1. Very surprised that Apple has two different versions of the MacBook Pro. There’s no point behind the upgraded 15 inch old version MacBook Pro beyond the addition of USB 3.0. MoD understands that the cheaper 13 inch MacBook Pro with a media drive is probably a big seller in the education market so updating that machine for this fall makes sense. A retina display solid state storage 13 inch MacBook Pro rumored for later this year will probably start at around $1599 or higher so having the $1199 MacBook Pro entry level makes sense. But the 15 inch Pro at $1799 only has 4 GB of RAM and still has the same resolution of 1440 x 900. Upgrading it to 8 GB of RAM and to a 1680 x 1050 display puts the total to $1999, replacing the HD with a SSD takes the total to $2499 or two hundred more than the retina machine which has a much better screen and completely new architecture. It’s hard to imagine that the non retina 15 inchMacBook Pro will sell well at all.
2. The retina display MacBook Pro is priced about $400 more than I had anticipated. I need a new machine and I was hoping to stay at the 15 inch screen size. As mentioned above, the old 15 inch is a non starter. The retina display machine has great specs. The combo of Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, and HDMI should take this machine far into the future. The only real negative is that the RAM is not upgradeable post purchase (same annoying limitation as the MacBook Air). The SSD should be upgradeable down the road once the upgrade guys figure out the connector used by Apple. The retina MacBook Pro will drop in price as the components drop just like the MacBook Air did.
3. Can Apple move the retina display to the MacBook Air form factor? It’s unclear if the integrated Intel HD graphics can effectively power a retina display or if the current battery space allowed in the MacBook Air can provide comparable hours of use powering a retina. The iPad got a little heavier It’s definitely an engineering and price challenge for Apple down the road.
4. iOS 6. Apple’s in a fine tuning phase right now with a heaping bowl of FU Google. This fine tuning is also showing a level of flexibility and partnership sharing not usually an Apple strength. The integration of different services into Siri, and the system wide integration of Facebook shows an Apple willing to partner. Jobs often noted that one facet that he would like to borrow from MS/Gates was their ability to work with partners. Tim Cook seems to be taking that advice and running with it.
4. Tim Cook’s promised new hardware for professionals is not a Mac Pro with new processors, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt in the same giant cheese grater case. Take the design philosophy of the recent MacBook Pro and apply it to the Mac Pro, smaller overall footprint and a break from the past in terms of overall architecture. I’m seeing something with a super fast processor, super fast graphics, large RAM capability, maybe as little as two internal drives one SSD, one HD as the base configuration. It will feature multiple Thunderbolt ports and channels enough to replace the PCIe bus/cards entirely. And with it a cheaper overall price as Apple has poured the bulk of the cash in to the core speed components. The only carryover tech will be Firewire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet.