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Apple 17-inch MacBook Pro dead? Analyst predicts demise


(CBS News) Apple's 17-inch MacBook Pro may say farewell in 2012, if KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is correct.

Kuo predicts that Apple will release a new hybrid MacBook that will combine the best of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, according to a report cited by MacRumors.

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In order to keep their portfolio sleek, Kuo claims "Apple is likely to stop making the 17-inch MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy."

According to Kuo, Apple sold just 50,000 units of the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Compare that with 1.5 million 13-inch MacBook Pros and 500,000 15-inch MacBook Pros.

Several rumors have circulated over the future of MacBook Pros. Most recently, SlashGear reported that Apple will release 200,000 new 15-inch MacBook Pros this month and 400,000 13-inch units in June, with the 17-inch model following later this year.

The Economic Times of China allegedly reported that Foxconn is already working on producing the next MacBook Pro, according to the blog Planet Insane.

Last December, DigiTimes reported that "sources in the upstream supply chain" claimed the new MacBook Pro screens would have 2,800 x 1,800 pixel resolution. That's twice the 1,440 x 900 display of the current 15-inch model.

A report by Apple Insider in February alleged that the entire notebook lineup will be revamped by the close of the year. According to Apple Insider's source, all existing MacBook designs will be phased out in favor of a slim MacBook Air look.

Other rumored upgrades included a switch to solid-state drives and omission of optical disk drives and integration of Intel's Ivy Bridge processor. The chip supports displays up to 4,096 x 4,096 and has a rumored released date of June. Apple has already prepared OS X Lion for an upgrade with "HiDPI," which supports resolution-doubling mode.