Dwindling? Well, Mac sales have been going down for awhile, thanks to the post-PC era inspired by the iPad and iPhone. The expected news is typical Apple. The unexpected news is a sign of the times.
What Price MacBook Pro?
Over the past year Apple has steadily, almost stealthily updated each Mac with faster CPUs that use less power; first the MacBook Air line, then the iMac, and now the popular MacBook Pro.
Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models retain the Retina display, but get Intel’s latest Haswell chip; think faster but better battery life.
There’s still the option for Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, and all but the entry level MacBook Pro come with 8GB of RAM. Storage options are still limited to 512GB on all but the entry level model.
Apple managed to squeeze some weight out of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which weighs in at a svelte 3.46 pounds (the 15-inch model is a pound heavier).
Little else has changed in the MacBook Pro line, hardware wise. The iSight camera is still 720p HD, not 1080p. Battery life tops out at 9 hours. Both models come with two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, an HDMI port, Gigabit ethernet, and a lone SDXC card slot.
The new MacBook Pro comes with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and includes new iLife and iWork apps. Video features both Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics (think fast but discreet), and the 15-inch model also has an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
Nobody was expecting much beyond the included 802.11 ac Wi-Fi (only the Mac mini does not have 802.11 ac).
A Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be nice, at least on the high end 15-inch model, otherwise Apple didn’t give the Mac as much love as the recent upgrades to iPhone and iPad. Yet, Mac sales have been falling, so Apple did something Apple doesn’t do very often. It reduced the MacBook Pro’s price tag.
The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at a meager $1,299, while the 15-inch model came down to $1,999. Compare that to the original 128k Mac in 1984 which debuted at $2,499.
Frankly, the new, lower prices may do little to stimulate demand. About half of what I once did only on my Mac is now handled by iPhone and iPad. With the new advances in OS X Mavericks, I expected MacBook Pro battery life to improve. Maybe Apple is under promising and over delivering.
Shaving a few hundred dollars off the price tag of the world’s most expensive notebook line may not be enough.