Notebook Refresh to Be Highlight of WWDC, Non-Retina MacBook Pro to Continue?
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report forecasting that the product highlight of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which kicks off on June 10, will be the introduction of new models of the company's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines based on Intel's latest Haswell processors. The projection is in line with previous reports from Kuo and other sources, as well as recent claims that Apple will begin ramping up production of the new models in mid-May.
On the MacBook Pro side, Kuo is reversing his earlier predictions suggesting that 2013 would see Apple discontinue the non-Retina MacBook Pro lineup and shift consumers to the slimmer and more expensive Retina line introduced at last year's WWDC. Kuo believes that continued strength of non-Retina MacBook Pro models, particularly the 13-inch line, have led Apple to continue producing the non-Retina lineup for the time being.
Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13” MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn’t advanced, for optical disk drives.
Kuo believes that the updated versions of the non-Retina MacBook Pro could begin shipping very soon after WWDC, but that the new Retina MacBook Pro models will begin shipping somewhat later due to production bottlenecks on the displays.
For the MacBook Air, Kuo also believes that the new models will be introduced at WWDC and ship very soon after, but he indicates that Apple is unlikely to include Retina displays in the updated lineup. He believes that cost, thickness, and production concerns will continue to keep Retina displays out of Apple's lowest-cost and thinnest notebook line for the time being.