Did Intel just make a slip and reveal the existence of forthcoming MacBook Pros with Core i5 processors?
That appears to be the case, as reported by Spanish site faq-mac.com and MacRumors. Intel has sent an e-mail to members of its Intel Retail Edge program with a January prize draw. Two participants in the contest will each win a MacBook Pro laptop “with the accelerated response of a new Intel Core i5 processor” -- the availability of which hasn’t even been announced yet. The current MacBook Pro line uses Intel Core 2 Duo processors.
It’s not just Intel customers in Spain, either -- other sources confirm receipt of similar promotional e-mails in the United States and United Kingdom as well. Intel’s Retail Edge program is aimed at retail store employees that offer Intel-based product for sale, offering them training to increase their knowledge of the products they sell. Contests and special discounts are also part of the program.
That Apple would be including Core i5 processors in the MacBook Pro wouldn’t be a total surprise -- there have been plenty of rumors in recent weeks about their inclusion in the next refresh of the notebook line. Early benchmarks show that the Core i5 processor has a significant advantage in speed over the Core 2 Duo, while retaining similar battery life. MacRumors also notes that the current MacBook Pro is nearing the end of its typical lifecycle, having been last updated in June, 2009. Apple is holding a media event in San Francisco on January 27th, where it is widely expected to pull back the curtain on its long-rumored tablet, although other products -- including new MacBook Pros with Intel Core i5 processors -- could also be introduced.