Slimmer 13" Retina MacBook Pro, Dual Mic MacBook Air Expected at WWDC

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has proven to have relatively reliable information over the past several years, released a new research note last week highlighting his expectations for changes to Apple's notebook lineup at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). With Intel preparing to launch its latest Haswell processors this week, Apple will be able to make significant upgrades to at least part of its notebook lineup, but additional changes appear to be in store as well.

macbook_air_macbook_proAmong the most interesting predictions from Kuo is word that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will see a slightly slimmer design, as well as an improved camera. Kuo had indicated as long ago as January that Apple would be tweaking the design of the Retina MacBook Pro this year, despite having just introduced the form factor last year.

We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.

Kuo also now believes that Apple will not be upgrading the non-Retina MacBook Pro, instead simply continuing to sell the current Ivy Bridge-based models as it seeks to phase out the non-Retina line. Kuo had originally believed that Apple would discontinue the non-Retina line at this year's WWDC, but adjusted his predictions earlier this year based on the belief that continued strong sales of the machines would drive Apple to continue selling them.

On the MacBook Air, Kuo believes that the line will see a shift to dual built-in microphones, as was introduced on the Retina MacBook Pro last year.

We forecast that this year’s new MacBook Air model will also have dual built-in microphones as a result of positive feedback on this feature in Retina MacBook Pro, which delivers clear voice quality on Facetime and VoIP service.

Overall, Kuo expects that improvements to the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, along with stagnation of the non-Retina MacBook Pro line, will continue Apple's shift toward solid-state storage in its notebooks. Kuo's predictions see Apple putting solid-state storage in 64% of its notebook shipments this year, up from 45% last year when the company began transitioning the MacBook Pro line.

kuo_notebook_shipments_2013
Despite Apple's updates, Kuo believes that the company will see a 10-20% decline in notebook shipments for 2013, with a slow overall PC market and cannibalization by the iPad contributing to lower sales. The company's predicted strategic move to lower the appeal of the non-Retina MacBook Pro would likely also contribute to declining sales unless pricing on Retina models can be lowered.

Related Forums: MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

Popular Stories

Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Wednesday June 19, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
back to school 2024

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launches, Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Thursday June 20, 2024 4:29 am PDT by
Apple has launched its annual Back to School promotion for college students in the United States. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with any new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac, and a $100 gift card with the purchase of any new M4 iPad ...
iOS 17

Apple Releases First Public Beta of iOS 17.6

Thursday June 20, 2024 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first betas of upcoming iOS 17.6 and iPadOS 17.6 updates to public beta testers, with the betas coming a few days after the initial iOS and iPadOS 17.6 developer betas. Public beta testers can get the beta by opening up the Settings app, going to the Software Update section, tapping on the "Beta Updates" option, and toggling on the iOS 17 or iPadOS 17 Public Beta....

Top Rated Comments

MasterHowl Avatar
144 months ago
You lost me once you said "Analyst".

It seems "you lost me once you said Analyst" is the new "safari is snappier" or "Steve would never have let this happen" or "apple is doomed!" :rolleyes:

On topic... I hope if they slim down the rMBP, it won't impact on battery life!
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ohbrilliance Avatar
144 months ago
You lost me once you said "Analyst".

Kuo isn't your typical analyst. He has a great track record.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PBP Avatar
144 months ago
I want a retina mbp price drop and iMac/Mac Pro Haswell updates :mad:
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDemiurge Avatar
144 months ago
Very lame this strategy of just letting some models linger.

Kill it or upgrade it.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jhead95 Avatar
144 months ago
Discontinuing the non-retina Pro's!?! I can't think of anything worse... unless the cost of SSD's dramatically drop so that I can still have at LEAST 500 GB of storage in my Pro. But I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lians60 Avatar
144 months ago
You lost me once you said "Analyst".
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)