation"/input not the ability to work on device like a MB (or "output"). Apple countered by reducing the price of the MBA in June 2009 to take advantage of those willing to pay a lot more for a device they could observe on and was ultraportable. These people don't fully utilize the MBA for its power, and some of them will be better off with the iPad... so it allows the MBA to go back into its traditional role as an ultraportable luxury item that allows MB like computing experience for the business pro willing to pay more money for a premium device. Apple will focus on the MBA being a luxury item that does input and output as a premium device for those on the go.

    I expect MBA prices to rise slightly with its next update. Pricing could remain the same, but we actually want them to raise the prices which will mean Apple is repositioning the MBA back where it was intended to be - the premium luxury computing experience for those willing to pay more for a super portable computer that allows them to do observation like watching a movie, reading the web, checking email and also allows them to do daily workload from apps that they need to complete their work.

    My iPad will not replace the work I do on my MBA. My iPad will be for input/observation of information (primarily entertainment), while my MBA will be both input and output of information (primarily work). I am just testing the iPad too. I don't know if I will like carrying two devices when I am traveling. The iPad might be better for a movie on a plane, while the MBA will be better for typing a proposal or writing a business/marketing plan. And let's not forget we will all need the MBA when doing serious web browsing as the iPad has no solution to provide Flash content whether it's just a navigational bar or a hulu.com movie for free vs. paying Apple for the same entertainment. There is some overlap, but the real person wanting to do work on their Apple product will be buying a MB/MBP/MBA and not an iPad.

    -ADD- | -EDIT-
    Observe = Input = from computer to brain
    Action via KB/Mouse = Output = from brain to computer

    I definitely could have clarified that better... sorry. It almost seems backwards, but it seemed backwards no matter which way I typed it. Rather than going back and fixing, I figured clarification here was best.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Alchematron

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  18. macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
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    #18
    I agree that some kid working behind the Genius Bar in an Apple store is, not to put too fine a point on it, hardly a reliable source for letting us know whether Apple will or will not drop the MBA from its laptop lineup. I am inclined to agree with Scottsdale's premise that Apple will probably upgrade and keep the MBA, for the many good reasons he stated in his post.

    Despite the iPad's sex appeal it is woefully limited compared to the MBA, which, despite its weaknesses, is a real computer capable of doing real computer work. I just can't see the iPad filling that bill.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    gglockner

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #19
    Apple has other products that may not be best sellers but are part of the Apple lineup: Time Capsule, iPod classic and Apple TV come to mind. (And I own 2 of the 3). The fact that the MacBook Air is not a best seller doesn't mean that it's doomed. Of course, I'm helping improve the sales of the MacBook Air as I just placed my order for one this afternoon. (I'm fully aware 'not to worry' that updates are coming soon, but a number of factors meant it was time to upgrade).
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #20
    What made you decide to order one now? it sounds like everyone thinks the updates are coming any day....
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #21
    hate to tell you this but the iPad is not going to do well, so the MBA won't be effected by that. Yeah there might be a lot of hype about the iPad, but I know it won't sell.

    That's not to say the MBA won't get cancelled, it's not doing as well as Apple projected (nor should it, it too is a pretty poor product for general consumption).

    Mark my words
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    gglockner

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #22
    1) Need new laptop due to a busy travel schedule this spring.
    2) My personal opinion is that Apple is not rushing to update Macs - they are going to focus marketing on the iPad for now.
    3) My laptop is not my main machine, and I'm coming from a 3-year-old MacBook so last year's MBA is going to be more than adequate for my travel needs.
    4) I need to get my old MacBook to Apple for a case repair before AppleCare expires on it next week. (Yes, I know they've been repairing cases out of warranty, but I don't want to push my luck as the machine gets really old).
    5) My wife needs the old MacBook for a trip in May.

    Not sure how interesting this is to the entire Internet, but there you go.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #23

    Thanks. I need to decide if I'm going to return the 2.13 MBA I received 12 days ago and wait for the update...or not. I really like this machine. I'm not having any issues with it at all, I'd obviously like the new one if and when it comes out. What's complicating matters is I'm traveling quite a bit right now. This sounds goofy, but being able to Skype with my 2 year old is a major benefit for me. I could wait it out a little longer...if I only know how much longer "a little longer is". I only want the MBA for personal use (I have to carry a Dell that is completely locked down by my employer).

    This is going to drive me crazy all night. I need to make a decision.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #24
    I completely disagree. The iPad will be a gigantic success. It will revolutionize the way the American family checks email, browses the web, and more. It will start with watching tv episodes anytime, people reading the daily paper on it, people getting magazine subscriptions the minute they are released, and kids will have all their textbooks on one iPad (carrying around 1.5 lb instead of 35 lb).

    It will spread to videogames and people will realize it was the experience they should have had years ago. Then apps will drive demand further. It is the app store that Apple uses to sell iPod Touches and iPhones... but now will sell iPads. Then iPads sell iTunes video content including TV and movies. And the iPad will sell magazine subscriptions and bestselling books. The iPad will sell more apps... which will sell more iPads... and the cycle will continue.

    The iPad will replace the MB user who needs an entertainment device not a computer. The iPad will replace textbooks and personal TVs. The iPad will replace the Kindle and Nook. The iPad will replace medical charts, the need to physically transfer an MRI, and will be used for training doctors of the exact instructions for replacing a heart.

    Forget this nonsense that the iPad isn't going to sell well. It will probably sell only 10m in the first 12 months, 25m in the first 24 months, and 60m in three years. Mac sales numbers will be trumped by the iPad. The iPad is an exceptional device that will offer a great experience at a fair price that is a no brainer to people that would have bought a netbook, Kindle, and notebook all to check email on the run, read a book, or watch an iTunes movie in bed.

    The MB will probably be the Mac to suffer the most in the long run. The iPod Touch will probably lose some sales too... but then Apple will be making double the money and offering 4x the video display experience driving more sales of more iTunes video content... selling more iPads... selling more apps... selling more iPads... selling more iBooks... selling more iPads... selling more and more and more... and selling more Macs too... which in turn will sell more Macs to businesses... and will sell more iPhones... and an AppleTV, AirPort Extreme, followed by Apple Cinema Displays... and then it will even sell Apple Television Sets... with Internet, Apps, TV subscriptions and all BUILT IN!

    I would bet that Apple makes more money selling an iPad than a MB... not just in the initial sale but all of the follow up sales of iPad content from iTunes, iBooks, and App Store. We are at the start of a revolution that will make the iPod relevance seem a distant memory not worth mentioning in the history of Apple, Inc.
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    #25
    It sounds like you are satisfied and it does what you need it to do, so keep it. When a new MBA comes out you will still have a nice machine and it won't do anything worse than it has been.
     

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