Apple Kills Off White MacBook as Educational Institution Distribution Halted

Wednesday February 8, 2012 1:16 PM PST by Eric Slivka
Last July, Apple discontinued the white MacBook from its consumer lineup, pushing consumers toward the company's popular MacBook Air line or the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The company didn't kill off the MacBook entirely though, as it continued to offer it to educational institutions.

Apple has now notified resellers that it has ended that distribution channel as well, classifying the MacBook as "End of Life". It is unclear at what point Apple ceased production on the MacBook, as it is likely that the company's manufacturing partners wound down their work on the machine some time ago, with the company continuing to sell through its final batch to its limited educational institution market since that time.

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37 months ago
Apple would much rather institutions needing a low-end machine buy iPads instead.

(*assorted grumbling about how an iPad doesn't fit your needs follows*)

Yeah, but Apple would rather you buy iPads.
Rating: 12 Votes
37 months ago
Yay, no more plastic shells!
Rating: 8 Votes
37 months ago
Pretty sad, as the white MacBook was an iconic design that looked lovely on anyone's desk. They were always plagued with design flaws, but fun none the less.

The MBAs are nice, but the all aluminium finish doesn't have the same cleanliness, to me anyway.
Rating: 7 Votes
37 months ago
Seems like Apple is pushing the iPad for the K-12 market now, rather than any MacBook Pro/Air. And for cash-strapped schools, if an iPad will do it is far less expensive and probably more reliable as well.
Rating: 6 Votes
37 months ago
not much of a surprise really , it wasn't likely they would keep manufacturing them for long, as there spec was rather outdated
Rating: 5 Votes
37 months ago
I'm gonna have to try to get one. There's something about the polycarbonate models, especially this one that just's so...appealing....and attractive...
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago

How about this: make a MacBook Air-like machine that comes with a range of specifications, from current MacBook Air specifications to current MacBook Pro specifications. Price would range accordingly, from MBA price to MBP price.

Then you could plug in external graphics cards and I/O into the Thunderbolt port. Too bad this will be expensive, but it would be great if you could get it for a decent priceā€¦

But I'm sure that one day, soon, technology will permit the MacBook Pro to fit into a MacBook Air. Then it will be all unified, and very Apple-like!

What is the point of designing a machine to be ultra-lightweight and portable, but taking so much out of it that you have to plug external accessories into it? Then it's no longer so portable.

There is also no point in Apple turning the MBP into the Air. They need to maintain both lines. The Air is for executives who want something light and easy to carry when they travel and who mainly only check email and access the web. Those people can switch to a Pad, although typing is obviously much easier on the Air. The MBP is designed for people who still do real work (and not just consume content) using intensive applications like Office, Photoshop, video editing, databases, etc. It also has a higher specification than the Air so why would anyone want to take steps backwards?

And while most people on this site agree that it's time to remove the optical drive from the MBP, I would strenuously disagree. I use that drive for all kinds of things, like copying CDs to iTunes or transporting files from a standalone CD-R drive where I do audio editing and mastering.

Besides, good marketing says you have products for every market at a variety of price points. If you look at Apple's current lineup, they hit all of those price points: the computers are all spread about $200-$300 apart.
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago
End of an era. The white iBooks were my mainstay for a long time (although they had their share of logic board issues). I really loved the 12" iBook's size and look though. I remember the first one I got was the summer after I graduated high school (2001) and I took it on a plane with me to Sweden, and I thought watching a DVD on it was so cool. I still can remember the smell of it, and how cool it was to have DVDs with me in my leather bag . . . there was such a feeling of specialness I don't have these days (not talking about Apple's products not being special, just that I don't get that feeling personally). I know this isn't the iBook we're talking about, but it's its successor.
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago
Sad there's so much hate for the old white Macbook. Great product, great price.
Rating: 4 Votes
37 months ago

Not yet, but I can hope cant I?...:)

Y'know...that's completely fair; it's like half of all MacRumors MacBook threads are hopes for some mega-beast of a MacBook Air.

It makes a lot of sense to discontinue the MacBook...

For a MacBook with 4GB memory and a 500GB HD, it costs $1,079.00 for the education market. For a MacBook Pro 13" with the default configuration (4GB/500GB) it costs $1,099.00 for the education market. That is $20 more, and you get FireWire, Thunderbolt, a backlit keyboard, an i5 processor, better graphics, and a bunch of other new tech in an aluminum case. The MacBook is 2010 technology.

The stock MacBook (2GB/250GB) costs $899.00, and the MacBook Air 11.6" is only $50 more at $949... these are educational institution prices. Yes, you get a smaller HD, but it is flash and there is usually not a need for huge storage for a lot of students... with server storage, cloud storage, and removable flash drives, etc. The screen resolution is great, too, and you get all the new technology in this device as well... including a faster processor, better graphics, and Thunderbolt.

With all that said, I don't know who these resellers are... is this a legit rumor? Our Apple rep said he has heard nothing internally. Also, the MacBook is still on our education store site. With that said, I still think we are pretty much ready to move to newer technology... maybe stay with the MacBook one more year (for money reasons) for students if it is still available when we place our next Apple order.

1. To compare the Mid 2010 MacBook to the Late 2011 13" MacBook Pro is unfair. When one doesn't get refreshed and the other one does there's a clear advantage.

2. Education users don't need anything about the MacBook Air's SSD-induced speed. Also a paltry 64 GB when the OS takes up at least 12 doesn't leave me with a whole lot of room for app and user data, which is something even schools have on their machines. That and an 11.6" screen is impractical even for education users. Lastly, let's be real here, Polycarbonate plastic dings under impact, aluminum dents; which material makes overwhelmingly more sense for schools? Gee, I wonder...

It was stupid of them to ever kill the white MacBook. Just because it doesn't fit with their all-aluminum design goals or the superficial hatred of white vs. Aluminum doesn't mean that such a notebook made of such material doesn't have a clear use.
Rating: 3 Votes

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