“The best selling Pro notebook lineup”


I'm pretty tired of hearing that the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup is "the best selling Pro notebook lineup ever" on blogs and news articles. The actual quote given during an interview with The Independent was,

“... our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before.” — Phil Schiller

Let's ignore the qualifier of "online store" for now, and focus on the idea that these are the best selling "pro notebooks" that Apple has made.


The MacBook Pro lineup has previously included 2 different machines, a 13" with a lower wattage (28W) CPU and no discrete GPU option and a 15" with a higher wattage (45W) CPU with 2 more cores, and an optional discrete GPU. The new lineup continues on largely in this same tradition, only trading the optional discrete GPU for one that's non-optional.


Now, they've also tossed (what I believe to be) the MacBook Air successor into the MacBook Pro lineup. The MacBook Air has always used the even lower power Intel CPU size class (15W). This is what originally allowed Apple to slim the machine down and then later, still deliver solid battery life. The new 13" MacBook Pro (non TouchBar) uses the same 15w class chip and is now faster, thinner (on average), narrower, shorter, and within a breath of being the same weight as the legacy 13" MacBook Air. It's clear to me that this machine is the MacBook Air in all but name, and if the MacBook Pro (non TouchBar) were $500 cheaper, I reckon Apple would've discontinued the MacBook Air instead of keeping it around.

Here's why it's the best selling lineup of all time

So, we have a new MacBook Pro lineup that spans 3 Intel CPU performance classes and groups together the 2 highest selling Apple notebook model lineups. Our new lineup is:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

Are you seeing where I'm going with this yet?

Let's say BMW waited for 2 standard model refreshes to update the M3. When they did refresh, they decided to label all models in the 3 series lineup "M3". Now the M3 is a lineup of vehicles:

  • M3 (2.0l turbo engine)
  • M3 (2.0l turbo engine, all wheel drive)
  • M3 (2.0l turbo engine, all wheel drive, station wagon)
  • M3 (3.0l turbo engine)
  • M3 (3.0l turbo engine, all wheel drive)
  • M3 (3.0l high output turbo engine)

In rebuttal to press about a "dissapointing M3 refresh", BMW says that they are seeing the "highest sales of any M series in it's history". Does this accuractly reflect the state of the M3? Of course not.