Apple has been expected to discontinue its standard MacBook Pros for quite some time in favor of an all Retina lineup. After Apple announced and subsequently released updated Retina MacBook Pros last October, the company cut the price of the entry level 13-inch Retina model to $1,299 - just $100 more than the non-Retina version.
The company is also expected to update its 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros in the future with Intel's forthcoming Broadwell chips, however the exact timing of those updates remains uncertain and differs for both models. While chips for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro are not expected to launch until the first quarter of 2015, chips for the 15-inch models are expected to be released at certain points throughout 2014. Rumors have also suggested that Apple is working on a 12-inch Retina notebook for the middle of this year.
Tuesday January 28, 2014 6:57 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Industry-wide notebook shipments will continue to decline in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. Revised estimates predict shipments from all vendors, including Apple, will reach 134 million units, down from an earlier estimate of 152 million unit.
One factor contributing to this decline is the expected Q3 2014 launch of Intel's upcoming Broadwell CPU. Intel confirmed in its latest earnings conference call that its Broadwell chipset will enter production in Q1 2014 and become available in the second half of 2014. Slowing PC demand and yield issues forced Intel to delay Broadwell by at least a quarter from its original timetable, with that delay likely contributing further weakness in the PC market. Intel's Haswell processor line, the company's current CPU family and predecessor to Broadwell, was released in June 2013 and landed in the MacBook Air during the same month.
DisplaySearch also cites the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, wearables and the convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems as market forces that could shift consumers away from notebook PCs.
At the same time, the expected launch of a 12.9” iPad from Apple could trigger growth in larger tablet PC screen sizes, leading to even more competition for potential notebook PC buyers. In addition, wearable devices and other new concepts are expected to compete for consumer spending during the holiday season and beyond. Finally, the trend toward user-interface fusion and operating-system integration will offer a more seamless working platform between mobile devices and PCs, which would further extend mobile device advantages for businesses.
Despite a declining market, Mac sales in the just-ending quarter were strong, increasing from 4.06 million units in Q1 2013 to 4.8 million in Q1 2014. Mac net sales accounted for 11% of the company's revenue for the quarter, up slightly from 10% a year ago.
Wednesday October 30, 2013 5:43 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is working on a fix for new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros that are experiencing issues with the trackpad and keyboard, according to a recently posted Apple knowledge base page (via CNET).
Shortly after the revamped 13-inch MacBook Pros were introduced on October 22, users began complaining about a bug causing the trackpad and the keyboard to lock up at random during usage. At the time, it was unclear whether the issues were hardware or software based, but Apple claims to be working on an update to fix the lock up, which indicates a software-based problem.
Apple is aware of rare circumstances where the built-in keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive on 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (Late 2013) computers and is working on an update to resolve this behavior.
Apple does not give a timeline on when a potential update might be ready, but to fix the problem temporarily, the company suggests that users experiencing issues should reset the keyboard and the trackpad by closing the computer's display for a minute before reopening it.
Tuesday October 22, 2013 2:34 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
After the announcement and subsequent release of Apple's new Retina MacBook Pros with updated processors and faster storage, the company has apparently discontinued the 15-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro which leaves only the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro alongside the current line of Retina MacBook Pros.
The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro being sold is of the exact same model and specification that was introduced in 2012, featuring no significant changes aside from OS X Mavericks coming pre-installed on the system. Priced at $1,199, the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro is now just $100 cheaper than the Retina version. Apple has been long expected to discontinue its standard MacBook Pros in favor of an all Retina lineup and with a $200 discount on its entry-level Retina models, pricing is nearly on par with its former non-Retina offerings.
Apple today unveiled new 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros, which have been updated with Intel’s latest processors for enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life. The entry-level 13-inch version is available for $1,299 while the entry-level 15-inch model is available for $1,999. Both models are available today from Apple's Online Store and at its various retail locations.
Wednesday October 16, 2013 12:39 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Intel yesterday confirmed that it is delaying the production of its next-generation Broadwell processors on account of a manufacturing issue. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the news during Intel's earnings call, stating that production on the chips will begin during the first quarter of 2014 (via PCWorld).
Intel's Broadwell chips are designed to be the successor to its existing Haswell chips, manufactured on a 14-nanometer process as opposed to Haswell's current 22-nanometer process.
Intel ran into some problems with the 14-nanometer process used to manufacture the chips and will have to fix them before it can resume production, CEO Brian Krzanich said during Intel’s earnings call on Tuesday.
Intel normally releases new chips like clockwork on an annual basis, and the manufacturing problems are a rare misstep for the company. Krzanich said there were problems with the "yield"—or the number of good chips the company gets per silicon wafer.
The Broadwell chips, which will eventually find their way into Apple's line of MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, are said to be 30 percent faster and more power-efficient than Haswell, leading to even greater increases in battery life and performance. The inclusion of Haswell chips in Apple's MacBook Air boosted battery life to 12 hours on the 13-inch version and nine hours on the 11-inch version.
Based on Intel's prospective timeline with production beginning during the first quarter of 2014, Broadwell MacBooks could make an appearance at next year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is where the Haswell MacBook Airs debuted.
It is unclear whether Apple had planned to introduce Broadwell updates earlier, and whether Intel's delay will affect its future release plans. Apple's scheduled desktop updates, for its iMacs, will not be affected as they will incorporate updated Haswell architecture rather than Broadwell chips.
Apple has yet to release a Haswell Retina MacBook Pro, which is expected to come before the end of 2013 and should bring significant improvements to battery life.
According to Intel, the delay of Broadwell will not affect the company's next line of processors, Skylake, as the chips are based on new architecture. Broadwell, however, will have a shorter lifespan due to Intel’s manufacturing issues.
Thursday October 3, 2013 12:42 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is shaking up the display market with a multitude of upcoming product debuts and enhancements, according to Korean site ET News. The site summarizes several known product rumors that will impact display manufacturers, including larger iPhone and iPads, an OLED iWatch, and IGZO displays for its MacBook lineup.
Multiple reports have suggested that Apple is working on both a larger iPhone and a larger iPad. ET News suggests that a larger iPhone will be at least 5 inches, in line with a September report from The Wall Street Journal indicating that Apple was experimenting with a number of screen sizes from 4.8 inches to 6 inches.
Several iPad changes are in the works as well, with Apple planning to introduce a Retina iPad mini and experimenting with a larger (possibly 12.9-inch) iPad. The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Apple is experimenting with larger screen sizes for its iPad lineup and a Retina mini has been confirmed by multiple sources.
ET News further suggests that the iPad will be offered at multiple price points based on display, similar to the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a similar prediction, stating that Apple has plans to introduce a low-cost iPad mini.
Rumors have previously indicated that Apple is considering a 1.5-inch OLED display for its iWatch, which will be produced by Samsung. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously stated that OLED displays were oversaturated, but Apple has hired at least one OLED expert in recent months.
Apple will also adopt AM OLED which the company has shunned so far to hold Samsung in check and for picture quality issue, etc. Yet, Apple recently began to develop associated technologies, adopting flexible OLED for its iWatch. Apple has drawn up a new OLED display strategy, hiring OLED experts from LG Display early this year.
As far as MacBooks go, ET News points to rumors that Apple is considering the adoption of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays. IGZO is a semiconducting material that has forty times more electron mobility than the standard amorphous silicon, resulting in higher resolution displays with better reaction times and less power consumption. IGZO seems like a logical move for Apple as it works to improve both displays and device size and may be a future solution for a MacBook Air with a Retina display.
According to ET News, the implementation of these sweeping product changes will have huge impacts on display manufacturers in Korea. Japan Display is expected to diversify beyond Apple, leaving LG Display to increase its shipments to the company. Samsung Display is also expected to be a key Apple supplier in the months to come, with both Samsung and LG providing components for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks. Though rumors have suggested Apple is aiming to reduce its dependence on rival Samsung, it has been unable to find a supplier able to match Samsung's production capacity and quality.
Apple is expected to release the first of its major products during the fall months. A Retina iPad mini and a redesigned fifth-generation iPad mini are both expected to debut in the October/November timeframe. Other products, such as the iWatch, a larger iPad/iPhone, and MacBooks that incorporate new display technology could come in 2014 and beyond.
Friday September 27, 2013 11:58 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Last month, we revived our Roundups feature with new pages covering the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iOS 7, and Apple's rumored iWatch, offering a frequently updated one-page summary of the latest news and rumors about each product.
With the new iPhones and iOS 7 now launched, we're continuing to update those articles with information to help site visitors stay on top of the latest developments, but we're also launching a number of new roundups today to address Apple's upcoming iPad and Mac product launches expected over the next several months.
As with the original set of iPhone and iOS roundups, the goal of each of the new roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that. Roundups for recently updated products will also include details on the new models to help bring visitors up to speed on what they have to offer.
Our roundup index page continues to include a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated. Roundups are also accessible directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages. We will continue to update the existing roundups and add new ones for other products over time.
Thursday August 22, 2013 9:53 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Japanese website EMSOne [Google translation] (via Mac Otakara) summarizes a report from Taiwan's Want Daily claiming that Apple will launch the next-generation MacBook Pro with Intel’s latest Haswell processors in September of this year. The original report, which cites Taiwanese-based supply chain sources, does not appear to be available online, but the brief summary from EMSOne indicates that shipments from suppliers are planned to begin later this month.
It is unclear whether both Retina and non-Retina MacBook Pro models will be updated in this round, as Apple has been rumored to be phasing out the non-Retina models.
Prior to this news, additional recent reports have suggested that the Haswell MacBook Pro would arrive in the fall after they did not make an appearance at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) back in June. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally predicted new MacBook Pros with Haswell processors at WWDC back in June, but later updated his prediction to suggest a mid-September release for the refreshed MacBook Pros.
Apple could presumably launch updated MacBook Pro models at any time, as Intel's power-efficient Haswell chips have been available for several months now, and low-power versions of the chips were included in Apple's June refresh of its MacBook Air lineup. Many have assumed, however, that a launch would not come until October in order to allow Apple, its customers, and the media to focus on the iPhone in September.
There is also evidence that suggests Apple vendors may be trying to run down existing MacBook Pro stock, with Best Buy and Amazon currently offering significant-back-to-school discounts on the MacBook Pro. Data from U.S. research firm NPD released last month also indicated that U.S. Mac sales were down in June compared to the previous June, despite the introduction of the new MacBook Airs, with the lack of a refreshed MacBook Pro lineup cited as a primary contributing cause.
A report from the China Times (cited on the Japanese website Mac Otakara) predicts an October launch for an updated MacBook Pro model featuring Intel's new Haswell processors, which are already present in the new MacBook Airs, released last month at Apple's annual WWDC event. The report cites sources in Apple's lengthy supply chain and suggests that the new models will remain the same price as the previous ones.
The new range of Haswell processors (image above courtesy of ITPro UK) offer a slight boost in processor speed, but their major draw is a lower rate of power consumption compared to previous models. The MacBook Air now boasts an "all-day battery life" of up to 12 hours for the 13-inch model and up to 9 hours for the 11-inch model. The chips also offer support for the latest 4K displays, which offer a resolution 4 times that of standard HD displays. Currently, no Apple products feature the resolution.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record when it comes to Apple rumors, originally predicted new MacBook Pros with Haswell processors at WWDC back in June, alongside a slimmer MacBook Pro with Retina display, though he later updated his prediction to suggest a mid-September release date for refreshed MacBook Pros.
There is some evidence that suggests Apple vendors may be trying to run down existing MacBook Pro stock. Both Best Buy and Amazon are currently offering significant back-to-school discounts on the MacBook Pro, offering the 13-inch base model (with 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive) for $999, compared to $1,199 in the Apple Store. Best Buy has dropped the price even further for students, with an additional $100 off.
The sales do not appear to be confined to the United States as Amazon UK is currently selling the same entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro for £904.95 ($1,395), instead of £999 ($1,539) in the Apple Store.
Yesterday, Mac Mini shipping times slipped to 5 to 7 days in the official Apple Store, suggesting that Apple may also be gearing up to introduce additional new products in the near future.
Last month, a new entry in the results database for popular benchmarking tool Geekbench 2 appeared to reveal Apple's next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro. Many observers had expected the update to come at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last month, but Apple has yet to release the new machines.
A new Geekbench result posted earlier today now appears to reveal Apple's next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro, carrying a code name of "AAPLJ45,1". As with the 13-inch model, it is not clear whether this machine is a Retina or non-Retina model, although Apple has been rumored to be leaving the non-Retina models without any further updates as it seeks to phase out the line in favor of an all-Retina lineup.
The benchmarked 15-inch MacBook Pro, which carries one of Intel's new Haswell processors and 16 GB of RAM, received a Geekbench score of 12497, roughly in line with the current generation of the machine. But as was seen with the MacBook Air released last month, Haswell's biggest benefit comes in efficiency, with Apple being able to boost the battery life on those machines to up to 12 hours.
The chip included in the benchmarked machine is a Core i7-4950HQ running at 2.4 GHz and offering Intel's new high-end Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics. Intel's promotional materials for Iris previously showed graphics performance gains of 2-2.5x for this i7-4950Q with Iris 5200 compared to the i7-3840QM with HD Graphics 4000 found in the current stock high-end Retina MacBook Pro.
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro has, however, historically also included a dedicated graphics chip for improved performance, although it is unclear exactly what Apple's plans are in this regard for future generations. With Intel's integrated graphics seeing significant increases in performance, it is possible that Apple could, at least on some models, forego a dedicated graphics chip in order to push battery life even higher.
As with the 13-inch model benchmarked earlier, this 15-inch model is running a custom build of OS X Mavericks, in this case 13A2052. The machine is also running a Boot ROM dated June 24.
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro currently offers 7 hours of battery life, and while Apple may not be able to duplicate the 80% increase in battery life seen with the MacBook Air's switch to Haswell due to other power-hungry components such as the MacBook Pro's Retina display, the company may still be able to offer substantial battery life improvements in its new machines.
Update 8:53 AM: Primate Labs' John Poole tells MacRumors that Geekbench does collect GPU information, and that this machine does NOT appear to have a discrete GPU in addition to the integrated Iris 5200 graphics from Intel. Poole notes that it is possible that Geekbench could have failed to pick up the presence of a discrete GPU, as Primate Labs is still working out issue with that feature of the software, but that all testing so far has indicated that Geekbench should see the discrete GPU if it is present, even if it has been turned off for the benchmarking run.
As with the Mac Pro, this MacBook Pro appears under a code name of "AAPLJ44,1" and appears to correspond to a 13" MacBook Pro, and while it is not exactly clear whether it refers to a Retina or non-Retina model, the two machines would perform roughly equally when using the same processor. Apple has, however, been rumored to be phasing out the non-Retina models, and if true this result would seem to point to a new Haswell-based Retina MacBook Pro.
The machine shown in the benchmark results is running a dual-core Intel Core i5-4258U processor running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of RAM and a Boot ROM dated June 5. Like the Mac Pro, this MacBook Pro is running a special build of OS X Mavericks, termed Build 13A2050.
Primate Labs' John Poole has put together a graphic showing how the Geekbench performance of this new machine compares to that of other recent 13-inch MacBook Pro models, revealing a 5-8% boost in performance compared to the previous low-end models while running at a lower clock speed.
As seen in the MacBook Air released last week, one of the major benefits to Intel's new Haswell platform is reduced energy consumption, with Apple choosing to offer only a modest boost in performance while bringing massive increases in battery life that see the new 13-inch MacBook Air reaching 12 hours or more of battery life.
It has been unclear exactly how Apple will prioritize battery life and performance in the MacBook Pro, but it appears that the company may be pursuing a similar strategy to that seen in the MacBook Air, boosting performance only slightly while pushing much of the energy savings into increased battery life.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro currently offers 7 hours of battery life, and while Apple may not be able to duplicate the 80% increase in battery life seen with the MacBook Air's switch to Haswell due to other power-hungry components such as the MacBook Pro's Retina display, the company may still be able to offer substantial battery life improvements in its new machines.
Wednesday June 5, 2013 3:08 pm PDT by Jordan Golson
9to5Mac has received information from a source that suggests the MacBook Air updates that are expected at WWDC will ship soon after the keynote, perhaps with updated AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule wireless base stations that support a new, faster wireless standard.
These leaks line up with a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who said in April that the MacBook Air update expected at WWDC would ship very soon after the event, while the Retina MacBook Pro would ship later due to production bottlenecks on the advanced displays.
Today, we have received specific pricing for the aforementioned SKUs, and the price-points correspond to Apple’s current pricing for the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. We have yet to receive pricing information that points to the imminent availability of new MacBook Pros (as some had hoped), but perhaps the next refresh to Apple’s Pro portables will arrive in the coming months. Supply constraints to the Retina MacBook Pro line seems to infer that…
The site also says it received pricing for three new accessories that could be new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models. If accurate, these would likely support the new 802.11ac-wireless standard.
As we wrote in our WWDC rumor roundup earlier today, the notebook updates are likely to be the hardware highlight of WWDC, with new MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro models announced.
Expected upgrades include a shift to Haswell processors, a possible slimmer design for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, a new full HD (2.0-megapixel) FaceTime camera on the Retina models, and a dual-microphone system on the MacBook Air.
With Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicking off next Monday, June 10 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time with a keynote address, it's time for a roundup of rumors about what we might see at the event.
In announcing the conference back in late April, Apple unsurprisingly revealed that it will be delivering "new versions of iOS and OS X" to developers, undoubtedly referring to iOS 7 and OS X 10.9. And as has become tradition since Apple moved its iPhone launches later in the year starting in 2011, WWDC 2013 is indeed expected to live up to its developer focus with an emphasis on software.
iOS 7 will almost certainly make its consumer debut alongside updated iPhone hardware later this year, but WWDC will offer the first glimpse of the upcoming software and Apple should spend a fair amount of the keynote walking through the changes. Apple will also begin seeding versions of iOS 7 to developers at WWDC, giving them time to help test the operating system itself and to build and update their own apps to take advantage of new features coming in iOS 7.
The big discussion surrounding iOS 7 has been regarding a new "flat design" driven by Jony Ive, who took over control of Apple's software-focused Human Interface team late last year in addition to his longtime role as head of Industrial Design. Prominent rumors for iOS 7 include:
For this year's OS X 10.9, many had been expecting Apple to mirror its 2012 OS X Mountain Lion schedule with developer previews beginning around February ahead of a late summer public launch, but despite a evidence of the next version of its Mac operating system showing up in web blogs late last year, the company has yet to make any public announcements about the update.
Back in April, Daring Fireball's John Gruber reported that with iOS 7 having been running behind schedule, Apple had been pulling engineers from OS X 10.9 in order to assist with the iOS work. The report was later confirmed by AllThingsD and The Loop, although it seems unclear whether the shift had any effect on Apple's internal timeline for OS X 10.9. Details on what to expect in OS X 10.9 have been relatively scarce, but rumors have included:
Apple has been rumored to be working on a Pandora-like streaming radio service for quite some time, but difficult negotiations have reportedly slowed the effort considerably. Just weeks ago, it was reported that continued difficulties with record label and publisher negotiations might result in Apple being unable to unveil the service at WWDC, but just this past weekend Apple signed Warner Music in what appears to be a last-minute push to secure deals in time for a WWDC announcement. The service would not, however, launch until later this year alongside iOS 7.
The service, informally dubbed "iRadio", is said to be free to users, relying on advertising support through Apple's iAd team to generate revenue. Apple is reportedly seeking to deploy a service similar to that offered by Pandora but with additional flexibility for users.
With Intel having announced a series of new Haswell chips yesterday, Apple's Mac lineups may be ready for updates. Apple's notebook lineup appears to be the primary target for updates at WWDC, with reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo calling the notebook refresh the hardware highlight of WWDC. Leaked model numbers have hinted at notebook updates for WWDC, although the identities of the products associated with those numbers have not yet been confirmed.
Upgrades will primarily be internal with the shift to Haswell, although Kuo believes that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro may see a slimmer design. Other rumored upgrades include a shift to full HD (2.0-megapixel) FaceTime cameras on the Retina MacBook Pro models and adoption of a dual-microphone system on the MacBook Air to improve sound quality. Kuo believes that Apple will continue to offer the non-Retina MacBook Pro, but handicap the line by continuing to offer Intel's older Ivy Bridge chips in a bid to push consumers to the thinner and more expensive Retina MacBook Pro models. Apple may also be upgrading to faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi in its next-generation machines.
Following a disappointing update for the Mac Pro last year, coming approximately two years after the previous update, Apple took the unusual step of confirming that the company would have a redesigned Mac Pro for "later" in 2013. Some rumors had suggested that Apple might launch the new Mac Pro this spring, but the update failed to come to fruition. Apple has even been forced to halt sales of the current Mac Pro in Europe over non-compliance with certain safety requirements.
WWDC represents a reasonable opportunity for Apple to update the Mac Pro given the developer and professional focus for the conference, and stocks of the workstation are said to be running low. Timing may not, however, be in Apple's favor, as at this point the Mac Pro would be expected to adopt Intel's Ivy Bridge E processors, the full line of which is not expected until around September of this year. Still, it is possible that Apple could announce a new Mac Pro at WWDC with availability scheduled for the future.
Live Keynote Coverage
The WWDC 2013 keynote kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, June 10, and we will be providing live updates here. We will also be issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account. Separate news stories regarding the event announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account.
Intel today officially announced the launch of its latest family of Core processors, formerly known as "Haswell". The new processors are making their way into a number of new computers, and are expected to be included in Apple's next-generation Macs, some of which are likely to make their debuts at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
The new chips offer significant improvements in integrated graphics performance, as well as modest CPU performance improvements and a major effort toward increasing battery life in notebooks.
Delivering Intel's largest generation-over-generation gain in battery life enablement in company history, 4th generation Intel Core processors can bring an 50 percent improvement in battery life over the previous generation in active workloads when watching movies or surfing the Internet, and two to three times improvement in standby battery life. For some systems coming to market this year, over 9 hours of active use battery life or 10 to 13 days of standby with fresh data on a single charge is expected.
Ars Technica has been providing overviews of the new chips, beginning with the quad-core desktop and notebook chips that were unveiled over the weekend. That group included six Core i7 and six Core i5 chips for desktop machines, as well as ten varieties of Core i7 notebook chips.
All of the mobile parts being announced today belong to the i7 family and, like their desktop counterparts, they're all quad-core chips with Hyperthreading enabled. The differences here come in the suffixes: the MX and MQ parts (reversed from Ivy Bridge's QM and QX suffixes) come with the Intel HD 4600 GPU, while most of the HQ parts come with the faster Iris Pro 5200 GPU.
With today's announcement of dual-core Haswell chips highlighted by AnandTech, the picture for Apple's notebook lineup comes into more focus. Intel has emphasized mobile chips for this round of dual-core launches, a move that will likely see the chips showing in updated MacBook Airs and 13-inch MacBook Pros as soon as next week.
A notebook refresh is expected to be the hardware highlight of WWDC alongside previews of OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. The latest rumors suggest that Apple may even be able to slim down the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which is currently slightly thicker than its 15-inch sibling. Less substantial tweaks are expected for the MacBook Air, although the move to Haswell should offer significant performance improvements in certain areas.
9to5Mac reports that it has received an initial set of leaked model numbers for products expected to be released at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference.
The first series of codes that we have received are:
MD711LL/A — Better — USA
MD712LL/A — Best – USA
MD760LL/A — Better – USA
MD761LL/A — Best – USA
While the identities of the products corresponding to the four model numbers is unknown, the pattern showing two sets of two models suggests that they may be either MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro models at two different screen sizes, corresponding to Apple's current stock configurations. Apple's non-Retina MacBook Pro is currently offered in only a single stock configuration at the larger 15-inch size, suggesting that these model numbers may not represent that line.
A second set of model numbers have also leaked, but it is unclear to what products they refer:
ME177LL/A — Better — USA
ME182LL/A — Best — USA
ME918LL/A — Good — USA
A notebook refresh is expected to the hardware highlight of WWDC, although Apple is likely to introduce a number of new products once accessories and configuration options are accounted for.
9to5Mac also notes that, beyond the notebooks, supplies of the Mac Pro and Mac mini are also somewhat constrained, although not to the same level as seen for notebooks. As a result, desktop updates may come somewhat later in the year.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven to have relatively reliable information over the past several years, released a new research note last week highlighting his expectations for changes to Apple's notebook lineup at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). With Intel preparing to launch its latest Haswell processors this week, Apple will be able to make significant upgrades to at least part of its notebook lineup, but additional changes appear to be in store as well.
Among the most interesting predictions from Kuo is word that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will see a slightly slimmer design, as well as an improved camera. Kuo had indicated as long ago as January that Apple would be tweaking the design of the Retina MacBook Pro this year, despite having just introduced the form factor last year.
We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.
Kuo also now believes that Apple will not be upgrading the non-Retina MacBook Pro, instead simply continuing to sell the current Ivy Bridge-based models as it seeks to phase out the non-Retina line. Kuo had originally believed that Apple would discontinue the non-Retina line at this year's WWDC, but adjusted his predictions earlier this year based on the belief that continued strong sales of the machines would drive Apple to continue selling them.
On the MacBook Air, Kuo believes that the line will see a shift to dual built-in microphones, as was introduced on the Retina MacBook Pro last year.
We forecast that this year’s new MacBook Air model will also have dual built-in microphones as a result of positive feedback on this feature in Retina MacBook Pro, which delivers clear voice quality on Facetime and VoIP service.
Overall, Kuo expects that improvements to the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, along with stagnation of the non-Retina MacBook Pro line, will continue Apple's shift toward solid-state storage in its notebooks. Kuo's predictions see Apple putting solid-state storage in 64% of its notebook shipments this year, up from 45% last year when the company began transitioning the MacBook Pro line.
Despite Apple's updates, Kuo believes that the company will see a 10-20% decline in notebook shipments for 2013, with a slow overall PC market and cannibalization by the iPad contributing to lower sales. The company's predicted strategic move to lower the appeal of the non-Retina MacBook Pro would likely also contribute to declining sales unless pricing on Retina models can be lowered.
Alongside today's introduction of a new stripped-down 16 GB iPod touch, Apple has also reduced pricing for educational customers on its 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro. The prices have been cut by $100 for both the low-end and high-end stock configurations, bringing pricing down to $999 and $1299 respectively. The new prices on both models are $200 below Apple's standard retail pricing.
Education pricing on the non-Retina 15-inch model remains unchanged at $1699, while the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro continues to start at $1399 for education customers. The discounted education pricing is available to employees of K-12 schools as well as faculty, staff, students, and parents of students at higher education institutions.
Digitimes briefly reports that Apple will be releasing updated notebooks "in the near future", with supply chain sources indicating that Apple's orders will rise 20% in the second quarter compared to first-quarter production.
The new MacBooks are only expected to receive specification upgrades to Intel's latest Haswell platform and are estimated to be unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, the sources said.
Claims of a 20% increase in orders come less than a month after the site claimed that orders would see a 10% increase for the quarter, although overall notebook shipments for 2013 are expected to be flat or only slightly higher year over year due to a lack of major updates and a weak PC market.
Late last month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that an update to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines would be a highlight for next month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which kicks off on June 10. Kuo had previously believed that Apple would consolidate its MacBook Pro lines into an all-Retina lineup in mid-2013, but he now believes that continued popularity of the non-Retina models has led Apple to push back its consolidation plans for the time being.
Kuo indicated that updated models of the non-Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air should ship relatively soon after WWDC, with updated Retina MacBook Pro models shipping somewhat later due to constraints on display production.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report forecasting that the product highlight of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which kicks off on June 10, will be the introduction of new models of the company's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines based on Intel's latest Haswell processors. The projection is in line with previous reports from Kuo and other sources, as well as recent claims that Apple will begin ramping up production of the new models in mid-May.
On the MacBook Pro side, Kuo is reversing his earlier predictions suggesting that 2013 would see Apple discontinue the non-Retina MacBook Pro lineup and shift consumers to the slimmer and more expensive Retina line introduced at last year's WWDC. Kuo believes that continued strength of non-Retina MacBook Pro models, particularly the 13-inch line, have led Apple to continue producing the non-Retina lineup for the time being.
Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13” MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives.
Kuo believes that the updated versions of the non-Retina MacBook Pro could begin shipping very soon after WWDC, but that the new Retina MacBook Pro models will begin shipping somewhat later due to production bottlenecks on the displays.
For the MacBook Air, Kuo also believes that the new models will be introduced at WWDC and ship very soon after, but he indicates that Apple is unlikely to include Retina displays in the updated lineup. He believes that cost, thickness, and production concerns will continue to keep Retina displays out of Apple's lowest-cost and thinnest notebook line for the time being.
Thursday April 25, 2013 9:34 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Over the past several months, a number of rumors have suggested that Apple will be looking to update its notebook lineup at or soon after its Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off on June 10. In particular, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a relatively strong track record, laid out a roadmap in January predicting that the MacBook Air could see an update by late in the second quarter with Apple's MacBook Pro moving to an all-Retina lineup early in the third quarter.
Reports on whether there will be any design changes as part of a rumored June notebook update have varied, with a February report from Taiwan's Economic Times claiming that the MacBook Air will see a design refresh while Kuo has suggested that the Retina MacBook Pro may also see design tweaks.
Digitimes has weighed in several times on the June notebook refresh rumors, first noting them in late December while suggesting that Apple may cut prices on the MacBook Air in the interim in order to keep sales moving. To that end, Apple did in fact drop pricing on its high-end 13-inch MacBook Air alongside a February spec bump for the Retina MacBook Pro. Digitimesweighed in again just weeks ago, claiming that Apple will be updating its notebook lineup late this quarter, again suggesting a June launch.
In a new report out today, Digitimes claims that Apple's quarterly notebook shipments are expected to grow 10% sequentially as the company works through the remainder of its excess inventory and looks to begin ramping up production again in mid-May. The report notes that this new production will primarily be next-generation models based on the Haswell platform.
Apple's MacBook shipments in the second quarter are expected to grow 10% sequentially as the company has almost finished digesting its excess inventory and should start placing new orders in mid-May, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
The orders in May are expected to be mainly Haswell-based models, the sources noted.
Conflicting with some earlier reports of design changes for the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro, Digitimes says that Apple's suppliers have not received any instructions for changes to designs or their equipment, suggesting that the upgrades may be limited to internal improvements.
During Apple's earnings conference call earlier this week, CEO Tim Cook appeared to play down the company's product launch plans for the next several months, specifically noting optimism about "amazing" new products coming in the "fall and throughout 2014".
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