Yesterday, June 9 2009, Apple launched an array of new products. The first to receive the Phil Schiller treatment was the MacBook Pro lineup. This was a surprise to me, as I really thought that the WWDC would concentrate on Snow Leopard, iPhone OS 3.0 and the new iPhone model... more on that later.
A thread over on Mac Rumors, which I have posted to, posed a very good question. By launching the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, or should I say re-labeling the existing unibody MacBook, were Apple admitting they were originally wrong to release the unibody MacBook in the first place?
My opinion on this is NO. I do not think they were wrong with the launch of the 13-inch unibody MacBook. It was and still is a terrific machine. However, they need to always innovate and bring out new machines, with new features. By adding Firewire 800 (they listened to their users on this one), plus introducing the SD card slot and improving the battery life, the model had too many pro-level features. Had they kept it as just a MacBook, potential customers would not even look at the Pro models, as the 13-inch version offers just too much. Had they gone the other way and dumbed down the 13-inch model by perhaps keeping the old screen and battery configuration, customers would have complained. So, I think they did the right thing. They gave us new innovative battery technology, more colourful screens and that SD card slot is really handy.
In doing this repositioning of the 13-inch unibody model, they also left just one white MacBook. This model is a good specification, but it sits there all alone. I think they did this on purpose. It really does leave the door open to phase out the MacBook altogether. The obvious next step is a 10-inch or 11-inch NetBook or perhaps the much touted Mac Tablet with touch screen. It also allows them to introduce more than one NetBook model, with pricing starting at around £500 for the base model, up to the current MacBook pricing of £700 without confusing its customers. This was a good move on Apple's part. It really does mean we WILL see a new device, sooner rather than later.