Analyst: Apple will Kill 17-inch MacBook Pro this Year

Apple will discontinue the 17-inch MacBook Pro some time this year, leaving only the 15-inch and 13-inch models in the product lineup, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The move will come as a move to help streamline the company’s product lineup, and because sales of the large screen laptop are on the decline.

“While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17-inch MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy,” he said.

17-inch MacBook Pro may be on death row17-inch MacBook Pro may be on death row

He also expects Apple will introduce a completely redesign MacBook Pro early in the company’s third quarter that will include many MacBook Air-style features. Rumors hint those changes include an Air-like body without an optical drive.

Second quarter Mac sales will be up, according to Mr. Kou’s estimates. He expects Apple will report selling some 5.32 million units, which is up 28.5 percent compared to last quarter, and 35.2 percent year over year.

He added that Apple has several other factors that will play into strong Mac sales. “Apple’s Mac business in 2Q12 will be boosted by several factors. Three of which are: (1) Mountain Lion, which integrates iOS features with Mac OS, Apple TV’s interaction function, will be launched in June; (2) upgrading to Ivy Bridge; and (3) back-to-school demand,” he said.

Despite the versatility in the MacBook Pro lineup, losing the 17-inch model will disappoint at least some customers who rely on the larger laptop as a portable workstation. Apple, however, has a history of killing products users want in favor of its own roadmap — and so far that plan seems to be working out just fine.

[Thanks to SlashGear for the heads up.]