Will Apple Discontinue the 17" MacBook Pro?

By , dealnews Features Director

While we're anxiously awaiting a supposed update to the Apple MacBook Pro series of notebooks, there are rumors that the hefty 17" model will eventually (whether now, or later) be phased out due to faltering sales.

According to MacRumors, Apple sold 3.1 million notebooks in the first quarter of 2012, "with nearly half of them being the 13" MacBook Pro." But the 17" MacBook Pro has sold significantly less. In fact, an analyst quoted by MacRumors estimates that for every 30 13" MacBook Pros sold in that quarter, just one 17" model was sold. That would seemingly indicate that consumers are favoring lighter, more mobile machines.

Often times when a product isn't selling well it will see comparatively steeper price cuts, so we looked back on our deal archives to see which size models in the current MacBook Pro lineup are seeing the better discounts. But the 17" MacBook Pro base model (currently $2,259 with free shipping, a low by $21) has seen deals that take 10% off the retail price while the base 13" MacBook Pro's price has been cut by as much as 12% (currently $1,119 with free shipping, a low by $1), edging out the larger laptop for a slightly better discount.

Despite this, Apple has been trending toward lighter, portable products, exemplified best by the MacBook Air. And, there are many rumors that suggest the manufacturer will slim down the Pro line significantly as well. Whether there's room for a 17" laptop in that new design direction remains to be seen.

Readers, how many of you use a 17" MacBook Pro? Are the smaller 13" and 15" sizes sufficient for your needs? Would you consider sizing down and hooking up to a monitor when you want to expand your workspace? Sound off in the comments below.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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I use a 17" MacBook Pro, the last one they made in Oct 2011. It has all the I/Os that I am a custom to. When ever I have to switch and there's not a 17" MacBook available, I will look at other laptops, because truth be told there are other companys that make 17" laptops. I have been loyal to apple, 4 iPhone, iPad, 4 iPods, and 2 MacBook Pro's, not to mention all the other accessory and thousands of dollars of softwear I have bought. I hope they reconsider and don't play that game. Some market for the 17" pro users is a lot better than, those people going some place else and liking it and tell other about there experience.
I have a 13" MacBook Pro, primarily because of the smaller size.  It's powerful enough to replace my desktop and small enough to travel with.  Of course, the lower price tag was a consideration too :-).  

I've considered hooking my MBP to a monitor, but I need to purchase a lot to do that and still maintain the same feel as I would have without one (such as a mini-displayport to DVI converter), a bluetooth keyboard and a magic trackpad.  

The one thing I do like about the larger size MBPs is the higher resolution of the video card.  It's higher than the smaller MBP, which just isn't right for those of us that want to output to an external monitor.

There are some things I'm willing to pay more money for and some things I am not.  So, it would be nice if Apple was more flexible and allowed you to "build your own" Mac, like Dell does with Windows computers.
I'm on my second 17" MacBook Pro. They have been replacements for a desktop computer. Anything bigger than an iPhone needs a carry case of some sort. Once its necessary for me to have a carry case / bag, I want the biggest screen I can get. I hope Apple does NOT discontinue large screen MBPs. Heck, I'd like to be able to get a MBP with an 18"~20" HiDef screen! That would allow more room for a bigger battery, more ports etc.....
A graphic this week on an article about Apple's quarterly report showed that 58% of revenue came from iPhone sales.  So it is obvious that the mobile market is driving Apple's finances.

But I am concerned about the idea that the 17" Mac Pro might be disappearing.  Apple has long been a mainstay for the graphic creation crowd - whether print, video, online, or other mediums.  These users are drawn to high horsepower, large visual real estate machines.

Likewise, I've been wondering what I'm going to replace my current desktop with as the Mac Pro line hasn't been updated in nearly two years.  An iMac just doesn't cut it as far as expandability and upgradability.  Being able to choose a graphics card, add a few hard drives, and plug in a dozen peripherals still puts me in the Mac Pro realm.

Mac fans have always wished for more respect for their choice of computer.  Unfortunately, now that we're getting it, it may mean the end of being able to use them ourselves for our tasks if Apple abandons the Pro user for the "hip mobile user" who has now adopted Apple...
We use a 15" 2011 MBP hooked up to an HP IPS 24" monitor.  When we're at home that HP screen beats any laptop screen.  When we're traveling, that 15" is much more portable and it's still a great screen.  It's like the best of both worlds for about the same price as the 17".
I'm with twisty, I can't justify $2k for a laptop. In fact, I can't spend $1k either. I'm still using a
This article misses the obvious point. I have a 13" MBP, but not because of the smaller size - because of the smaller price tag. I'm not willing to pay more than twice as much for a larger screen.
Well then, when my current 17" MD311LL/A dies, if there are no more new ones, it's tablets for me since a small screen is a small screen.