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Apple is a bit tardy with new MacBook Pros, with rumors swirling that the beefed-up notebooks are going to become more like the MacBook Air, and at least one analyst predicting the death of the super-sized 17-inch model.
MacRumors is reporting that research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted a bleak future for Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro. According to a new report on Monday from KGI Securities, “falling shipments” (i.e., weak sales) are being cited as a good reason why Apple may kill off the giant-sized notebook as more pro users switch to smaller, lighter more nimble MacBook offerings.
“Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors,” Kuo explains. “Three of which are: (1) Mountain Lion, which integrates iOS features with Mac OS, Apple TV’s interaction function, will be launched in June; (2) upgrading to Ivy Bridge; and (3) back-to-school demand. We forecast Apple will sell 5.32mn units of the Mac series (up 28.5% QoQ and 35.2% YoY) in 2Q12, making it the main growth driver.
“We also predict Apple will roll out a fully new MacBook model in early 3Q12, boasting strong performance and easy carryability by combining the advantages of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro,” the report continues. “While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17-inch MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy.”
According to the report, Apple moved “roughly 3.1 million notebooks” in the first quarter of this year, and almost half of those were the more popular 13-inch MacBook Pro, which MacRumors calls “far and away the company’s best-selling Mac product.” Kuo predicts that the 17-inch model may have sold a mere 50,000 units, with the 15-inch nabbing only half a million customers.
Apple will be announcing their Q1 2012 financials on Tuesday, which could provide further insight into where they plan to take the MacBook Pro line in the months ahead.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter