Could Retina MacBook air cannibalise MacBook pro


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
If Apple make a retina mba, wouldn't they have to increase the specs of the lowest end rmbp to differentiate it from the air?


Mar 15, 2013
If Apple make a retina mba, wouldn't they have to increase the specs of the lowest end rmbp to differentiate it from the air?
Not really.

They'll most likely go with Core M, which is slower than the CPU you can get on the base rMBP model.


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2014
Is that slower than the current i5s they use?
Yes, almost the same but slower than the current one. The other comment has sense, since the actual MBA's have almost the same CPU power as MBP's 13", a lighter laptop with retina screen, with tight bezels and similar CPU power would kill the 13" MBP. The thing is the Core M has been there since November, so it would be funny to see Apple going for it now that the new i5 and i7 for the Airs have been there since January.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2011
Sacramento, CA
There is a recent quote from Tim that paraphrased is: We don't worry about (believe in?) canibalization. If we don't make it and someone else does, people will just buy from our competitor.

There is some wisdom there.


macrumors 604
No, Apple is moving the new Air further away from the current Retina`s by introducing the MBA with Retina; less powerful processors, fewer ports.

If anything the current Air is cannibalising Retina sales as it`s almost as flexible; one Thunderbolt versus two on the MBPr, both have two USB 3.0, both 13" have SDXC card slots and the MBPr has HDMI, Air can achieve same with an adaptor, comparable performance (Air with i7) The only major difference for the average user is the display.

If present rumours pan out the new Retina Air only has one USB "C" which will be a limitation to many, Core M processors, 12" Retina display with greater vertical space, compared to the 11"

I can see Apple closing the gap on pricing a little making the MBPr more attractive and sooner or later Apple will streamline it`s product range with the present Air being dropped. The 12" Air with Retina will bring extreme portability at the cost of flexibility, while the 13" MBPr will offer greater flexibility and performance, the 15" MBPr being the portable "powerhouse"

Unfortunately for me this scenario kills the Air, as in some circumstance I use one as a backup system; I need both USB ports, Thunderbolt and power, I don't see any easy solution to this with a single USB "C" as logically something has got to give...

Right now I am seriously thinking about getting a max`d out 11" before they stop producing them, or at very least the 256Gb model.



macrumors 604
Visited one of the major Apple stores here in China today, to checkout stock of the max`d out 11" Air, speaking with some of the Apple team, they recommended I hold off until after the 9th...

Talking with them about a "potential" 12" Air nothing was confirmed or denied, equally holding off on any purchase until after the 9th was reiterated. Speaking to them about USB (C) the consensus was that compatibility would be an issue, and Apple would bring a solution to market if that is the case.

What did come up in conversation was that by waiting the current model will likely be reduced in price while stocks last. Personally I found this comment most interesting as one, I had not discussed the price, two I had expressed concerns for my need of the present 11" port configuration.

Maybe nothing more than a speed bump, or maybe a new machine, we will see soon enough.



Staff member
May 3, 2009
I think the 13" MBP/MBA has too much overlap as it stands and the 13" rMBP has already been cannibalizing the MBA sales (specifically the 13" MBA) Its hard to justify for a 13" MBA right now with a slower processor, less ports, inferior screen and not that much lighter then the rMPB.


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
It sure seems as though there would be room for Apple to build a 13" rMBP with the 15w U-series chips. These are commonly used in ultrabooks today as chips that bridge the gap between extreme portability and battery life and enough computational power for the majority of users.

I would think that if the new MBA gets core M (of which I'm not convinced) then they could make a new 13" rMBP with the 15w processors that was thinner and lighter than the current model with better battery life. That would effectively take the place of today's MBA, and so users would have a choice between low-power but ultra-portable, and three flavors of MBP, from relatively low power to the workhorse of the 15" model with the 47w quad-core processors.