MacBook Pro 13-inch (that's the non-Retina one) reportedly ending life in 2014

A report today suggests that Apple will be retiring the regular, non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of 2014. The news comes via Digitimes, a somewhat hit-and-miss source that cites insiders in the supply chain, and claims that Apple will be taking the MacBook Pro line Retina only:

The sources pointed out that Apple has been reducing its MacBook Pro prices, narrowing the price gap between the MacBook Pro and the one equipped with Retina. Apple stopped producing the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2013 and will end production of its 13-inch model in 2014.

So while the source isn't exactly bulletproof, it does make a certain amount of sense. The cheapest Retina model costs just $100 more. And at this point, it's so slim and light for what's inside it's as good as being a Retina MacBook Air. Sure, the regular 13-inch Pro is the last bastion for MacBook owners who want a physical media drive, but it's not as if Apple hasn't offered a solution to that since the very first MacBook Air.

I love the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. It's my daily driver and I can't say I've ever missed not having a CD drive, and once you've gone Retina it'd be tough to go back. With the relative price points and direction Apple has gone in recent years with the Mac App Store, maybe it is time to lay the old girl to rest? Or maybe you want to see it live on?

Source: Digitimes

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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MacBook Pro 13-inch (that's the non-Retina one) reportedly ending life in 2014

20 Comments

For me, it isn't about not having a media drive as I don't use that much these days anyway. Rather, for me it's the loss of the ability to change my HDD or my RAM. For someone like myself, who uses my laptop on a daily basis as my primary machine, I don't have the time to pull out my laptop, pull out external storage, etc., just to get to the files that I'm needing. I need those files readily available on my internal storage. Thus, it's 500GB+ and, unfortunately, when you spec that into the equation, then the price for that (in SSD form) gets expensive in a hurry. Further, I may need 8GB of RAM today, but what about tomorrow? If I need to go from 8 to 16GB, I now need a new computer, as opposed to just upgrading the RAM from 8 to 16GB (like what I have done with my existing 15" non-Retina MBP). While it is true that the entry price into the Retina MBP has gotten cheaper, my costs machine over machine have actually risen since it now costs me more money to purchase the Mac that I need.

+1. I would totally buy a Retina machine and deal with no internal DVD drive if I could at least user-service memory and the HDD.

they capped they amount of ram anyways before retina, so you would need to eventually upgrade. You just have to purchase the max ram at initial purchase.

Not necessarily. Every Mac sold since about 2009 has been able to take more RAM than Apple claimed it would. For example, my 15" MBP says that it's max is 8GB of RAM from Apple, yet I am clearly running 16GB and have been with no issue for over a year now. When I bought it, I only needed 4-8GB. Now, my needs have changed and I need more, but I'm using my same laptop. And, to that last statement, that's precisely my problem. My MBP, even with the extra RAM bought third party, didn't cost me the price of buying a MBP plus the amount of RAM that I ended up needing. Further, I had no way of knowing when I bought my laptop in 2011 that in 2013, I would need to go from 4GB of RAM to 16GB of RAM. In the current model of rMBP, I would have to max out the laptop in RAM, and potentially HDD, to avoid having an issue of it not being adequate to make it for the length of time I would plan to keep it, thus turning a 2000 item (which is already a few hundred more than my current non-retina MBP with the RAM and space that I need) into a 2600+ item. That's not an efficient use of my money.

It was just a matter of time. Fair well non retina MacBook Pro. It was good while it lasted! Great story!

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NOOOOO! My 13" MBP is my daily driver and what really got me into Apple to begin with. I love my 750GB harddrive, and don't want to part with that functionality

I got a 512GB SSD in the 13-inch Retina. I know that's a couple hundred short but it's not as if we're forced to survive in Chromebook territory at least :)

the big issue is some users really need storage more than the speed of an ssd. like if it's a trade off for them ssd doesn't win. an example i used below was djs. djs often use add more drives to a macbook pro removing the dvd drive. I'd guess graphic artists and video editors and youtubers may like the storage more as well. but to each his own.

SSD prices are coming down. They went up slightly for the holiday peak, but now you can buy 512 GB SSDs in bulk for clearly below $300. Looking at a MBP refresh in late 2014 (no significant new chips or chipsets are expected any earlier anyhow), we might see a $200 price point for 512 GB when bought in volume. This is pretty much a price point at which continuing to use old and sensitive technology in a mobile device makes no more sense in Apple's price segment. And there is certainly no reason to buy a non-retina device over a retina one. Between the 13" MBA and rMBP there is simply no more need to be served. And with quite some stuff going into the cloud now, a SSD might not need exactly the same capacity as your old HDD. Even the biggest 2.5" HDD available will not hold my iTunes or Aperture libraries, so external storage is a requirement anyhow.

I agree about upgradable RAM being desirable though. Especially since most Apple Stores do not even stock BTO models with full RAM.

I love my 13-inch Macbook Pro. Mine is a little old (Early 2011) but still runs like a champ. I do need to upgrade the RAM, though. Currently only suing 4GB. Will get 8GB soon. It's not slow by any means but it couldn't hurt to be a little faster ;)

I agree, this good old 13" MBP is bound to disappear very soon... which is why I bought one this January!
Why, do you ask? Why pass up the better retina screen and faster SSD? The tradeoff is this: I maxed it out with a Core i7, 8 Gb RAM and 1 Tb HDD (the student discount made these upgrades equal in price to 3rd party upgrades). I reckon this machine will serve me well for the next 5 years as a family computer for photos and home videos editing, but light enough to also take on trips and have all my stuff in a self-contained unit. Basically it's a desktop replacement that does not take too much room on an already crowded desk in my small appartement! When SSD prices drop significantly, I'll totally buy a large one. And I'll just live with the screen as it is.
I agree this model no longer "fits" in Apple's lineup, but IMO it still serves the needs of a somewhat narrow niche segment. For now!

I'm thinking on the very same way.
I need a laptop and it must be Apple. I'm not a power user and probably the Air would serve me well enough, but I don't like it. I don't like that I can't plan with it for more than 2-3 years.
If I buy MBP with no retina and slowly max it out, I believe it will serve me at least 5 years.

I just want my Haswell MacMini, please. Pleeeeeeease??? I have the cash right now. Been waiting patiently since last summer. *sigh*

Pretty much expected, I'd say.
I'm also curious to see what the new MacBook lineup will look like later this year, or next year. It seems there is a nearing convergence of the Air and Pro lines. I feel a change is incoming. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

The HDD's on the Retina MacBooks, are "serviceable" that is they are pretty much the only thing you can swap out. The drive isn't soldered in like the RAM and I've seen a few videos of people walking through how to replace it. There is also enough firmware on the Logic Board to download a new copy of OSX onto the new drive from the Mac App Store.

Correction, The 15" MBP is quite swappable. But the 13" is "accessible" but far less than the 15. Still doable if you're careful and determined.

For the past few days, I have been looking at buying a MacBook Pro 13". My Dell is dead and needs a new motherboard and I am typing this on my old Toshiba running Win XP. I will continue to use the Toshiba after XP support ends, just not for anything critical. I now have an iPhone 5c and an iPad Air is on order, so I have been thinking about a MacBook.
I am drawn to the non Retina model because it has the DVD/CD player, expandable memory and the ability to add a second drive.
The Retina models look gorgeous, but they are sealed units. I just cannot see the point of paying that much money for the base Retina with 128GB storage and 4GB of ram, both non ungradeable. After a couple of years you would be needing a replacement, which only suits Apple.
Also, the batteries are glued to the interior, if they ever fail that would mean a big bill, if you didn't buy AppleCare.
iFixit.com gave the Retina a repairability rating of just 1 out of 10. http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Retina+Display+Late+2...

curious what djs will do. It's very popular because it has a large hard drive to store music plus you can remove the dvd drive and add another hard drive in the bay for huge storage. All the other apple laptops don't match the storage.

bit annoyance to me is all the other mac books airs and retina just lack the storage and memory at that price point. And sadly, what you get in exchange are not that important to me like a super clear screen or ssd. plus they aren't user upgradable too.

I bought the original 13" MBP in 2009 as a compact replacement for our desktop machine at home - loaded up with a 500GB hard drive and 4GB ram - it wasn't cheap at the time but I dread to think what the same relatively high spec would cost you in retina form now.

Almost five years later and it's still running mavericks well, stuffed full of music, photos and video. I haven't felt the need to upgrade it yet but i have plenty of options - I could double the hard drive easily and cheaply, perhaps add another in place of the optical drive, double the ram, or switch to an SSD for a big performance boost. Or all of the above!

In 2019, what will anyone be able to do to improve their old retina MBP? Nothing sadly. They'll be what they are today and nothing more, which probably means they'll be redundant a lot sooner - especially those that didn't max out the specs from the factory. I think that's a shame.

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Proud owner of one, but not happy with the fact that the SuperDrive gave out right after the warranty expired. The second I got it, I replaced the HDD and 4GB of RAM with a Crucial m4 512GB SSD and 8GB Corsair DDR3 RAM. Besides the SuperDrive it has been flawlessly. By the end of 2015, I hope to upgrade to a 1TB SSD (512 is already not cutting it), and 16GB of RAM, adding at least another 3-5 years to the life of the MacBook Pro. Yeah, I am fine without retina.