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Why the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2) remains integral to Apple’s lineup

Why the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2) remains integral to Apple’s lineup

The company offers earlier models at lower prices.

At various points in recent years, Apple has been considered the most valuable company in the world. And it is not at all daring to assume that the company did not reach that point without using the strategy when positioning its products.

One of the reasons for Apple’s success is that the company makes sure to have products at all price levels. No, it’s true that it doesn’t compete in the ultra-cheap products department (Apple leaves that to Android phones and Dell PCs), but when it enters a market, it makes sure that it always has a strong presence.

Of course, when you’re a company that builds powerful, attractive devices and values ​​your profit margins, your options are somewhat limited when it comes to making your devices more affordable.

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That has given way to another key part of Apple’s strategy: sticking with the old. Apple keeps old products and sells them at lower prices, a decision that continues to work for the company.

this old mac

In the case of Macs, keeping older models to fit a particular price point has been something the company has done for a long time.

Long after Apple upgraded its laptops with Retina displays and eliminated optical drives, it continued to sell an older model MacBook Pro that included the latter, but not the former.

The same thing happened with the 21.5-inch iMac with a rotating disk drive that was on sale until last fall.

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More recently, this is the same reason why the newly released 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (in the same design as the pre-Apple Silicon-era laptop) has just been upgraded with the M2 chip. And it explains why why the MacBook Air with M1 is still on sale And why Apple is still selling an Intel-based Mac mini: It’s all about price.

The new MacBook Air is a beautiful and powerful machine, but its redesigned exterior means it’s expensive to make. Apple has done well to offer a MacBook Air at a price of €1,219 / MXN$25,999: it’s the most popular laptop the company sells for a reason.

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Until the company can ramp up production of its new MacBook Air enough to replace both the Air with the M1 and potentially the 13-inch MacBook Pro, hopefully the old models will still be around, even if they’re outcompeted by others. newer and brighter.

The iPhone of the past

When it comes to its flagship product, Apple has turned the idea of ​​repurposing old devices into an art form.

The development of the iPhone SE model was specifically to allow the company to continue making older versions of its phones with hardware that it has already produced cheaply and in large quantities, allowing it to sell them at a lower price.

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The cheapest phone of the current model year is the iPhone 13 mini, which starts at €809 / MXN$17,999. Cheap, as far as a modern iPhone goes, but hardly affordable for those on a tighter budget.

Hence the third-generation iPhone SE, which is still a slightly tweaked version of the iPhone that Apple has effectively been selling since 2014, roughly half the years the iPhone has been on sale. This SE starts at just €529 / MXN$11,499, slightly cheaper than the 13 mini, not to mention the other models in the series.

(It’s true that you can get an iPhone 11 for just €589 / MXN$12,999, albeit with a slower processor and phone than the latest iPhone SE.)

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When Apple finally releases a fourth-generation iPhone SE (likely in a couple of years), it will likely transition to the iPhone X design.

At that point, that design will be 7 years old and it will probably be cheaper for Apple to produce all of its phones with a single design than to keep all the tools and materials to keep building phones from a decade earlier.

Apple Watch: watch and learn

As for the Apple Watch, Apple has taken an interesting mix of these two previous approaches. It has kept older models on sale, notably the Apple Watch Series 3, which is available at a rock-bottom price of €219 / MXN$4,999, though it won’t be able to upgrade to this year’s version of watchOS.

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But simultaneously, the company has tested the SE approach as well. The Apple Watch SE costs only €80/ MXN$2,500 more than the Series 3. It is conceivable that Apple wanted to lower it to the same price but could not to maintain its margins.

Since the SE is basically a slightly tweaked Series 4, Apple still benefits from its ability to mass-produce an older model without having to add the extra cost of other features like the always-on display, ECG and blood oxygen sensors. and the casings.

Reports suggest that this year’s Apple Watch will be based on more or less the same processor as the last two years, suggesting that the technology has stabilized to the point that the company could finally ditch the Series 3. , something I should do.

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But don’t expect Apple to back away from the strategy of keeping a few laggards in its line: profitability is just too good.

Original article published on Macworld.com.