13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Coming in October?

Four days before the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro was introduced, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a report claiming that Apple would launch the machine alongside the then-current MacBook Pro line rather than as a direct replacement.

Kuo’s report turned out to be nearly exactly on point, as was the case with his April report claiming that Apple would discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro, and so it pays to revisit his Retina MacBook line claims to see what the future might hold.

In that report, Kuo claimed that the 13-inch MacBook Pro would likely arrive in the August timeframe at the earliest, with the machine’s release being held back by display yield and challenges with heat dissipation in the smaller body.

[W]e don’t expect the new 13” MacBook to be available until after August this year, as it has limited space for thermal dissipation and uses a lower-yield retinal display than the 15” version.



With the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro now available, Kuo has released a new report taking another look at Apple’s plans for the 13-inch version, and AppleInsider reports that he is now estimating a September production ramp for the machine with an early October launch to follow.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI shared in a note with AppleInsider on Thursday that he expects Apple to ramp up production of a 13-inch next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display in September. That would allow the product to hit stores in early October, in time for the holiday shopping season.

In his note last week, Kuo predicted that the 15-inch Retina model would carry a thickness of 19 millimeters (0.75 inches), while the 13-inch model could come in slightly thinner at 18 millimeters (0.71 inches). But the 15-inch model Apple actually introduced already comes in at the 18 millimeter figure, so it is unclear whether Apple would be able trim any additional thickness off for the 13-inch model.

Potentially supporting the idea of a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro being in testing is the discovery of a “MacBookPro10,2” listing in the results database for the battery utility app MiniBatteryLogger. The 15-inch MacBook Pro carries a designation of “MacBookPro10,1”, and while the MacBookPro10,2 designation could presumably have been faked, there are several indications that it may be legitimate.



First, the database entry appeared on April 25, well ahead of much specific information on the Retina MacBook Pro that might have helped create a legitimate-looking fake entry. Second, the machine’s battery registers a design capacity of 6580 mAh, roughly 14% greater than the 5770 mAh battery found in the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro. By comparison, the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro’s 8460 mAh battery has roughly 22.5% greater capacity than the 6900 mAh battery in the non-Retina model.

While the battery capacity ratios between corresponding Retina and non-Retina MacBook Pro batteries would not be exactly the same if this MacBookPro10,2 is indeed a genuine 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, they are at least in the same range and one could imagine that a smaller display and lack of a discrete graphics card could shrink the amount of capacity boost needed to power a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro.


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