Thinner 13" Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with Dual Mics Expected at WWDC
The KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, recently released a new research last week highlighting his expectations for changes to Apple’s notebook lineup at next week’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). With Intel preparing to launch its latest Haswell processors this week, Apple will be able to make significant upgrades to at least part of its notebook lineup but additional changes seem to be in store as well. Among the interesting predictions from Kuo is that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will see a slightly slimmer design as well as an improved camera. He said the following about the matter:
We expect the 13” Retina MacBook Pro will have a slightly slimmer form factor for increasing its portability. Also, we think the camera spec will be upgraded from HD to full HD. This will improve Facetime and video conference quality in the high resolution Retina display.
Kuo also believes that Apple won’t be upgrading the non-Retina MacBook Pro instead simply continuing to sell the current Ivy Bridge-based models as it seeks to phase out the non-Retina lineup. He originally believed that Apple would discontinue the non-Retina line a this year’s WWDC but adjusted his predictions earlier this year based on the belief that continued strong sales of the machine would drive Apple to continue selling them.
When it comes to the MacBook Air, Kuo believes that the line will see a shift to dual built-in microphones, as was introduced on the Retina MacBook Pro last year. Kuo said the following regarding the matter:
We forecast that this year’s new MacBook Air model will also have dual built-in microphones as a result of positive feedback on this feature in Retina MacBook Pro, which delivers clear voice quality on Facetime and VoIP service.
Overall, Kuo expects that improvements to the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, along with the stagnation of the non-Retina MacBook Pro line will continue Apple’s movement towards shifting to solid-state storage in its notebook lineups. Kuo’s predictions see Apple putting solid-state storage in 64% of its notebook shipments this year, up from 45% last year when the company began transitioning the MacBook Pro line. Despite the company’s updates, Kuo believes that the company will see a 10% to 20% decline in notebook shipments for 2013, with a slow overall PC market and cannibalization by the iPad contributing to lower sales. The company’s predicted strategic move to lower the appeal of the non-Retina MacBook Pro would likely also contribute to declining sales unless pricing on Retina models can be lowered. Ultimately, we’ll find out during WWDC where Apple is set to make several announcements.
Source: KGI Securities