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Rumor: MacBook Pro refresh set for March

Screenshots of a Best Buy inventory list obtained by 9to5Mac point to signs that an update to Apple's MacBook Pro lineup may be in the works.

New editions of Apple's MacBook Pro notebooks may be hitting Best Buy next month, according to screenshots of an inventory report apparently obtained by Apple enthusiast site 9to5Mac.


The alleged inventory report shows that Best Buy has created a dummy SKU for a mobile Apple computer set for release on March 11.

Based on the retailer's report, the machine will cost $1,199. Since that's the cost of the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, it may be a tipoff that prices could remain the same for the refreshed models.

These latest tidbits follow reports late last month from MacRumors and other Apple enthusiast sites that supplies have been dwindling for the MacBook Pro, especially the 15-inch and 17-inch models. That typically is a sign of Apple holding back stock as a precursor to refreshing the product line.

This is, of course, all speculation until Apple would make an announcement.

On that note, MacRumors said recently that it had seen the same inventory reports but was dubious about them because Best Buy had "guessed" at a release date for new MacBook Pros last year and was off by a month. Even 9to5Mac acknowledges that Best Buy's launch dates have missed the mark in the past.

Apple last updated its MacBook Pro line in April 2010, so the timing would be right for a refresh. Still, there is one obstacle that Apple and PC vendors must take into account now. That is the impact of Intel's recent disclosure of a flawed Sandy Bridge chipset. With Intel due to start pushing out a fixed version of the chipset in mid-February, Apple could be forced to stall its MacBook Pro update beyond whatever launch date it had initially planned.