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Why the 2012 Non-Retina MacBook Pro Still Sells

Great post from Marco Arment:

The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, model MD101LL/A, was launched in 2012 for $1199. Almost four years later, it’s still for sale, completely unchanged except for a price drop to $1099 in 2013.

Despite the low-resolution screen, slow hard drives, very little RAM, and CPUs that were middling even in 2012, it’s an open secret among Apple employees that the “101” still sells surprisingly well — to a nearly tragic degree, given its age and mediocrity.

Geeks like me often wonder why anyone would still buy such an outdated machine. I’ve heard from many people who buy it (or who’ve been unsuccessful in talking others out of it), and it’s surprisingly compelling, especially for volume-buying, price-conscious customers such as schools and big businesses.

In short: it’s cheap, can use cheap spinning hard drives (with large capacities), has a DVD drive, and performance is not that far behind today’s current retina MacBook Pros. (That last one is on Intel’s shoulders.) I care deeply about retina displays, SSD storage reliability and performance, and I have no interest in a DVD drive. Others do, though.

It occurs to me that for all our collective worrying about the iOS-ification of Mac OS X, it’s the MacBook hardware that’s gotten iOS-ified, not the software. Thinness as a top priority, and an almost complete lack of upgradeability. The MacBook Pro 101 is the last MacBook that was meant for hardware tinkering.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016