A new post at T-GAAP speculates on the future of the MacBook Pro, suggesting that Apple may offer a new model in October, and may allow users to choose between the traditional “Pro” design and a new, slimmer MacBook Air-like design.
Apple has updated the MacBook Line in the fall before, in 2008, and the MacBook Pro has gone 201 days since it was last updated on February 24th, 2011. The average time between updates, according to MacRumors’ buyer’s guide, is 215 days, meaning an October MacBook Pro release isn’t that far-fetched.
T-GAAP suggests that Apple’s current MacBook Pro form factor looks extremely large and heavy next to a MacBook Air, but that some people do need the extra power that comes along with that. They propose that Apple might roll out two new chassis for the next MacBook Pro – one that is more traditional and similar to the current MacBook Pro, and one that is thinner and lighter – perhaps the ultra-slim 15″ and 17″ models that Apple is rumored to have nearly completed.
While Intel’s next-gen Ivy Bridge processors aren’t due for release until early 2012, it wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has updated the MacBook Pro without adding a major new processor. Apple updated the MacBook Pro twice in 2008 without adding a major new processor – it was largely just a “spec bump” upgrade.
What are your thoughts? Personally, I very much doubt that Apple would release two MacBook Pro designs side-by-side, although they might continue selling the older-style models alongside new, slimmer models. Apple’s actual update plans for the MacBook Pro remain to be seen.
**Update: New information regarding a possible fall MacBook Pro update has been provided. AppleInsider reports that Intel has released new, faster Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 chips, and has also slashed prices on some of their older stock. From AppleInsider:
In particular, the chipmaker introduced new 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7 processors that could replace the 2.0GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz versions offered in the current 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros, in addition to a 2.8GHz dual-core Core i7 that could serve as an upgrade path for the current 2.7GHz 13-inch MacBook Pro.
As for the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, Intel continues to list a couple of Core i5 chips at speeds of 2.5GHz to 2.6GHz that Apple could elect to use to bump 2.3GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro for little to no cost increase.
These chips are all listed on Intel’s latest price sheet [PDF] dated September 4th.