Apple watching is participant sport—if you like to make predictions. Based on how often my predictions are wrong regarding new Apple products, I’m as much Apple spectator as participant.
Today, Apple revamped and repriced the MacBook Pro line, and cleaned house on the MacBook line. What’s it mean? New MacBooks and lower prices.
How do I know that? It’s math. Apple’s MacBook line yesterday consisted of a white polycarbonate MacBook priced at $999, and a few aluminum MacBooks for a lot more money.
Today, except for that lone, lowly, lower priced plastic Mac, the MacBook line is gone. Where did the aluminum MacBooks go? Apple gave them Firewire 800, faster CPUs, longer battery life, and lowered the price tag. Sort of.
The low end MacBook Pro is now the 13-inch MacBook with the aforementioned upgrades. The MacBook line is almost empty. That can only mean one thing. Something new and with a lower price tag will replace it.
The only question is, what? New MacBooks? A Mac netbook? A Mac wireless tablet? Whatever it is it will fill out the MacBook line which is looking thinner than Steve Jobs at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
So, something wicked this way comes. Soon. Lower priced. Wireless. Thin. OS X. Arguably, the MacBook line is Apple’s best selling Mac. Those customers who need a small notebook still have options in the MacBook Pro line.
The under $1,000 customer has only a plastic MacBook to consider. Apple is making rooms for a new product to round out the low end of the Mac line but needed to make sure the new product would not cannibalize the current products.
What’s coming? My educated prognostication says Apple is about to take a big risk and deliver a true MacBook; and powerful little wireless device with a screen in the 10-inch range (vs. the 13” plastic MacBook) with full multi-touch capability, no SuperDrive, thinner and lighter than a MacBook Air (which may be discontinued after suffering a steep price decline), and possibly without a hard drive, moving straight to varying sizes of SSD (solid state drives).
When? Soon. Very soon. Probably about the time that Mac OS X Snow Leopard ships in September. Price? Less than $999 and more that the average PC netbook price of $300 to $500.
How’s that for a tentative prediction? Not so tentative, huh? What say you? Do you have an idea what Apple has up the RDF sleeve?