I’d say this irresponsible and inflammatory rumor is half-true. With Snow Leopard likely being shown off at MacWorld (by Schiller, alas), Apple will want something to make the OS pop a bit. Since Intel’s new budget quad-core processor is just starting to make its rounds, it’s not totally out of the question that Apple will want to include it in the comparatively old 17-inch MacBook Pro.
The trouble is that the 17-inch already costs $2800. If you add the cost of a big unibody chassis, the improved guts, and a quad-core proc on top of that (even a budget one), you may break that magical $3000 barrier where people stop saying “oh, it’s okay, it’s the Apple premium” and they start saying “are you shitting me?” After all, Acer got a quad-core notebook out right off the bat for under $2000, and although a unibody 17-inch quad-core MBP would be a sexy beast indeed, that’s quite a chunk of change to be dropping.
What I’d like to see is a sub-$3000 price point for this mythical MBP, and a consequent minor price break on the smaller laptops, to make them more internally competitive. I doubt we’ll see that (it’s awful early to cut prices), but I think that’s the most logical way to introduce the things.
[via Tom’s Hardware]