Apple has discontinued the 12-inch MacBook. The company’s slimmest and lightest notebook ever has been unceremoniously removed from the online store, with Apple confirming it will not be replaced with a new version.
The move came as Apple issued upgrades to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models on Tuesday, with the 12-inch MacBook, last updated in 2017, conspicuous by its absence. The suspicion that this might be the end of the road for the opinion-splitting device has played out.
It was initially thought that the 12-inch MacBook seemed like a MacBook Air replacement, but the incumbent has won out.
The 12-inch MacBook finally gave an Apple ultra-portable the prized Retina display, while an even slimmer-than-air design weighing just 2-pounds made it the perfect device for mobile workers who didn’t require the power punch of the MacBook Pro.
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Controversially, it also debuted the ill-fated Butterfly keyboard design that Apple has since brought to the Pro and Air models, each beset by problems to the point where Apple is rumoured to be abandoning the design completely in future iterations.
It was also the first model to transition from MagSafe to a USB-C charging and data transfer solution, while jettisoning all other ports aside from the MacBook headphone jack. From a design perspective, it was perhaps Apple’s most impressive MacBook to date, but it was expensive, starting at $1,299 for the least powerful option.
Many of the traits debuted by the 12-inch model have continued to trickle down to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines, and and unexpected Air refresh last year offered plenty of crossover between the two devices.
With a larger 13.3-inch display, faster processors, slightly better battery life, more connectivity options, Touch ID, the MacBook Air has devoured the 12-inch model. It’s heavier and not quite as compact, but has preferable price point.
It should have been obvious then that the 12-inch MacBook would be an outlier moving forward and now Apple has done the deed. As someone who owns this laptop, I’m disappointed to see it go the way of the dodo. For my money, this model represented the true future of Mac notebooks rather than the Air.