MBA cannibalizing MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by KohPhiPhi, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #1
    I've been thinking about how it's perfectly possible that, over the following year or two, the MBA family might totally cannibalize the MBP family, just like the MBP 13" recently cannibalized the Macbook White 13".

    Here are my thoughts:

    1) We've seen how MBA 13" can match MBP 13" component-wise (Sandy Bridge i7, HD 3000, 6-hour battery life, etc), so there's no reason as of why a hypothetical MBA 15" and MBA 17" couldn't match a MBP 15" or 17".

    2) Hard Drives and DVDs are aging technology, and it won't be long until Apples phase them out completely. So, if they remove HD and DVD from a MBP, we get... a MBA, basically.

    3) Marketing and logistics wise, it's counter-productive for a company to have over-lapping products that cannibalize each other's sales. Let's face it: the MBA 13" is a direct competitor to MBP 13" now that both are equipped with the same processor. Apple already ditched the Macbook White for this reason (it overlapped with MBP 13").


    So I was wondering: couldn't it be possible (or even beneficial!) that Apple could release sometime in the future a MBA 15" and 17", and get rid of the MBP family altogether? or at least unify them in some way? Now that the performance gap between MBP 13" and MBA 13" is basically non-existent, why not merge them? and why not do the same with the 15" and 17"?

    I foresee Apple unifying both product ranges into one in a not-so-distant future... Opinions?
     
  2. anonymous6237 macrumors 6502

    anonymous6237

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    #2
    My guess is they actually further separate them. There's a ton of room inside a 15 or 17 MBP that just simply wont work inside a 15 or 17 MBA. My thoughts are this:

    1) Apple releases an ultraportable 15" MBA close to the same specs as the low to mid current 15" MBP.

    2) The 13" MBP is killed off. If you want a laptop that small you buy a MBA.

    3) The 15" and 17" MBPs are given some added muscle to further separate them from the MBA line.

    This way apple is establishing the Consumer|Professional line a bit more firm. The current MBAs are more than enough for 95% of users to use them as their primary machines. Add a 15" to that lineup and almost no regular consumer needs the pro.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    The only MacBook Pro whose future is uncertain is the 13". I suspect it will become the "budget" Mac since it still offers a hard drive. Apple sees the future of notebooks in products like the Air, and it makes good margins on them. Heck, even Intel is pushing the concept with the "Ultrabook" spec. Top PC manufacturers like ASUS and HP will be introducing similar products over the coming months. Apple is well positioned to take advantage of this trend, since they started the trend in the first place.
     
  4. KohPhiPhi thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #4
    Precisely my point. Apple, as an efficient company, will not keep up an entire product range (MBP) if the MBA already satisfies 95% of its client base.

    Over-lapping products are a nightmare for marketing, stocking, logistics, etc. So, if now that MBA has caught up with MBP specs-wise... why won't the MBP be next Macbook White? (meaning the next one to be discontinued).

    As soon as Hard Drives and DVDs become obsolete (which are becoming pretty fast), can we really justify a MBP 13" over a MBA 13"? and what if there were a MBA 15 and 17"? The entire MBP family would become redundant.
     
  5. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #5
    I will agree when Apple makes the Air up-gradable ... until then the MBP rules
     
  6. anonymous6237, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    anonymous6237 macrumors 6502

    anonymous6237

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    #6
    I think the MBP 13" will be gone relatively soon. As for the 15" and 17"? I think there are enough people out there willing to shell out the cash for top of the line (whether they need it or not) to justify keeping a super powerful laptop around. Basically turn those into the Mac Pro of their notebook line. There are still graphic design/video professionals out there who need the power in portable form.
     
  7. afireintonto macrumors 6502a

    afireintonto

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    Portland
    #7
    fixed.

    seriously though, the pro line is going to look just like the air line here soon. So, whenever that change happens, the 13" pro will be no more.
     
  8. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2011
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Good assessment.

    Heres my guess.

    I think the 13" Air is the new 13" Pro. No more 13" Pro's after 2011. The next 15" and 17" will be a different type of thin design than the Air's I think.

    11" Macbook Air
    13" Macbook Air
    15" Macbook Pro, and 17" Macbook Pro (Not tapered, but just thinned out all over.)
     
  9. KohPhiPhi thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #9
    Do you realize that not even a 5% of users ever open up and upgrade their laptops, right? Upgradability is a moot point if hardly anyone makes use of it.
     
  10. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #10
    Very unlikely, the Air's screen is not good enough yet. Many people need a 13" with a much better screen than that.
     
  11. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #11
    The 13" display on the Air is higher resolution than the 13" MBP's display. So, why's the Air's display worse?
     
  12. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

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    #12
    Last time I checked the Air has a better screen than the pro.
     
  13. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #13
    can you reliably source that figure please?
     
  14. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Color reproduction - drastically worse

    Only in resolution, not in anything else.
     
  15. OSMac macrumors 65816

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    Jun 14, 2010
    #15
    For now the Air is king, I think the next MB Pro refresh will cut back into Air sales.

    The Airs poorer screen, lack of ram expansion, lack of ports all work against it.

    The Pro needs a redesign, drop the DVD , decrease the weight add an IPS screen option.
     
  16. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Come on, there is more to a screen than it's resolution.
     
  17. schemula, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

    schemula macrumors newbie

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    Atlanta
    #17
    depends...

    I have a 2011 17" MBP and an 2011 11" Air.

    There is very little overlap in the way I use them.

    I treat my 17" like a desktop. Rarely moves, but I could move it if need be.

    For meetings and couch surfing and looking a docs while I'm programming, and anything I would have used an iPad for... I love my Air.

    I would think Air hurts higher end iPad sales if anything.

    A lot of people do not need MBP power, and they are powerful now. My 17" benches about like my i7 920 windows desktop from about 2 years ago. Amazing. So in that sense, it makes sense to offer 11, 13 and 15 inch Airs and 15 and 17 inch MBPs.

    Need a video card, 8GB ram and a quad core chip? MBP.

    For everyone else, and it's probably a majority of the people, the Air line up is fine, esp when they introduce the 15" models.

    13" MBP can die unless they can get the price into the sub $1000 area, which they probably won't do.

    I don't see a need for a 17" Air, but I'm not Apple.
     
  18. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

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    #18

    I second that!

    I love the new MacBook Air's but, without a screen like on the MacBook Pro, I will never buy one!
     
  19. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #19
    That's interesting. I hadn't seen it mentioned in any other threads where people had switched from an MBP, I guess some people are more sensitive than others.

    I know, I was wondering what was so bad about the screen given that it's already got the advantage of a higher pixel density.
     
  20. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

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    Jun 23, 2011
    #20
    The High Resolution of the MacBook Air isn't everything. With a reduction in just about every other category.

    With the better color gamut (color reproduction), brighter colors, deeper blacks, and the fact that everything just "Pop's More" on a MacBook Pro screen. I'd gladly take a small reduction in resolution... or not i.e. (15" MacBook Pro Hi - Res):)
     
  21. adnoh macrumors 6502a

    adnoh

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    Nov 14, 2010
    #21
    Exactly!

    The MBP screen is still noticeably much more vibrant than the MBA. Resolution isnt everything.

    I think the next MBP refresh will put a dedicated GPU in the 13 a la Mac mini. Then we'll have some differentiation.
     
  22. schemula macrumors newbie

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    Atlanta
    #22
    I have my 2011 11" LG screen looking ok, not great, the whites are perpetually off compared to any of my other screens, even with calibration, but the blacks are crushed. Then again it's not my main design laptop.

    Apple should put IPS screens in the MBP and definitely make sticking an HD in the Drive slot
     
  23. fyrefly macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2004
    #23
    Not sure where you're getting your info from, but the 13" Air has better blacks, whites, contrast and colour accuracy, at least according to Anand:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The only place the 13" MBP beats the Air is in Colour Gamut:

    [​IMG]

    Besides, if you're gonna do any print work - you won't want the glossy screen on the MBA or the 13" MBP.
     
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #24
    Hey, they both survived that plane crash in the Andes, and were told Steve Jobs wasn't coming to rescue them. Whitebook didn't make it, but I'm sure he would have wanted Air and Pro to live. Quit obsessing on the cannibalism, and just celebrate the fact that the Air lived through another product refresh.






    Damn, I'm hungry now!:eek::D
     
  25. Kafka macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #25
    I had seen the anandtech review before, but when I put my 2011 MBA 13" next to my 2011 MBP 13" I don't know what to think of these charts...

    After trying a bunch of calibration profiles I managed to get the MBA display real close to the MBP but then I'm loosing much detail in dark areas.
    For example on this page of the anand review, half way down the page there are pictures of the MBA, checking the viewing angles: on all of them I can distinguish the keyboard, table etc much better on my MBP, no matter what calibration I use on the MBA (the most pleasing calibration I've found for it actually makes the keyboard almost invisible...).

    But whatever, it just hit me: it may have whiter whites and blacker blacks according to anand, but if there is less in between, the argument is irrelevant.
     

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