updated 05:45 am EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
MacBook Pro 2012 may skip 17in for now
The often-rumored slim MacBook Pro may already be in production, but only in smaller models. Rumors from part suppliers speaking to Digitimes had 13- and 15-inch models coming in an initial batch of 100,000 to 150,000 units a month, but no mention of a 17-inch system. No reason was given as to why it was excluded, nor was there an indication as to whether or not it would come later or was gone altogether.
Although the initial production run was considered small, it would ramp up to as many as 900,000 of the new Macs every month.
Little was said of the MacBook Pro's features. They would drop the built-in optical drive to slim down, but they would be better both in performance and storage. Given prices frequently at or near $1,000 for 512GB solid-state drives, this would imply traditional rotating hard drive storage either as the only drive or as a companion to a much smaller flash drive.
The systems could be arriving just as Windows ultrabook designers ship their first PCs using Intel's Ivy Bridge, which could be at or near late April. Most expect Apple to be using Ivy Bridge for any MacBook Pro update as well, and the tipsters in the new claim suggest that Ivy Bridge's delay of a few weeks could mute the impact of the Windows ultrabooks by drawing attention away.
The redesign, if it pans out, would be the first since the unibody MacBook Pro design arrived in October 2008. Eschewing optical would reflect a major shift in three and a half years as the cloud and smarter networking has reduced the need for large removable storage.