Will MBA Ever Get Retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jw3571, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. jw3571 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    #1
    I've got a 5 year old MBA that i've really enjoyed. I've been waiting for Apple to release the retina on the MBA but i'm starting to feel like it's never going to happen. Should I just bite the bullet and get a MBP so I can get a retina?
     
  2. comics addict macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 16, 2013
    #2
    I recently moved from a non-Retina MacBook Pro to a early 2015 MacBook Air, both 13 inches. I saw and played with for a little while with both the retina MacBook as well as the MacBook Pro but unless your mainly doing photo or video editing on these machines I personally feel as if the retina premium is overrated. Have you by any chance compared them side by side?
     
  3. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #3
    I compared the rMB with MBA and I honestly can't say I feel like I'm missing something by not having a retina screen. My tablet has a retina kind of dpi but I use the tablet to read books while holding it close to my face. I generally don't hold my laptop close to my face ;)
     
  4. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The thing you need to realize is that there are still plenty of 15" laptops with 1376x768 resolution and people use them with no problems lol.
     
  5. dangerfish macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I personally think the MBA is on its last leg. I don't think we'll see another version. I think the next gen MBP will be thinner and then the MBA will go away.
     
  6. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I think there will be some consolidation in the Apple product lines. In particular, we're already seeing the successor to the MBA with the new MacBook. Give that some better specs, and bring the price down to something more reasonable, and who needs an Air? At the high end, the MBP will continue with high end specs and prices, and a larger display, and more desktop-like features. I also tend to think that the 13-inch rMBP will go away in favor of the upgraded MB. This would all give the two product lines good separation and differentiation, which is different than exists today. I'd love to see Apple come out with a 2 in 1 laptop, too, but Tim Cook has already said they wouldn't do that. Silly, really.
     
  7. jw3571 thread starter macrumors regular

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  8. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #8
    Hopefully early 2016. But probably in the spring.
     
  9. Starfia macrumors 6502

    Starfia

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    #9
    Having watched and listened to Apple's leadership for ages, it really looks to me like they decided to create the new MacBook instead of making any further updates to the MacBook Air. My prediction is that they'll discontinue the Air in 2016 or keep it in the lineup as-is or with an incremental update, while moving the new MacBook to centre stage, increasing its performance, and perhaps adding a second size model.
     
  10. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    For that to happen they would have to:

    • Significantly drop the price of rMB
    • Give up on hugely popular powerful ultrabooks market (passive cooling ain't gonna cut it for U chips)
    • Add at least one more port to current rMB.
     
  11. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #11
    I expect the current rMB to drop in price to $1199 or so as base model only (sort of like old iPhone models with 8GB storage), Air to be removed, Pros made thinner and new rMBs introduced.
     
  12. SmOgER, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015

    SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Unless you mean MBA being updated and renamed as new version of rMB (13-inch? 14-inch?) while keeping it's low price(which is unlikely), I don't get your reasoning.
    As it stands, MBA starts at $899 and is much more powerful than rMB.
    While 13" rMBP is in practice about as fast as MBA with only retina display being a substantial advantage, but it starts at a much more substantial $1299.
    The way I see it, MBA is one of it's kind and currently there is absolutely no way for Apple to discontinue it without big yearly revenue loss.

    What I would see them do though, is migrating 13" rMBP into MBA form factor, possibly renaming it to rMBA but keeping rMBP price tag with some clever advertising like keeping fancy features alike force feedback away from non-retina MBA and introducing new ones to rMBA (finger print scanner? high def camera? support for USB-C? DDR4?)
     
  13. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #13
    We'll see soon. But in any case it makes zero sense to have a laptop called Macbook Air that's heavier than a laptop called Macbook. Yes, I think there will be 12"/14" (or similar) rMB2 versions replacing Airs, and the price will not be low. Don't forget original price for Air was $1799.

    So my crystal ball tells me:

    rMB1 12"/8/256 $1199
    rMB2 12" $1449+
    rMB2 14" $1749+

    + Pro models that I have no clue what they will do with.

    Apple has been busy transforming itself into high fashion brand for quite a while. I don't think they care about having a $899 model. If you can't afford it, too bad. It's not like Macs are their main source of profits anyway.
     
  14. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    They can't afford to simply discontinue their best selling laptop. That would be a big punch, even for apple.
    As for the "Air" name in it, I don't see it being a problem for 13" MBA since it has a bigger screen to begin with, but with 11" MBA things indeed can get tricky having this naming scheme. They could rename it to non-retina 11" MB though.
     
  15. chasonstone macrumors regular

    chasonstone

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    Kentucky
    #15
    I don't know if they will, but I think that they should. Honestly the current line up is messy if you ask me. We have a "MacBook" that is thinner than the "MacBook Air" which is named after it's thinness, then the pros. I think they need to shift to something like:

    12" Retina MacBook Air (Essentially the current MacBook)
    13" Retina MacBook (Essentially the current MacBook Air w/ retina)
    15" Retina MacBook (Essentially the current MacBook Air only w/ retina and larger screen)
    13" Retina MacBook Pro
    15" Retina Macbook Pro

    Because as is it doesn't make sense they call one an "Air" when it is less portable than the MacBook. I think it would make sense to move the current Air design (plus retina) into the standard everyday user category, let people go for a 12" inch Air if they're willing to pay for portability and let them go to the pro if they're willing to sacrifice portability for performance. No matter what they do the MacBook Air is starting to lose its allure if they don't bring it into 2016 with a better screen.
     
  16. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #16
    Simply swapping names would be a bit odd though and it would confuse the part of the general public that doesn't come to Macrumors forums ;) Maybe they will be called Macbook S, Macbook and Macbook Pro. It's a weird transitional period now.
     
  17. chasonstone macrumors regular

    chasonstone

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    #17
    Before I moved to the Air I have now they actually did a name swap for the MacBook I had. I had the first Aluminum Unibody MacBook, then the next time they updated it it became a MacBook Pro and then there was no MacBook. I'm not saying it's a great solution or it won't cause some degree of confusion, but I think if they were to time it right and update the lineup they could tout the "all new 12 inch Macbook Air for ultimate portability" the "all new MacBook with Retina Display" (with possibly some other design tweaks) and the "MacBook Pro now with blabla whatever added feature/specs" Just from experience talking to people in the "general public" about MacBooks/Apple they don't even currently know the differences between the air and the macbook, or that the macbook even exists.

    It just makes 0 sense to me to have a computer touted as your "air" line when it's not even the most portable of your own lineup. Unless their intentions are to get rid of the air lineup all together once the Retina MacBook is more on par with performance and just have the MacBook and MacBook Pros. I think I would have even been more understanding of a Macbook Mini, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro naming scheme as it would at least match what they've done with the iPad lineup. To be honest, I love Apple and their stuff but they're just really not that great when it comes to naming their products and they're not even consistent with it. Phones go Number/Number Plus and then iPads go Mini/Air/Pro without numbers indicating generations then computers go MacBook/Air/Pro. Why not iPhone / iPhone Pro, iPad Mini / iPad / iPad Pro, Macbook Mini / Macbook / Macbook Pro. The "Air" name is relatively pointless when they're not the smallest most portable option in a given lineup so just lose it all together across the board.
     
  18. chasonstone macrumors regular

    chasonstone

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    Dec 24, 2010
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    #18
    Before I moved to the Air I have now they actually did a name swap for the MacBook I had. I had the first Aluminum Unibody MacBook, then the next time they updated it it became a MacBook Pro and then there was no MacBook. I'm not saying it's a great solution or it won't cause some degree of confusion, but I think if they were to time it right and update the lineup they could tout the "all new 12 inch Macbook Air for ultimate portability" the "all new MacBook with Retina Display" (with possibly some other design tweaks) and the "MacBook Pro now with blabla whatever added feature/specs" Just from experience talking to people in the "general public" about MacBooks/Apple they don't even currently know the differences between the air and the macbook, or that the macbook even exists.

    It just makes 0 sense to me to have a computer touted as your "air" line when it's not even the most portable of your own lineup. Unless their intentions are to get rid of the air lineup all together once the Retina MacBook is more on par with performance and just have the MacBook and MacBook Pros. I think I would have even been more understanding of a Macbook Mini, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro naming scheme as it would at least match what they've done with the iPad lineup. To be honest, I love Apple and their stuff but they're just really not that great when it comes to naming their products and they're not even consistent with it. Phones go Number/Number Plus and then iPads go Mini/Air/Pro without numbers indicating generations then computers go MacBook/Air/Pro. Why not iPhone / iPhone Pro, iPad Mini / iPad / iPad Pro, Macbook Mini / Macbook / Macbook Pro. The "Air" name is relatively pointless when they're not the smallest most portable option in a given lineup so just lose it all together across the board.
     
  19. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #19
    Absolutely agreed. I wish they would just make up their mind with naming and I don't understand why it seems so difficult. And, yes, they could keep something resembling Air in the line-up but I would expect it to get a redesign of SOME sort. (The dreaded "thinner" word...)
     
  20. SmOgER macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Which brings us to next point. If Apple wanted to get rid of air, the current rMB would already be named rMBA without confusing people.
     
  21. Solomani macrumors 68030

    Solomani

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    #21
    MacBook Helium?

    Because there's only a few things lighter than Air.
     
  22. cincygolfgrrl, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015

    cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #22
    The name MacBook Air has a seven year head start on the new retina MacBook. I don't understand all the angst over "Why do they still call it an Air when it's not the thinnest, lightest MacBook?" It sounds like y'all want to retroactively rename the MBA to MacBook Medium or something.

    As to the original question, I think the MBA fills a pretty large niche as is. Cramming a retina screen into it doesn't seem important to me. Also, as long as that niche exists it would be financially silly for Apple to discontinue the MBA at this time.

    Does anyone have a feel for how the rMB is selling?
     
  23. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    #23
    I read somewhere rMB is the best selling Mac. No idea what that means in terms of numbers.
     
  24. Starfia macrumors 6502

    Starfia

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    Apr 11, 2011
    #24
    … Well, we'll see. I believe you on the first one – the original entry-level Air was well over $1500, and chipping away at that seemed like priority one for them.

    Leaving one Air in wouldn't be giving up on the market, right?

    And the port? Ermmm… I don't know. I understand where you're coming from; I'm just saying it's hard to believe that's what will really happen, having watched them.
     
  25. MacLC macrumors 6502

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    Oct 18, 2013
    #25
    Great point. 15.6" seems to be a breeding ground for that microscopic resolution.

    Regarding the original question, I remember when CD-R and later DVD+/-R were expensive options people hoped would one day hit iMacs and iBooks. Same with SSDs. Retina is the eventual destination for all displays in all lines. The question is if the transition will take weeks or years.
     

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