The Future of the Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Chris5488, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. Chris5488 macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Just for fun, a little speculation about the next Macbook:

    I think Apple might ditch the Airs and rMBP's in about a few years. Maybe in 2015 or 2016 we could see Apple returning to only 1 Macbook :).
    No Airs, no Pro's, no Retina's, just 1 notebook (-design) offered in 11", 13", 15" (and maybe 17"??) and different hardware configurations to be able to offer slower/cheap ones and powerful/expensive ones.

    We're in a different time now (or WILL BE), so we need to think different too.

    • Pro's were invented alongside the plastic Macbook because Apple got it's hands on those fancy (and much more powerfull) Intel processors. The plastic Macbooks weren't build to house top-of-the-line Intels while Apple's new love for aluminum was too expensive for the cheap Macbooks. Therefore a pricier, but cutting-edge notebook was born alongside the Macbook: the Macbook Pro.
    • Airs were invented alongside the Pro's (or replaced the plastic Macbooks) because the thin design could only be offered on (slower) power-efficiënt machines while the Pro still offered the ports, optical drive and power.
    • Retina's were invented alongside the Airs (or are replacing the Pro's) because the Retina-display is so expensive it could only be offered on expensive Macbooks. Therefore the Macbook Pro got it alongside a new design to house enough battery and powerful hardware which weren't possible in an Air

    But what's the excuse now? Almost every reason of Air's existence has been caught up by the (retina) Pro (thin design, ditched drive and ports). The difference between the 2 notebooks has become small and now that people are asking for retina displays in Air's (which we might see eventually) the difference will be too small for people to known which machine they want. Even the (perceivable) difference in power, and the demand of more power, was never as small/low as now, thanks to the ever-fast SSD's. Sum it up with increasingly more efficient CPU's and the Air could be equipped with as much power as a Pro, The size/design won't be bottleneck anymore. A 13" Retina Air vs. a 13" Retina Pro... a tougher choice between the "cheap" and "Pro" Macbook than it ever was.

    Therefore there won't be a reason anymore to keep offering 2 different machines. 1 machine offered in all sizes and hardware configurations to satisfy those who demand power and those who don't want to spend as much. It's a more unified Mac-line, cleaner Mac-line and a simpler or more accessible choice for future customers. It'll be an icon (with a new catchy name of course, "Mac" has been ditched out of "Mac OS X" already...), like the cMBP was and therefore strong in a market were competitors are closing in to Apple.

    ^THAT, or Apple finds something new (Carbon-fiber?) people are willing to pay for and is too expensive to use in the cheaper Macbook. Crazy talk? Tell your opinion or prediction!
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    First the Pro wasn't "invented" in the way you suggest. For the few years prior to intel process, Apple had the iBook (plastic) and PowerBook (titanium then aluminum). The iBook became the MacBook and the PowerBook became the MacBook Pro.

    As for Pro vs rMBP. I suspect we'll see the non-retina MBP discontinued in the near future. And as for Air vs rMBP, remember the Air is using a slower processor and is designed for very long battery life. Until they can design a MacBook Pro that meets the battery life of the Air, you will have Airs and MBPs.
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    While there are some overlap, the mission of MBA is to be the smallest and lightest portable Mac, while still being very usable. The mission of MBP, on the other hand, is to bring desktop-class performance on a portable form factor.

    I think in 1-2 years:
    1. Classic MacBook Pro will be completely phased out
    2. MacBook Air will gain retina display, possibly merged into single model 12.5-inch display
    3. Retina MacBook Pro will be cheaper while sporting larger flash storage
  4. Chris5488, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

    Chris5488 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I think you're right about Apple offering a cheaper device with more batterylife alongside an expensive/powerfull device. But the question I'm asking is: "Will it still be relevant to have 2 different Macbooks/designs to offer that, when they both go retina?". I don't think so.

    The Pro today is more or less as thick as the Air on it's thickest point (and don't forget retina -> thicker for the Air...), the Pro isn't more durable than the Air, the Pro isn't build from a different material, the Pro doesn't boast a feature which defines the "Pro" (not when the Air will go retina it won't),... The only real difference between the devices will be the power they can offer (vs. battery life), and even that isn't as important anymore now both devices offer those snappy SSD's.

    I think 1 design can offer the same as those 2 designs currently offer (when Air goes retina). I believe 1 design can offer cheaper (more power efficiënt) configurations and more expensive (more powerfull) configurations, just like current Macbooks can be configured.

    A more powerfull configuration will not be as efficiënt as a cheaper configuration, but that's no different than it is today as we can see between an Air and Pro.

    In the post-pc era, when Retina becomes the standard at Apple and notebooks are almost as thin as they can get, what's still left to differentiate a more premium device between a cheaper device and asks for a different design?

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