Will Apple ever make a laptop that will take 2.5" hard drive again?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CUsurfer, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. CUsurfer macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2010
    I think it's an interesting question, as there are a lot of us investing in 2.5" SSDs to place into our non-retina MBPs. I suppose you could still utilize the drive in a USB3/TB external enclosure but it would be nice to be able to reuse in a future installment of the MBP.

    Of course you can never know, but if you were to speculate: Will Apple phase out the non-retina MBP next year and move forward with the non-upgradeable, proprietary design of the MBPR? Is 2012 the last year of the "customizable" Apple laptop?
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    its certainly going to happen at some point but within a year? probably not. i don't think that the traditional MBPs will be phased out in 12 months, maybe 24-36 depending on the sales of the new Retina MBP. they could always keep them around unupdated just like the MacPros and only make modest changes as they gradually phase them out. still plenty of use for those purchased and as you said, always the option to toss them into an enclosure.
  3. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2012
    If you take apart a modern SSD you will see the for the most part the inside is empty, there is a lot of volume wasted by packaging the PCB inside of a box. In desktops this makes some sense because it's nice to be able to compartmentalize one's components rather than have unattached PCB's hanging off cables.

    However, in the mobile space the only reason that some manufacturers use the 2.5" form factor is that it allows they to use the same tooling for both SSD enabled and HDD laptops of the same model type. Otherwise it is much easier to just have the SSD plug directly into the SATA interface and save on the wasted volume inside the chassis.

    To answer your question I do think that the old bodied MBP will continue for another year. We are not yet at the stage where high resolution displays are cheap enough and SSDs are cheap enough that everyone will be willing to buy one. I would guess when Apple is able to fit a 512GB SSD and a retina display into the current MBP price bracket we will see the old MBP go the way of the dinosaurs and with it any utilization of the 2.5" storage form factor in Apple mobile devices.
  4. Aodhan macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    There is definitely still a market for the MBP. I had actually ordered a MBPR but after the ifixit teardown, I cancelled the order, and went for the new MBP. That teardown was a real eye-opener, God bless those people. Although I want portability, I use my MBPs as desktops mostly, so upgradeability and repairability is chief among my concerns.

    I hope Apple continues to offer the MBP alongside the MBPRs, or this may be my last Apple notebook.
  5. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Apple has demonstrated its preference to proprietary hardware. If locks in revenue.

    So, no you will not see it again.

    Apple has succeeded doing this where IBM failed 30 years ago. Ahhhh.... the circle of life.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I suppose that 'SSD sticks' like ones Apple uses now will become a standard in the near future. To allow user-upgradeability while reducing the form factor of computers we absolutely need new low-profile SSD and RAM modules. An 2.5 SSD is almost as thick as the entire rMBP. If you ask me, its a huge waste of space taken that same SSD could fit onto a small board as well.
  7. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I certainly think they will. I'm perfectly fine with Apple going to a proprietary design as long as they pick in design and stuck with so it makes it economical for aftermarket companies to come out with replacements. If they keep mucking with it every year do your only option is to buy their massively marked up drives I'll have a big issue with it.
  8. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    Given that the 2010-2011 MBA had the same proprietary connector and still only one company is selling them (at INFLATED prices I might add - yes OWC, it's criminal to charge DOUBLE for a 480gb SSD than current 512gb ssd prices), I wouldn't hold my breath for waiting for a reasonably priced 3rd party upgrade for the rMBP.
  9. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    Didn't they change it for the 2012's though? If they would leave it alone it may give some incentive for others to get in the game but changing it every couple of years kills it. If they would just come out and say here, we are using this now for all our notebook SSD's then we may get something. Of course it's going to be more expensive than a normal drive but maybe not the highway robbery Apple is getting away with.
  10. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    I dunno how OWC gets away with it, but one of Apple's OEM partners announced much more reasonably priced SSD upgrades when the 2010 MBA first came out. After a few cease & desist orders from Apple, it was the end of it. Since there's no industry 'standard' for this form factor, the cost to custom make these SSD's are just too high. When I buy another pro machine with this type of SSD, I will buy it with the mindset that it's un-upgradable. If we use OWC again as an example, they're currently selling their 480gb 2010/2011 MBA upgrade for $800. At that stupid price, I'm better off selling my 2011 MBA with 256gb ssd, then turning around and buying a 2012 MBA 13 with 512gb ssd from Apple. I don't see the '12 MBA/rMBP being any different when the 2013's come out.
  11. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Next year? I think 50/50. 2014 though 100% guaranteed. I think it's going to depend on the price of large SSDs next year and how iCloud shapes up w/ the rumored iTunes reboot. I think to go mainstream 512GB needs to be the standard size. Until then Apple will keep at least the 13" MBP around. I think the 15" is gone by end of Q2 2013 though.

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