With reports of shortages on current-model MacBook Pros, the writing might well be on the wall for the optical disc MacBook Pro as Apple readies a new Air-like MBP range.
When Apple killed off the optical drive in its MacBook Air
line (and again on the humble Mac mini desktop last year
), it signalled a decisive move away from the optical disc in the company's computer hardware roadmap, and Apple appears to be following through with rumoured revisions for the MacBook Pro lineup that are expected to be arriving sometime in the near future.
As reported by Apple Insider
, a number of Apple resellers in the US have confirmed stock shortages on the current-model MacBook Pro and ceased taking orders for the machines, suggesting a major refresh of the line is imminent, likely shipping with new thin-and-light MacBook Air-style chassis and Ivy Bridge
processors in the mix.
The MacBook Pro hasn't seen a major chassis redesign in over three years, when it moved to its current aluminium unibody form. But with huge demand for its third-gen MacBook Air range, the challenge for Apple will be in sufficiently differentiating the more performance-oriented (and costly) MacBook Pro family from the cheap and cheerful Airs, especially if the form factor becomes common among the two. Apple Insider acknowledges mixed rumours on what sorts of new MacBook Pros we're likely to see, but it would seem 13, 15 and 17-inch models should all be updated this year (leaving the 11-inch form factor solely the province of the MacBook Air).