Classic Macbook Pro sales DEAD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DVD9, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. DVD9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    I just perused the Macbooks at Amazon to check prices and stumbled upon an indicator that the "classic" Macbook Pro models have stopped selling.

    For at least the past two years the 13" Macbook Air has had one customer review for every two reviews posted for the 13" Pro. At first it looked like that had been cut to almost parity as I saw 78 reviews posted for the 13" Pro vs 60 for the 13" Air.

    Then I looked at the 15" "classic" Pro and saw the same 78 review figure which I knew couldn't be right. Immediately it flashed that Amazon must have combined the reviews, and sure enough that is exactly what they did. So the 13" and 15" Pros now combine for a small number of reviews more than the 13" Air.

    And the model with the largest number of reviews? That would be the 15" Retina starting at $2,194-. 88 reviews.

    So Mr Kuo's claim that the forthcoming 13" Retina Pro would be "aggressively priced below $1,300" is all the more interesting. That would totally kill all "classic" Pro sales and no doubt the Air models as well since the 13" Retina is unlikely to weigh more than eight additional ounces.

    The entire Macbook line could by next year be just two hot selling models unless Apple seriously slashes the prices of the "classic" and Air models by four to five hundred dollars each.

    A $1,300 13" Retina Pro would also be the end for the other "ultrabook" manufacturers unless they can quickly catch up with new screens and meet Apple's pricing. Samsung recently showed off a 13" Retina class resolution Series 9, but it's not anywhere near production.

    Amazon's customer reviews of the Asus Zenbook Prime are a world of hurt for Asus. It looks like a defective product. So a 13" Retina model could slice the price of that model to under $800 so they can clear inventory after shutting down production.
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    I'm sure the 13" Air sells a ton still, but it seems like most users are getting the 13" Air. Same price, comes with the SSD, thinner...

    And it sounds like the same thing is happening with the Retina - If you add an SSD and 8GB to the 15" Pro, it's $2000, so you might as well get the Retina and get the better screen, thinner profile...Only if you get the absolute lowest base model 15" (or a refurb) does it make sense to stick with the classic.
  3. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
  4. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    The number of posted reviews isn't a good indication of what's selling. Very few people that purchase something will leave a review. It's impossible to extrapolate sales numbers from the information given.
  5. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Here in the UK, my local Apple Store told me that the 13" MBP is their best selling Mac.

    Possibly because at £999 (GBP) it's also one of the cheapest, and you currently get a big (500GB) hard disk and a Superdrive, two things that the MBA (in either 11" or 13") doesn't have.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    This is a really anecdotal analogy. If you honestly believe that the 15" rMBP outsells the 11" and 13" notebooks, you are drinking enough kool-aid to drive yourself into a diabetic coma. The market potential for a $2200+ computer in terms of sales is just not the same as what you can hit for $1000 less. Now the rMBP does most likely generate more hype as it's new and perceived as a premium offering. This does not however offset the conjectural nature of the OP. In terms of Asus, a relatively common complaint is their support. With Apple if something is bad out of the box, it's relatively easy to secure a replacement. They can be a pain in the ass later on, but assuming you're within reach of a metropolitan area, there's the possibility of handing it to someone who will look it over as opposed to dealing with phone support. The tech sites liked the IPS option offered by Asus, but I've never personally seen it. IPS displays can offer a world of improvement over many of the older notebook displays. Apple even made some adjustments to counter some of the things I truly hate about LED.
  7. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    Classic MBP sales Dead?

    I sure hope not.

    I've been using them for too many years, and enjoying the fact that I can upgrade ram, hard drive to SSD, etc.

    In addition, after unpacking a new one I always tear it down to clean off the gobs of excessive thermal past, clean it up, and reapply the correct amount. It's a job that I've become very good at since I've done so many. Not one MBP I've purchased each year has had a proper amount of paste. They are always covered with gobs, thereby insuring it will run hotter than if it had the correct amount.

    Once done, I have a fast, cooler running Mac that doesn't work the fans so hard, the peace of mind I derive from seeing the finished job is well worth the work.

    I believe this may be a test year.

    By offering both the Retina MBP and the Classic MBP, Apple may be testing to see what sells best, and if they can successfully move people into the more expensive laptop by simply adding the retina display.

    Because Retina is Hyped to the Hilt, the numbers may be askew this year. I hope Apple keeps the classic in the lineup one more year and then decides.

    Removing the classic from the lineup obviously reduces the choices we have, something that Apple tends to prefer, less choices for the customer.

    Only time will tell.
  8. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    The lowest priced macs will always be the most popular - many people desire to own a mac but lack the resources to simply toss down $2000 - thus the lowest end macs are the most reasonable for them.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's not just hyped. They bundled certain things in one while leaving the other largely unchanged. The rMBP got a second thunderbolt port, which alleviates some cases of port contention if someone is using an external display. It received an ssd standard, where Apple otherwise charges an enormous markup. This changed less than I would have expected on the classic design when compared to overall changes in after market pricing. They offer it directly with a 16GB ram option. The "high resolution" display in the classic is still a $100 upgrade. The reflections are better controlled when compared to the standard finish on the classic macbook pro. The IPS display is a significant improvement, even without factoring in differences in resolution. I'm saying it's a heavily weighted thing. I would have really liked that display on the older design. The thermals seem better on the new one, but it also seems more annoying to repaste the cpus (not that most people will do this).
  10. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    As others have stated, review numbers don't give any indication on how well something is selling. Furthermore, using Amazon by itself also would not give any accurate idea for sales numbers. I use Amazon A LOT, but vast majority of people still do most of their shopping in B&M stores. I would be willing to bet that Best Buy sells more Macs than Amazon does and then of course the Apple stores (both physical and online) sell more than all of them.
  11. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    Yes I do know, I follow each and every laptop Apple designs very closely. My earlier post was a bit brief as I posted in haste, but I do understand and appreciate the differences.

    The major problem for me (and it's just my preference) is that I see Apple slowly but surely making everything like a sealed appliance. Non-User Serviceable for the most part. I do understand why they are doing this, but it's hard to accept at least at this juncture..

    Part of the reason is that I'm not obsessed with thin, the way Apple is. Yes, it's gorgeous to look at but I've always used ThinkPads along with my Macs. I work in a cross platform engineering, R&D environment where we push our laptops hard.

    A ThinkPad (15" T or W series) while only 0.2" to 0.3" thicker than a conventional MBP, has great thermal management. Terrific fans, runs fast, cool and quiet. Has more vents in the sides of the case and overall is a extremely well built workstation class computer.

    Apple obviously places a very high premium on looks and style. Therefore the somewhat closed up (no vents other than under the hinge an up through the keyboard) design is not conducive to cooling.

    Yes, I know, it's designed to dissipate via the aluminum housing but if not for my serious love of OS X, I would have a hard time living with such a warm computer. Especially since I do very resource intense work and push it a lot.

    Those thoughts aside, the new retina MacBook Pro is very impressive and I considerate it somewhat of an engineering marvel. It's very impressive in it's internal layout and design of the various components.

    Perhaps by next year I will feel differently and buy one. In fact, I actually pre-ordered and took delivery of one upon release this year. The very day it arrived so did the article about how it was built, how it was not user serviceable etc. That left a very bad impression and I got rid of it.

    Since I always have a bevy of new Macs on hand, it was not a "Must Have", but rather my annual upgrade. That said my 15" 2011 SSD equipped conventional MBP is doing a great job for me presently and I will continue to evaluate my feelings on the retina model going forward.
  12. JTyler82 macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2011
    I Bought my Mac 2 months ago from Amazon, and didn't leave a review. so just maybe there are some folks that don't leave'em?
  13. whoknows87 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2012
    I doubt it, keep in mind the 13 Air is thinner,SSD, but on the Pro at least pre retina you can do a few upgrades yourself to make that Machine scream with the Air you cant do anything everything is soldered in , also don't forget the Air lacks a DVD drive, some people will buy both an Air on the go and Pro for more heavy duty stuff, I've visited the nearest Apple store a few times within the past week I saw more people buying the current MBP 13 more than retinas or air, while that's not an indication but that's what I saw :D
  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I hate that too, and I'd especially never buy such a thing as a first generation product.

    I've read a few complaints about a couple design issues with the W, but overall it looks very nice. People on this forum are truly weird regarding what they feel is portable. I would understand a bit more if they were frequent travelers who needed to keep carry-on luggage within a certain weight limit. I've never liked Apple's design prioritization. I started using them as the field I started in was heavily heavily invested in Macs. The other thing the thinkpads have is a beefier charger. Under heavy loads, the macbook pro can actually consume battery while plugged in. I do some things to lessen this such as limiting display brightness and keeping the keyboard backlight off.

    I read that a lot, yet I'm not sure how much this brings down the internal temperature. They can still throttle. Touching hot aluminum is extremely unpleasant. I always viewed the use of aluminum as more of a stylistic choice.

    2010 and 2011 offered huge upgrades to the 15" macs. The rMBP seems to run cooler, so I'm wondering if some of the additional performance is due to lower throttling. It might also be more appealing to anyone who makes use of CUDA. If I knew someone used CUDA, I'd say a 2012 is a necessity. The $1800 one is $1530 on refurb, so it's reasonably competitive with the used ones. That's another thing. I tell people on here to stop emphasizing resale value. Just the relative used value of an early 2011 today compared to a year ago should show that it isn't a good way to justify higher purchase costs. I prefer to budget these things as if I'm going to send them directly to the recycling center within 3 years. It's a good way to avoid overdoing such things.
  15. A Hebrew macrumors 6502a

    A Hebrew

    Jan 7, 2012
    People tend to have no reason to review an old product line, of course the rMBP will have more since it is new.
  16. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    Wow... that's exactly how I feel, having learned the hard way years ago. The second gen Macs are always the keepers. Another example that comes to mind is the 2010 vs 2011 MBA.

    Being the crazy Mac addict I am, I've got every current laptop they offer in every size with the exception of the rMBP.

    I travel internationally for work a portion of the year so ultra portability is a nice way to go. When out on those trips I don't need the power I do when in the lab, so an MBA is ideal. I bought both the 11 and 13 initially as I simply could not decide.

    Now after a year, I'm finding I am more than willing to put up with the small increase in footprint to carry the 13 with it's longer battery life and larger palmrest & display. Weight has never been an issue for me since I am tall strong and fit. I'm 98% paperless in all endeavors, therefore I carry a laptop with me every day.

    You and I are very similar in our preferences and thinking, I've enjoyed our exchange of info.

    Cheers :)
  17. wickedking94 macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2010
    Honestly retina display is a gimmick on a laptop. Its not worth sucking up so much Graphics just to not see pixels. When we have faster GPU's and graphics memory then the retina display will be ready for the world.
  18. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    all the classic models sell out at the local best buy and the local apple store from time to time.
  19. TxMacAddict macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2008
    Yes... the cMBP is dead. The era of the rMBP is upon us. :D
  20. DVD9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    And you were too lazy to read my post.

    No need to feel bad about that though, from the responses of the others here they didn't read it either.
  21. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    Everybody pretty much said the same thing, which means everyone got the same message out of your post. If you think that no one got the point of your post, then maybe you didn't write it well enough to get your point across.
  22. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'm not a crazy mac addict, and I hate constantly switching computers, as it gets quite expensive. It annoys me that Apple has everyone sold on the idea of buying electronics based on their aesthetics. I definitely encourage people against some of the typical forum attitudes. I never suggest that their machine will never depreciate in value, as it's a silly way to view a computer purchase. Besides that, Apple competes with the used market via their refurbished units. An early 2011 15" is as cheap as $1200 for the 2.0. Right now I want to suggest the rMBP due to the display, but there are too many long term unknowns and a lot of little annoying issues.

    Quite a few people on here are involved in media work (photography, video editing, etc), so the IPS display is very nice there. Its native gamut is much closer to the typical sRGB as opposed to being excessively cold like the older ones. It's difficult to explain on here though as no one really gets what is really happening when you "calibrate" the display. It's basically split into a description of the gamut/behavior and a video card table which is ideally as smooth as possible. The older ones attempted to match a gamma 2.4 in a very weird way, and their native hardware values didn't necessarily start from a great place. Beyond that the viewing angles were much more narrow, making it virtually impossible to get a really good output. The rMBP with the IPS display seems a bit more flexible even though you're still limited to the same approach of updating the display's description and the gpu output table. Its native temperature and gamut are much closer to sRGB. It's really not bad if you can get a solid sRGB. People get too hung up on volumetric descriptions of gamut.

    Anyway I'm drifting off topic. It's just annoying as people seem conditioned to believe that a colorimeter purchase is an automatic panacea to all display issues.

    I do the same. I electronically sign pdf based paperwork whenever possible. When I can get away with it, I send off stuff in the same form. I absolutely abhor stacks of paper, and I view anything printed as a waste of trees.

    Same here. I especially agree with you on the second generation thing. A ton of people rush out to get new machines, but if a generation has long term problems, the guys who update annually will most likely dump them by the time the real problems show up. I've noted tons of people who look at some of the most costly upgrades and factor the rMBP as a 4-5 year purchase due to its cost. In my opinion if they're taking it with them everywhere, and they must keep it that long to justify its cost, they're spending too much. Especially for the college students, I'd suggest either a student discount or refurb 13" or low end 15". If they're doing anything media related I don't suggest the Air unless they really want that one, due to inferior viewing angles.
  23. SwitchHitter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2003
    But... are you handsome?
  24. DVD9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Everyone pretty much read the first couple of sentences and then typed out a rebuttal already dealt with in the original post.

    If the number of reviews last year and the year before were consistent, and now this year they are tracking for half that number, then what other than a vast falloff in sales would account for such an outcome?
  25. jedolley macrumors 68000

    Sep 18, 2009
    :rolleyes: I actually read your post AGAIN after you claimed that no one read it on the off chance that I missed something, but I didn't.

    This is my and everyone's point... You can't really think you can analyze sales based on review totals let alone review totals from one online retailer.

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