Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Apple Discontinues 12-Inch MacBook

Joe Rossignol:

Coinciding with refreshes to the MacBook Air and the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro today, Apple appears to have discontinued the 12-inch MacBook, which is no longer available through its online store.

It’s a bit sad to see it go because I know some people really liked the tiny size. But it’s hard to justify its existence and premium price when compared with a still-small MacBook Air with a much better display that’s faster and has more ports. I’m surprised it wasn’t discontinued when the 2018 MacBook Air was introduced.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 12-inch MacBook in the wild, and it’s the least popular Mac among users of my apps. There are roughly 40% more customers using the pricey iMac Pro—which didn’t ship until 6 months after the last MacBook update—than the entire MacBook family (which includes the older polycarbonate models).

Perhaps this size and name will return when Apple introduces its first ARM Macs.

Matt Birchler:

One thing I find interesting is that Apple’s completely new computers from 2013-2016 include:

  • Trash can Mac Pro
  • 12” MacBook
  • Touch Bar MacBook Pros

3 of those are already dead and we have rumblings of a new MBP design coming in the next year or so.

Since then we’ve had:

  • iMac Pro
  • New Mac mini
  • Mac Pro (cheese grater 2.0 edition)
  • New MacBook Air

Clearly, Apple has turned a corner when it comes to Mac hardware.

Ryan Jones:

Credit to Cupertino for killing the MacBook One!

Been saying it for years - that computer was a mistake. Stupid to go one port, premature to go USB-C, launched with no supply, bad name, immediate forgotten in the roadmap.

Apple’s starting to do literally exactly what I/we said they should with Mac lineup. More evidence they are back to listening to core users.


Update (2019-07-10): Jason Snell:

Theory: It’s another thermal corner. They couldn’t add anything to the product w/o a redesign because of the fanless thing, they couldn’t get it down under $1000, and decided (early on, I guess!) to replace it with another Air.

My daughter has one and loves it 🤷🏻‍♂️

Riccardo Mori:

First it was the 11-inch MacBook Air, now it’s the 12-inch MacBook. Do you want an Apple ‘ultrabook’? You’ll have to get an iPad Pro. What a coincidence.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

Birchler considers the Mac mini and MacBook Air "completely new computers"? The iMac Pro is arguable, but the Mac Pro has no release date and the others are refreshed rehashes of old, discontinued designs. I don't see how that's indicative of a company's hardware division "firing on all cylinders."

I still miss the PowerBook moniker. Would love to see that brought back. So much better than “MacBook”.

I'm super confused by these statements: "I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 12-inch MacBook in the wild", and "There are roughly 40% more customers using the pricey iMac Pro [...] than the entire MacBook family". I live in London, and I see 12" Macbooks *everywhere*; it is a very popular model. And 40% more iMac Pro (starting price $5,000) than all Macbooks ever sold?! My cognitive dissonance buzzers are just going off so hard. Where did that figure come from?

@John The 40% figure comes from people using my apps, so it only counts Macs that were in use on July 8. My customer base may not represent the entire market, but it was such a surprising figure that I wanted to share it.

Extremely surprising, unless your apps are all extremely nerdy or professional (sorry, I'm not familiar). Thanks for sharing!

That makes some sense Michael. I bet power users are more apt to run your apps but I bet few power users were going for the MacBook. Admittedly the last model had a more reasonable speed but the earlier models were noticeably slow. I just don't go places where I see tons of laptops in the wild so I can't judge much there. I can certainly see the MacBook being very attractive to some although I think the latest MacBook Air seems more reasonable for most people.

I think it is still too early to say Apple's turned a corner. There's a lot of positive signs though. In particular their recent willingness to do incremental updates rather than tying them to major milestones is a very positive sign. That's what many of us had been complaining about. However most rumors point to big changes next year with an ARM transition. I think I'll hold off on my praise until we see what all that entails. I'd also note that with the new MacPro there's a large gap between the top end iMac and the lowest end MacPro. The cheap MacPro is going to cost about $2000 at best more than the entry iMacPro for an equivalent machine. The relevant current generation Xeon chips for the iMacPro are too hot for the iMac case (even with the different internal design in the Pro). Given that the entry iMacPro was probably the most popular of that line, I'm very curious as to what Apple offers for people who want more than the Vega48 but for whom the MacPro is overkill (and vastly too expensive).

Apple should call Macbook Pro just Macbook, maybe have a few cheaper configs.
then make an all new Macbook Pro, that would have better battery life, better screen and more ports. That would be true "Pro" macbook.

And for the Air, maybe two screen sizes, 11 and 13, just like before. That would address the need for ultra-portables.

I wish they's do just that in the fall

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