Why a 15″ MacBook Air Won’t Kill the MacBook Pro
Apple will release a 15″ MacBook Air in April that will kill off the MacBook Pro, according to an unnamed accessory maker.
We’ve heard about a larger MacBook Air before, but that rumor claimed it might be a 14″ model. This rumor says that Apple will add a third size to the wildly popular MacBook Air lineup with a larger 15″ screen.
As usual Apple will not confirm the rumor, but according earlier reports OEM suppliers said parts were in the works for a larger MacBook Air. Now an unnamed dock maker claims to know one will come next month.
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that we might see an update in the MacBook lineup this spring. Apple often refreshes their lineup early in the year and then later in the summer. Throw in the sales figures of the Air and you can understand why Apple may want to expand the lineup to hit a new segment of the consumer market that previously avoided the thinner machine due to limited screen size.
This rumor includes three assumptions that all must be true for it to prove accurate.
- A new MacBook will show up in April.
- The new MacBook will be a 15″ Air
- The new 15″ Air will kill off the 15″ MacBook Pro
We dealt with the first assumption above. If Apple follows past practices, then they will likely release a new MacBook this spring. Why not April?
Lets turn to the second assumption.
When Apple updated the MacBook Air in late 2010, sales soared. The form factor became wildly popular, probably for two reasons. First, the $999 price drew people to the machine but Apple had the low-end MacBook at that price point. The ultra thin form factor added to the popularity. Great battery life and the fast SSD sealed the deal because you now have a high-quality ultra-mobile laptop at a reasonable price.
Releasing a 15″ model would not surprise anyone. Why not capitalize on the form factor’s popularity with a third model to grab another segment of the notebook market?
It makes sense, but one alternate view could explain the rumors. Maybe Apple will redesign the MacBook Pro to look more like the Air. That seems more likely.
People love the Air’s form factor, but too many people still need a powerful laptop for gaming, content creation in the video, photo and audio sectors, and for those with needing more storage space than the maximum storage of 256GB available on current MacBook Airs. These people will never settle for integrated graphics or small SSDs. However, if Apple could find a way to make the MacBook Pro look sleeker, more Air-like, while retaining the power of the Pro, then they will.
Wether Apple plans to redesign the 15″ MacBook Pro to look more like a MacBook Air or they plan to release a 15″ MacBook Air, the third assumption doesn’t hold up. I don’t think Apple will leave their creative professionals behind by dropping the MacBook Pro like they did the white MacBook.
The white MacBook died because the Air offered more power at the same price. Even a 15″ Air won’t do all a 15″ Pro will do, so it won’t go anywhere anytime soon.