After last month's price drop on the regular MacBook Pro for education purchases, and today's rumor on an update for the Retina MacBook Pro and MacBook Air during WWDC, I've got a strong feeling this year's WWDC could mark the end of the MacBook Pro.
By which I mean, that Apple could easily stop offering the non-retina SuperDrive model, and have a simplified MacBook lineup of a Pro model with Retina display, and an Air model with a regular display. They'd still offer the classic MacBook Pro as an educational model only, the same way they use to have the iMac and Mac Pro in their desktop lineup, and the eMac with older technology as an education desktop model, but for us regular consumers, there would only be a choice between Air and Retina Pro.
The MacBook Pro with retina display is renamed to MacBook Pro. With the retina display a feature of every MacBook Pro. And the MacBook Air could either keep it's name, or the Air could be dropped and the device would simply be known as a MacBook from now on.
Since the introduction of the reengineered MacBook Air, with its new design and way, way, better performance than the original model, this machine has steadily taken the place of arguably both the regular white MacBook, and the base MacBook Pro. The same way the 13" and 15" Retina MacBook Pro has taken most of the market that the high end 13", 15" and the late 17" non-retina models used to exist off.
Users would loose easy access to a SuperDrive and FireWire ports in this shakeup, but what's gained is a lineup that's once again clean and easy to understand. On one side we have the consumer laptop, that's good enough for surfing, photo and movie viewing, writing and chatting market. On the other side we have strong, fast beasts for the professional market. On one side the MacBook Air. On the other side the MacBook Pro.