I didn't realize, until this past weekend, that there are four(!) types of 13" MacBook Pro, with two of them going for $1,299 and $1,499, but with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 1.4GHz processors. Instead of neutering the "pro" model with those lower specs, what about a stock Air offering in that $1,299-1,499 space instead, that comes with 16GB and i7 out of the box? Then you'd still have your $1,799 and up true MacBook Pro in 13" size (and pretend its next year, with the new keyboard, speakers, etc., along with the 16GB RAM/i7 stock I talked about in my previous post). There's your true "pro" level notebooks (and, if they could somehow work their way down to $1,699 and $1,899 even better.
I just think it makes more sense to offer a "Cadillac" MacBook Air in that $1,499 spot than a "less than" notebook that still has "pro" in its name. It looks weird. You know customers are looking at that and going "why the overlap? What's the true difference between a $1,299 Air and a $1,299 Pro?" It's needlessly confusing and I don't think the 13" Pro, if it's not going to live up to that name, needs to be slumming it down in the $1,299-1,499 neighborhood when many of its specs/features are closer to that of an Air anyway.
$1,099 - current Air offering (dual-core 1.6GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 617)
$1,299 - current Air offering (dual-core 1.6GHz i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 617)
$1,499 - "Cadillac" Air (quad-core 1.5GHz i5/BTO quad-core 1.7GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645) vs. neutered Pro
$1,799 - New 13" Pro (2.8GHz quad-core i7, 16GB RAM, whatever updated 2020 graphics, 256GB SSD)
$1,999 - New 13" Pro (2.8GHz quad-core i7, 16GB RAM, whatever updated 2020 graphics, 512GB SSD)
*Note that I'm guessing/estimate/placeholding on the clock speed specs above...whatever comes to be in 2020 is what would be there. I'm just going with what's currently in place on existing, known models...they may be higher on a new machine in 2020. Point is, the two lower Airs would have 1.xxGHz dual-core i5, the "Cadillac" could be a little beefier with quad-core and/or i7 option, and then the $1,799+ Pros would have at least the mid-2.xxGHz quad-core i7
I don't think it looks good that a notebook with "pro" in its name does with half the ports, a dramatically slower processor (1.4 vs. 2.4GHz), lesser graphics than the $1,799-1,999 models, etc. (at this point, what's "pro" about it?). When, instead, a souped-up Air just looks better, psychologically/consumerically
better in that slot. Apple has, instead, chosen to neuter the Pro model just to have something in that $1,299-1,499 slot and I just don't think it's a good look. It says "less than" and "not quite the 'pro' model that you get if you spent $1,799 or more". That creates needless confusion, debate and coin-tossing. It should all be more clear cut/no-brainer and obvious to anyone looking to buy. You should never neuter/dumb down a machine with the word "pro" in its name. You, instead, bring UP the lower model to make it look like more of something...a better buy that's more "bang for the buck". I think people respond better, in their gut, to that sort of thing, vs. buying a Pro that they can clearly see is lacking in specs/features from the same-named models costing $300+ more. That makes zero sense to me, the way they currently have the 13" Pro models positioned...they're making the Pro look worse when they could be making the Air look better, and handling/covering that entire $1,000-1,500 range.
It's just more attractive/alluring, IMO, to have a "better Air" than a "less than Pro" at that $1,499 mark.
And I don't think people are hung up on the actual appearance/case design where the above would be some sort of deal-killer. And if they are, then they can save another $300 to get the Pro chassis (and a lot more power/capability) if that's truly what they're basing a decision on. Personally, I prefer the sleek, tapered look of the Air and if my imaginary lineup above actually existed, that $1,499 souped-up Air is what I'd get, hands down...basically the current low-end Pro in a more attractive outfit, without the negative baggage of an questionably-named/postioned machine.