Apple rumoured to looking to end Mac Pro, MacBook Pro

The success of Apple's pre-Ultrabook MacBook Air design could come at a cost, with the rumour spreading that the Cupertino company is looking to replace its MacBook Pro line and kill off its Mac Pro workstations.

The MacBook Air line is proving extremely popular, offering much of the power and functionality of the MacBook Pro line in a sexy, slim sliver of aluminium. While there is some overlap in the 13-inch market, the two current address different areas: the MacBook Air is only available in 11-inch and 13-inch models, while the MacBook Pro packs an optical drive and more powerful hardware in 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch chassis.

Rumours that a 15-inch MacBook Air is in the works suggests that the overlap will increase, however, and with Apple pushing its users away from optical discs and towards downloadable software and streaming video, the loss of the DVD drive won't come as too much of a blow.

As the performance available from a MacBook Air increases, the difference between the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air diminishes - and Apple is unlikely to want to offer two premium products that directly compete with each other. As a result, it's possible that it will kill off the MacBook Pro in favour of a more powerful MacBook Air.

That isn't the only change afoot: according to sources close to the matter speaking to AppleInsider, talks have been ongoing since May as to whether the Mac Pro workstation - in its current form - has a future in the company's product line.

Currently, laptops make up around 74 per cent of all computers shipped by Apple with the MacBook Air again having helped push that figure upward. With the Mac Pro workstation becoming increasingly unpopular, Apple executives are reportedly considering ditching it altogether in favour of ThunderBolt-powered docking stations that will allow its laptop lines to take over.

Apple, unsurprisingly, has not responded to a request for comment on the rumours.