Multiple sources point to a new MacBook Pro Retina update this week, but the more affordable MacBook Pro models are not as certain as the fate of the device remains in question.
For the past several months rumors of new MacBook Pro models pointed to a fall refresh with the latest Haswell chips inside, offering a boost in power, battery life and graphics, but rumors were not specific about which models would receive the updates.
At this point we are only waiting for Apple to formally announce the new MacBook Pro Retina late-2013 update on Tuesday and offer the device for sale to eager shoppers.
Several new reports shed light on the possible new MacBook Pro Retina updates, and leave an update to the MacBook Pro model up in the air. Here’s what the latest leaks indicate is in store for the new MacBook pro announcement and release.
While the Apple Store refers to four models as MacBook Pros, there is a distinction between the offerings. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display features a higher resolution display, but that’s not all. This model also does not let users upgrade the RAM or storage as it is soldered to the motherboard like on the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro models without a Retina Display are slightly larger, and let users upgrade the RAM and storage on their own. This key difference has many buyers looking for a new MacBook Pro non Retina update.
Ming-Chi Kuo is an analyst with KGI Securities and with a good track record for Apple information. Kuo shares his expectations for the new MacBook Pro models in a note to investors, shared by MacRumors. This report focuses on the MacBook Pro Retina, pointing to the newest Intel Haswell processors which should deliver better battery life and computing power. The note also points to a new FaceTime HD camera capable of 1080P video chat.
What the note is missing is any mention of a new MacBook Pro non-Retina model gaining Haswell or any other upgrades. This isn’t the only report that spells bad news for the MacBook Pro.
An inventory check of a the MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro Retina shows low stock of the MacBook Pro Retina, while inventory is good for the regular MacBook Pro. Apple Insider shares this stock check, which comes from a supplier who supports Big Box retailers and other resellers. This does not include Apple Stores or the Apple Store online, but we typically see inventory tight at retailers ahead of a new model.
The report indicates the MacBook Pro Retina Stock is low or listed as “No Inventory” for all models, while the MacBook Pro non-Retina is listed as “Good Inventory” across the board.
While this data is not definitive, it is a sign that the new MacBook Pro models will arrive with Retina Displays and the older MacBook Pro may linger on with the current specs. The MacBook Pro as it sits on store shelves is nearly 500 days without an update. Apple stopped selling the MacBook after almost 400 days without an update in the middle of 2011, pushing consumers to the MacBook Air as an alternative.
A long time between updates is not itself an indicator that Apple is abandoning the MacBook Pro non-Retina, as the Mac pro and iMac lines both experienced longer delays between updates, but combined with the latest information it looks like at the very least Apple may not deliver a new Macbook Pro non Retina this week.
Apple is holding an event on Tuesday October 22nd where we expect to see the new MacBook Pro late 2013 update unveiled with a release soon after alongside OS X Mavericks.