We’ve heard rumors that Apple is expected to introduce a hybrid MacBook Air and MacBook Pro model which would include the current MacBook Pro 13″ and 15″ models. But due to weak sales, it is predicted that Apple will discontinue the 17″ model.
Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors. Three of which are: (1) Mountain Lion, which integrates iOS features with Mac OS, Apple TV’s interaction function, will be launched in June; (2) upgrading to Ivy Bridge; and (3) back-to-school demand. We forecast Apple will sell 5.32mn units of the Mac series (up 28.5% QoQ and 35.2% YoY) in 2Q12, making it the main growth driver.
We also predict Apple will roll out a fully new MacBook model in early 3Q12, boasting strong performance and easy carryability by combining the advantages of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17” MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy.
Kuo estimates that Apple has sold approximately 3.1 million notebooks in the first quarter of 2012, and among those, the most popular model is the 13″ variety counting for nearly half of all sales. Kuo further estimates that the 15″ model counts for approximately 500,000 sales and the 17″ model, the remaining 50,000.
Now as a current owner of a 17″ MacBook Pro, I will be extremely disappointed if this rumor turns out to be true, but I have to admit, that it does sound logical. With the laptop market ever growing with smaller and smaller notebooks with Apple’s MacBook Airs and Windows-based Ultrabooks leading the pack, it does look like portability is the winning trend. And I expect this trend to continue as solid-state drives increase in capacity and decrease in price.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!