Is Apple taking the lazy way out with the MacBook Pro 13?
During Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2022, the company gave us a glimpse of its future, sharing announcements for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS 13. Along with software, Apple also showed off new hardware, announcing its new MacBook Air (2022) and more surprisingly, an “updated” MacBook Pro 13. While the former was a breath of fresh air with its all-new design, the latter looked familiar and dated.
Apple took the
easy lazy way out with the MacBook Pro 13
To be clear, Apple hardware has been pretty good for the past decade, but there have been some missteps. Under the direction of legendary designer Jony Ive, Apple replaced its keyboard technology for the worse, removed ports from its “Pro” laptops, and even got rid of its beloved MagSafe charging system. It would also introduce new technology with its Touch Bar system, which wouldn’t really catch on as anticipated. It chose to overcomplicate certain parts, but strip down other areas, choosing simplicity over a great user experience. This was a dark era for MacBook users and while Apple stuck to its guns for years, it would eventually right its wrongs by going back to the old formula. Because of this, many would rejoice with the release of the the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16. and Apple would continue moving forward with the release of the MacBook Air (2022).
Because of all of this forward momentum, one has to question, after accomplishing so much over the past 18 months, why would Apple go backward? Why would it proudly showcase an older design, complete with Touch Bar, a blatant reminder of a flawed product – an era of Apple that wasn’t as solid. There are a number of reasons why this could have occurred, and we will never really have a solid answer, but Apple could have just kept moving forward. For a company the size of Apple with the immense resources at its disposal, figuring out a different design for the MacBook Pro 13 would have been possible, and even possibly an easy task considering the blueprints available from the redesigned MacBook Air 13 and the MacBook Pro 14.
Alternatively, the company could have chosen to skip the MacBook Pro 13 instead of renewing its life in an outdated format for yet another year. Of course, by not having a MacBook Pro 13, there would be a hole in Apple’s current lineup, but if this is a transitional period, so be it. Apple could have just kept the lineup as is for another year. Although there are previous examples of Apple using an older chassis design for its first M1 SoC laptop, that was a different moment. Apple was debuting a new SoC for the first time and entering uncharted waters. I think in this instance, it was limiting risk by using an old design and maximizing the use of its existing supply chain. But that was then when Apple had an unproven SoC. Now, it’s a clear winner, and mixing and matching parts is just in bad taste. It reeks of profiteering off an established supply chain without really putting in any thought and effort to give consumers more than the bare minimum.
Furthermore, if Apple wanted to keep something “old”, it could have used the MacBook Pro 13 chassis without a Touch Bar. This would have looked a bit more like the current lineup and would have probably cost Apple and consumers less. Because as it stands right now, the MacBook Pro 13 sits in awkwardly between the MacBook Air 13 and the MacBook Pro 14, losing the benefits of being cheaper and powerful respectively from the option at either end.
Regardless, Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 (2022) will arrive very soon to customers and there is no telling how popular it will be. But hopefully, the reactions are tepid and consumers will voice their opinion with their dollars.
Do you think Apple took the easy way out with the MacBook Pro 13 (2022)? What would have been a better execution for this? Did the M1 MacBook Pro 13 really need an M2 upgrade? Let us know in the comments below!