Theory about the rumored 12" MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jdechko, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Hey everyone. I had a crazy thought while listening to last week's ATP.

    With all the buzz surrounding the rumored 12" Air, I came up with an interesting (I think) theory.

    What if the 12" Air and the iPad Pro are one and the same? Given the rumors and the recent update to the Air, it makes a lot of sense to me.

    1) The new Air is rumored to have a 11.8" retina screen. There are also rumors of the Air moving to ARM, and being fan-less (just like the iPad. ;))

    2) We have heard talk of an iPad Pro, but we aren't sure what that means.

    3) Apple just released new Airs, with a price drop and a CPU bump. Why do that if they're going to scrap the existing line?

    4) Speaking of existing lines, Apple likes it's patterns in product line ups.
    iPad screen sizes: 8" (mini) -> 10" (Air)
    Laptop sizes: 11" -> 13" -> 15" -> (17)

    A 12" screen fits much better in the iPad lineup than it does in the laptop line up.

    So what do you think? Do you think the 12" MacBook Air could actually be the 12" iPad Pro?
  2. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010

    The iPad Pro is a joke. The 12" Air will have an amazing retina screen in the body of the 11" MBA. It will be amazing. ;)
  3. kelon111 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2013
    What do you mean when you say that the iPad Pro is a joke?
  4. FuNGi macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2010
    I personally think the idea of it is a joke. As in ridiculous marketing.

    The "pro" moniker gets tacked onto a tablet. The iPad is more toy than tool.
  5. MTL18 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2013
    I think the simplest answer is that Apple needed the broadwell processor to use even less battery so the retina screen can eat the difference. Thus you could get a retina without a compromised battery life. The delay of Broadwell had delayed this computer so you get a simple refresh.

    I believe it is coming, you just have to wait for the next-gen processors.
  6. BayouTiger macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2008
    New Orleans
    You're doing it wrong!

    The iPad is a phenomenal tool. We use it for everything from spreadsheets to presentations, to expense reports to submittal drawing review. Most of my outside people don't even carry a laptop any more.

    Your statement is pretty short sighted.
  7. GreenWater macrumors member


    Jul 30, 2013
    Venice, CA
    The iPad has excellent business tool functions so I think your assessment might be personal.


    I would like this new 12" to have built in 4G
  8. suprakc macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2013
    iPad definitely not a toy. It can be. But so can a Mac. I often do spreadsheets and data analysis on iPad, using Numbers. Very easy, very fast. (But I prefer large projects on Mac).

    I think that's a cool theory, though. Personally I'm stoked on the silent update MacBook Air. I think it is a great value for a very proven, time-tested machine that to this day is the sexiest computer out there. So... I will most likely end up with that over an updated rMBA - value, durability.
  9. copa macrumors member


    Nov 8, 2013
    OS X and iOS are fundamentally different despite their many UX similarities.

    Macs run on Intel chips while iOS runs on ARM chips and they are not interchangeable.
    If the next Mac got an ARM chip á la iOS, not a single current Mac application would be functional. Every single Mac app would have to be rewritten from the ground up. Similarly with iOS. If the next iPad were to get an Intel chip no current iOS-app could run on it.

    iOS can't run on Mac hardware natively.
    OS X can't on iOS hardware natively.

    One of the better reasons why a 12 inch OS X iPad doesn't make sense.
  10. MyopicPaideia, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Wow, this is totally backwards - it should read:

    OS X and iOS or fundamentally the same despite their many UX differences.

    iOS is OS X. The main real difference between the two is the Cocoa API for OS X and the Cocoa Touch API for iOS.

    ARM compatibility is a couple of click recompile process for the vast majority of OS X developers out there, and if both ARM and x86 architecture binaries were mandatory to be in the MAS, you'd see 99% of all apps available for ARM within 6 months. Yes even Office, especially Office in fact.

    The basics of OS X already are running on ARM as the same kernel is shared between the two - as I said, iOS is OS X.

    But I do agree with you that an iPad form factor will never run the desktop OS. The same way that a clamshell form factor will never run the tablet OS. To the original poster, it could very well be that the rumours relating to iPad Pro and to the 12" MBA are actually relating to the same machine, it has just been misinterpreted by the "analysts." In fact it is quite likely that this did happen. But we are all pretty sure that in fact it was the newly radically designed MBA that all of this was referring to in the first place.
  11. jdechko thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Of course. I didn't mean to imply that I thought the 12" iPad pro in an air form factor would run the desktop version of Mac OSX. On the contrary,I think that IOS would likely be the operating system. But I can see how it could read that way. Although Apple could probably port OSX to arm of they wanted to, and I wouldn't be shocked to find out that it already had been.

    Anyway, I know some people have said they wanted an air form factor machine that runs IOS, and that's kind of where I'm coming from even if it's not something I'd want personally.
  12. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    There's a major oversight in that statement: user interface. While getting an OSX application to run on ARM is doable without too much fuss, the interface needs to be redesigned entirely for touch.

    Let's not forget about size and RAM requirements either, running pro-grade OSX applications "as is" on ARM will never happen unless a lot of features are left out (see Photoshop CC and Photoshop Touch differences).

    Also, touch screens are fun, but they're an abomination for pro usage - you'd never get anything done faster or better with them in a professional context, especially if apps are dumbed down to push the touch screen card to the max.

    This to say, I'm all for a larger "pro" iPad/touch MBA (it'd be about time Wacom gets some serious Cintix competition), but I don't see this being more than a toy at the end of the day - as far as professional utility goes.
  13. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I think you've completely misunderstood. ARM does not equal iOS, touch screens, or iDevices. I am talking about a laptop that runs the exact same OSX that is running now on Macs. I am talking about an architecture change, not about some kind of hybrid iPad/Laptop weirdness.

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