updated 09:10 am EDT, Wed July 20, 2011
Apple axes white MacBook as Air takes over
Apple in updating the MacBook Air has quietly dropped the white, plastic MacBook from its lineup. The disappearance marks the end of the series first introduced in 2006. It also represents the first time since the iBook that a white polycarbonate plastic notebook wasn't part of Apple's lineup.
The company has been reached for comment on the switch but hadn't had an opportunity to respond as of this writing.
Dropping the white MacBook is likely a reflection of both the rapid rise of the redesigned MacBook Air and the drop-off of the old design. Although the old system had a considerably faster processor and more expansion, its relatively heavy design and overlap with the 13-inch MacBook Pro gave users very little reason to buy in. The MacBook Pro has regularly been Apple's most popular system.
Air sales in the meantime are known to range into at least several hundred thousand per month and, with the much improved upgrade Wednesday, are rumored to hit 1.5 million per quarter, or enough to be half of Apple's entire portable mix. White MacBook sales are suspected of tanking to under 100,000 a quarter and not enough to justify.
The exit may upset some educational buyers. Apple originally began using polycarbonates with the iBook to give schools a relatively shock-proof design. New models have the advantage of SSDs that won't skip in a fall but which are potentially more prone to drop damage.