John Paczkowski reported today that Apple will announce a retina 13-inch Macbook Pro next week alongside the iPad Mini.
Exciting news for sure (especially for me, because my current Mac—a 2009 13″ Macbook Pro—is testing my patience), but I wonder how a retina 13-inch Macbook Pro, sans optical drive, will coexist with the Macbook Air. In essence, it will be a Macbook Air, so what happens to the Air? Does the 13-inch model disappear, leaving only the 11-inch? Do they ditch the Macbook Air sub-brand all together and make the 11-inch the smallest Macbook Pro? If that’s the case, why not just call the smaller MacBooks, Macbooks?
Or do the Macbook Airs stick around as we know them, and the new retina 13-inch Macbook Pro stay a little thicker and get better graphics performance and battery life? I suppose that’s a possibility, but the division between the 13-inch Macbook Air and Macbook Pro seems forced and out of step for Apple.
UPDATE: I missed the obvious possibility, which is the 13-inch Macbook Air sticks around because the the retina 13-inch Macbook Pro will be too expensive. I think that’s what’s going to happen, but at this point, the “Air” brand doesn’t mean much for the 13-inch model. Since the retina 13-inch Macbook Pro should be quite thin, the difference between the two will be screen resolution and price—which “Air” has little connection to.