Today marks the third anniversary of Apple discontinuing the 12-inch MacBook. The laptop was removed from the Apple Online Store on July 9, 2019 along with updates for the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro on the same day.
Introduced in March 2015, the 12-inch MacBook features a slim and light design that weighs just two pounds, and was also Apple’s first fanless laptop. Pricing started at $1,299, with the original model’s standard specs including a 1.1-GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and an 8GB SSD. 256 GB.
Key design aspects of the 12-inch MacBook included a single USB-C port for charging and data transfer, a new Force Touch control pad at the time, and an included battery design that allowed a larger battery to fit inside the notebook’s slim chassis.
“Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook,” former Apple chief marketing officer Phil Schiller said in a March 2015 press release. “Every component of the MacBook reveals new innovation. From its fanless design, ultra-thin Retina display and full-size keyboard 34% thinner, to the all-new Force Touch trackpad, a versatile USB-C port, and an unprecedented scaling battery design The new MacBook is the future of the notebook.
Unfortunately, the 12-inch MacBook was also the first MacBook model to feature Apple’s infamous butterfly key keyboard design, prone to failure and eventually dropped from the entire MacBook lineup after years of complaints.
Apple last updated the 12-inch MacBook in June 2017, with more than two years without a hardware update before shutting down the notebook.
In hindsight, the 12-inch MacBook is clearly hampered by the thermal limitations of Intel processors, with a thin, light notebook design more suited to Apple’s high-performance, power-efficient silicon chips. Last month , BloombergMark Gorman mentioned that Apple was considering releasing a new 12-inch laptop by 2024, but it is unclear whether the notebook will be classified as a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. While the 12-inch MacBook was a low-end laptop, Apple also introduced the higher-end 12-inch PowerBook G4 in the mid-2000s, before introducing the original MacBook Pro.