• Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

Apple’s "Scary Fast" event offered the community a surprising refresh to the entire MacBook Pro range while taking care of a long-standing problem. Apple has finally killed off its awkward 13-inch MacBook Pro .

Apple started the move to its ARM-based Apple Silicon chipset in 2020 with the launch of the M1 MacBook Air, M1 Mac Mini, and M1 MacBook Pro. One of the key messages Tim Cook and his team were looking to present at the launch was “nothing would change.” While the new chipset offered more speed, better performance, and a cooler laptop, all your apps would still run, everything would remain familiar, and it would be a seamless blend of old and new.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro was a key part of that. Apple was offering the faster Apple Silicon with a flexible desk-bound computer, a highly portable consumer laptop and a professionally focused laptop. This was something comfortable and non-threatening. For the first few months of Apple Silicon, it was the right marketing strategy.

And then the genuine, professionally focused laptops arrived. The 14-inch- and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops had a new design, improved hardware, and more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Next to these behemoths, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was not just pedestrian but so close in performance, look, and price to the 13-inch MacBook Air that it went from “this is what a MacBook Pro can be” to “you’ve MacGyvered a fan onto the MacBook Air and changed the sticker”.

And Apple continued to sell the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

With the launch of the M2, Apple had the opportunity to tweak its portfolio. The M2 MacBook Air covered the consumer base, offering an excess of power for most users; the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops delivered more power for a professional environment with the M2 Pro and M2 Max (and those that needed even more, the M2 Ultra was available in the Mac Studio). Sticking out like a sore thumb, the MacBook Air with a fan, the Air with a tiny little edge in unneeded performance for a significant premium.


Apple Doubles Down On MacBook Pro Differences

And Apple continued to sell the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

With the launch of the M3 family , Apple took the opportunity to disrupt its portfolio using the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. Not by any significant degree—this is Apple, after all, and there’s a lot of inertia—but the simultaneous launch of the vanilla Apple Silicon with the Pro and Max versions allowed a clean sweep of the MacBook Pro portfolio. The currently 14-inch and 16-inch laptops saw upgrades to the M3 Pro and the M3 Max chipsets, fulfilling the promise of the “Scary Fast” event.

And Apple killed the 13-inch MacBook Pro . The always-awkward laptop has finally left the portfolio… to be replaced by a 14-inch MacBook Pro with just 8GB of RAM and the vanilla M3 chipset.

The oversized MacBook Air has been replaced by an underpowered MacBook Pro. The more things change...

Now read how Apple missed the moment to redefine the smartphone with the iPhone 15 Pro...