Apple may discontinue 17" MacBook Pro

  Macbook Pro LineupApple may be looking at discontinuing it's 17" Macbook pro line due to weak sales according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has offered accurate predictions in the past.

His report states:

Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors. 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. While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17” MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy.

MacRumors say that Kuo's estimates for the first quarter of 2012 make Apple's 13" Macbook Pro their most popular notebook with around 1.5 million units sold, against 500,000 15" Macbook Pros and just 50,000 17" MacBook Pros.

Apple is expected to release redesigned versions of it's entire MacBook Pro line later this year more closely resembling the MacBook Air form factor.

Steve Barrett