It’s time for a bit of predicting of the future today, partly due to the fact that I’m due for a new computer to buy in 2012 as my MacBook Pro I’m writing this on is close to becoming obsolete but due part to fiscal constraints, it will be 2012 when I am ready to pull the trigger on new MacBook Pro or iMac, regardless of the year.
In the meantime, I can speculate on what may be coming down the pipe from Apple in 2012 when it comes to both the 2012 MacBook Pro and Apple iMac.
2012 MacBook Pro
My guess is that the new MacBook Pro will look an awful lot like the current 2011 MacBook Air lineup with a more sleek design than current MacBook Pro models and the optical drive will get the kiss of death. The only reason I have a need for an optical drive is to watch my DVD collection and I find I could easily sell my DVD’s and get a netfliz account instead.
What Apple may do is to offer an external optical drive like they do with the Macbook Air. I think it’s silly to have two 13 inch MacBook models, so I wonder if Apple may discontinue the MacBook Air with a 13 inch screen and just offer the 11 inch version if at first glance you can’t tell the two computers apart. The only thing I can think of holding back this idea is processor speed and solid state drive prices. They may still offer two versions: a lite spec’d MacBook Air version and a more heavy duty MacBook Pro.
There’s also the 2012 MacBook Pro price to consider. Apple can’t raise the prices on the MacBook Pros or everybody will buy competing windows OS machines, and they can’t drop them too much too on the MacBook Pros either as this will kill the MacBook Air sales.
So, it’s my opinion the MacBook Air will stay the same for the time being and we’ll see the MacBook Pro ditch the optical drive, shed hopefully a pound or more to compete with the upcoming ultrabook models from Acer, Samsung and the like and possibly lower the prices slightly due to lower component costs (that said, if the SSD drives are big enough the MacBook Pro could see a price increase to compensate for the price of the solid state drive in the 2012 MacBook Pro)
I don’t see what Apple can do with the Apple iMac. One of the selling points of the iMac is the All in One design that offers cable free desktop computing. If you take away the optical drive you may get a bit thinner and cheaper Apple desktop, but except from offering faster processors, drives etc there’s not much one can do to the iMac. It’s not like they can shrink the screen any. One option may be to switch the iMac over to iOS instead of Mac OS as this is a consumer based computer and the iPad sales are strong. Would an big iPad on a stick work? Maybe.
Personally, I don’t need a touch screen iMac and could do just fine with leaving the Apple iMac alone. One option might be to drop the price some on the iMac to the under $1000 mark and yet offer more speed, better display. It’s my opinion that the iMac is all about the ease of use and the display. I can buy a $399 notebook computer with a 15.6 inch LED display, so for a few more inches of display space the over thousand dollar price point seems a bit pricey.
RAM won’t matter.
I could be wrong, and I hope so because I soon could be out of a job, but adding more memory to either the Apple iMac or the MacBook Pro won’t be as big of a deal as it once was. Out of the box now in 2011 , both Macs come with enough ram for the task in which they were designed (OK, the MBP is a little low), but with the iMac and to a lesser degree, the MacBook Pro the factory ram from Apple is more than enough RAM for every day tasks. I don’t know about you folks, but I do most of my work in the cloud already and the 4GB of RAM I have on my current MacBook Pro is not limiting in any way.
I hope Apple drops the price of the MacBook Pro or the iMac for 2012. Windows 7 is pretty good for most tasks and it’s getting harder and harder for me to justify the premium a new Mac computer commands. I’d love to be able to buy a new MacBook Pro in 2012, but I may have to start investigating other notebook options from PC manufacturers depending on what we see from Apple in new and exciting products for 2012.