If the MBA is discontinued, how will we know?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wildjohn999, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. wildjohn999 macrumors member

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    #1
    If Apple discontinues the MBA, how does it communicate this to the consumer?

    The wiki for the Powerbook, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook#Discontinuation, says Apple just introduced the new MBP series which signaled the end of the Powerbook.

    So if Apple does kill off the MBA what will be the sign? The introduction of:

    -The iPad
    -The low cost 2.4 MBP
    -The redesigned Mini

    Or the boiling of the seas and rain made of blood?

    What say you?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    When MBA is no longer available, it has been discontinued. PowerBook to MBP was pretty much renamed product as they serve the same purpose
     
  3. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

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    #3
    Knowing Apple it will just no longer appear in the store.
     
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #4
    That's right. My Powerbook G4 and its replacement, a Santa Rosa MBP look exactly alike externally, except for the placement of the ports. Shifting from the PowerPC chip to the then new Intel Core Duo was a big deal, of course, but everything else was pretty marginal. In stark contrast, the MBA has a much sleeker form factor than the MBP, the 13 inch model of which weighs 50 percent more than the MBA. That's not to say that Apple might not discontinue the MBA without notice but I don't think the Powerbook's being replaced by the original MBP tell us much, if anything, about what Apple might do with the MBA.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    Maybe Apple will release MacBook Helium which is even lighter :D
     
  6. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Yeah, a redesigned MBA would just about have to be helium filled to be lighter than it is now, wouldn't it? Where the MBA is concerned, like Kansas City in the old song from the musical, Oklahoma, "They've gone about as far as they can go."
     
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

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    #7
    you won't be able to buy it no more.

    (and the value of existing Airs will increase)
     
  8. soph macrumors regular

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    #8
    And then we'll end up with Hydrogen, which is a somewhat old hype by now... :cool:
     
  9. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #9
    Now there's an explosive idea.:)
     
  10. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #10
    Apple seems to be at a dead-end with the Air. There is only so much they can do with it. It is already unibody, as thin as possible, and the CPU speeds can't increase too much without the device starting on fire.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    They can add Core i7 but it would be misleading as only high-end 15" and 17" have it. Just give it a price cut, better battery and put SSD in every model, that will make more attractive and can really battle with 13" MBP
     
  12. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #12
    How do you think the Air would cool with a i7? Are there ultra-low voltage versions of the i7 CPU? I ask because my Air with its 1.6GHz C2D hit 214 fahrenheit doing a simple file encoding in a cool room. I immediately lost faith in the Air's cooling abilities at that moment.
     
  13. soph macrumors regular

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    #13
    Groundbreaking :)
     
  14. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    All this discussion adds to my perception that they may find many advantages to "redefining" it, in one or 2 or 3 relatively big ways.

    Which doesn't have to mean no MB-like "bump"" for the 2nd half of 2010... but that seems to be a decision they probably have made.

    A non-minor redesign could solve any number of real and perceived problems for them. Boost battery life and cram in 3G etc. without seeming to be backsliding on weight or thickness (esp. if they rename it, too).

    STALLING, alone, could open up 2 possibilities: Maybe their server farm's up and running by then, and the 2 things combine really well.
    And maybe the price of the 256 SSD is down by early 2011?

    As for "PERCEIVED" problems, not real ones (but marketing may want to deal with perceptions too)... maybe a big revision that more-clearly "positions" the Air higher, helps clarify that it's farther from the iPad... and clarifies that it's worth it.

    Throwing in a few new goodies in the design, could help both perceptual (and real) problem-solving by "repositioning".

    But I wonder... would Apple hesitate to throw in any feature that their heavier notebooks do not have? (3G, 3-4G, touch screen, new jack type?)

    Source of hope: The original Air WAS allowed to get out in front of the other Macbooks in a couple of ways... the solid case and the trackpad gestures.

    But, would Apple these days, let the Air get out in front, again?

    I suspect that the answer could be "yes" for each goodie, except 3G. Put 3G in your one laptop (Air), and your excuses for continuing to stall on this sorely-needed feature with your other laptops, evaporates. (Or, at least, the others need to catch up, soon.)

    The idea that all we'd need for communication is Wi-Fi, was just cyber-evangelist twaddle. Nearly all personal wi-fi's in my experience have become locked, and most of these Municipal Wi-Fi schemes seem to have never actually got built (including in my home town, which announced but never built it).

    The idea that a laptop has no need for 3G, or 3-4G; because Wi-Fi alone does that job, is just hippy-dippy nonsense. Apple has essentially admitted to knowing this, when they offered 3G as an option in the iPad.

    When Rip Van Jobs will awaken to this need in the laptops, is anyone's guess.
     
  15. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #15
    I can't see Apple ever putting 3G in a laptop. I think they want to keep their mobile-carrier based devices all running iOS.
     
  16. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    Ipad w/ iOS is available with 3G.

    So, what's the barrier to combining those 2 things?

    Catching up with the rest of the world on offering a cellular modem in their laptops, could be the single best thing they could do to pep up the Mac part of that pie chart, that came out a few weeks ago. Right now, their oddball failure to offer it, is turning away a whole segment of would-be customers. I'm surprised that Apple's Board has allowed this situation to continue so long. Of course now iOS money's flooded in, and the stock price is sky high. But that doesn't mean that the no-cellular-modem stubbornness is rational, or even consistent with the Board's and management's fiduciary duties.
     
  17. Yinmay macrumors regular

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    #17
    The case is fine. The components aren't (anymore).

    i5-540UM
    4GB DD3
    128GB SSD
    3G chip
    Intel integrated graphics

    BTO:
    i7-660UM
    256GB SSD
    Blu-Ray external drive (which would also benefit the new Mac Mini server)
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Apple said their opinion about Intel IGP when they updated 13" MBP, I doubt they will change it. No way they can stick discrete graphics in it as it needs Southbridge, I think (integrated into 9400M but if discrete chip is used, it has to be a dedicated chip like found in 15" MBP as the chipset ain't coming from NVidia. UM series would also be nearly a downgrade, especially when thinking about graphics performance. It would need to be LM to be an upgrade
     
  19. Yinmay macrumors regular

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    #19
    Agreed, LM would be better but I have no idea whether the MBA can handle it (TDP and temperature).

    Graphics options: it's understandable for the MBP. It's a more versatile entertainment laptop with built-in optical drive.
    Intel's solution however is enough for 1080 video playback, and anything short of gaming and video editing.

    There's clearly no room and too much heat generation to fit anything else in a MBA case, and Intel IGP is here to stay at least in the next 3 years.
    If Apple doesn't accept it, we can already and officially declare the MBA dead.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    LM would be de-throttled just like current CPUs are (according to Scottsdale) so it wouldn't run at the speed it's advertised to run at. 9400M now has both bridges integrated in it and has TDP of 12W. LM is 8W hotter than SL but has GPU and Northbridge integrated in it. It still needs Southbridge which is 3.5W if I recall correctly. Both would end up being 28W-29W. Correct me if I'm wrong

    I think the Intel IGPs are here to stay. All mainstream CPUs will have them along with Sandy Bridge, only high-end and Xeons are left without. Intel is integrating everything into the CPU. It now has GPU and Northbridge, they were dedicated before. Why not? Can't remember was it AMD or Intel who demoed the GPU with integrated CPU, it was like size of ATI 5970 but had both, good GPU and CPU.

    Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion are bringing much better IGPs so at least I'm looking forward of seeing them in all Macs
     
  21. Jonowebster macrumors newbie

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    #21
    Agreed. Chances are..
     
  22. wildjohn999 thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    Who does the MBA become for valuable for, collectors, the owner, Apple?

    If the MBA is tomb-stoned it will definitely be replaced by a MBP or be used until it gets broken and thrown out.
     
  23. wildjohn999 thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    Actually the RAM amount isn't fine anymore. I would be happier with my MBA if Apple provided me a way to upgrade the MBA to 4GB of RAM. Maybe mail in service or logic board trade at an Apple Store? With 4GB of RAM my MBA 2.13 would be perfect for my needs.
     
  24. macgrl macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I can't say that I am as tech savvy as a lot of people that have posted here. So forgive my ignorance. Is the basic problem with releasing a MBA that it would be very hard for apple to upgrade the performance whilst still keeping the same weight and size and also not creating other problems like heat?

    Have they painted them selves into a corner?
     
  25. thinkdesign macrumors 6502

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    It's the end of June.

    If they were willing to tweak it like they did the MB, or a slightly fancier tweak with changing throttling, would they not have done it by now? Why do a bump or bump/tweak in order to sell it for under 6 months?

    (Personally I wish they would 'cause I need to buy right now, but does Apple have any history of doing a big revision, PRECEDED by a bump/etc. which they sold for 6 months or less?)

    Small question.... is there even space available in the current Air, to cram in a 3G modem? Not that they'd do it,, if there was room... just wondering.

    ----

    It's fascinating to read all the individual variations on how to improve the recipe for the Air, but timing is part of it, too. If the next new recipe is leaving Apple's kitchen in Jan. 2011, then perhaps certain tweak options might even get rejected as too small.

    Once the CPU/GPU combo has to change, they may decide: "If this is the first Air model with big changes, let's think big then. Change any number of things... 'redefine'/'reposition' if needed, so we don't have to do a major revision for several more years."

    Or, the timing of a "big revision" could be stalled longer and longer.

    Management could decide "No big revision UNTIL it can be in a huge new package of changes with: 1.) we're ready to do touch-screens, or, 2.) we're ready to do 3-4G, or, 3.) we're ready to link to the server farm, or, 4.) we're ready to have an expanded iOS for the Air, or, 5.) we can design our own chip for it. Or, any combination of those leaps forward. Or, we do the big revision only when they can do all of those 5 big things.

    The more they stall in anticipation of bigger and bigger internal changes that redefine it, if they do those big changes one day -- the more the straightjacket of 3.0 lbs and certain dimensions, goes away. Because it's not an Air any more, it's a new thing whose boffo new features are perceived as OK tradeoffs for an extra 2 oz. or an extra 1/4".


    Unfortunately for those of us tearing our hair out, needing to buy this year -- Apple's planning timetable for the Air is working badly against us.

    I DO agree with the eminence gris Scottsdale's prediction, that Apple won't drop it... even if that means it morphs into something a little post-Air.

    They can't make a range of laptops that are all obese. History ain't going that way.
     

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