According to reports, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will remain in Apple’s portable Mac lineup because the company will not phase it out after the arrival of the larger 15-inch MacBook Air. There are several reasons to continue releasing something that only has updated specifications, so let us go over them in more detail.
Apple’s current MacBook lineup includes two 13-inch models. Despite the introduction of a 15-inch MacBook Air, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that the ‘Pro’ version will not be discontinued. However, contrary to popular belief, the larger portable Mac will ship with the M2 chipset rather than the M3, disappointing a large portion of the market.
However, using the M3 SoC on the 15-inch MacBook Air will end up cannibalising Apple’s 2023 MacBook Pro sales, so it’s probably for the best.
According to previous performance estimates, the M3 would be only 6% slower than the 12-core CPU variant of the M2 Max in multi-core workloads while being 24% faster in single-core tasks, providing customers with a strong incentive not to purchase one of the more expensive MacBook Pro models.
Fortunately, the same SoC is rumoured to be making its way to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, most likely in the fourth quarter, and Apple’s customer base includes people who only want a specs upgrade, not an aesthetic one. Furthermore, the smaller MacBook Pro is the only model in the lineup to include a Touch Bar, which can still be useful to users.
Furthermore, by reusing the same chassis, Apple significantly reduces its manufacturing costs. In comparison to the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro includes an active cooling solution, which means that the current model can cool the M2 much better than the non-Pro model, yielding better results when performing multi-core tasks for an extended period of time. For those who are unaware, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro start at $1,299 on Apple’s website and include an 8-core CPU, 10-GPU, 8GB unified RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and other features.
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