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Apple to meld MacBook Pros into Air lineup this year?

We told you in November that Apple had prototypes of an unreleased 15-inch MacBook Air floating around its Cupertino, Calif.-based headquarters. While it is in many ways similar to the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air designs currently on the market, the prospect of a 15-inch Air left the future of Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup in question.

We followed reports from iLounge in February 2011 that indicated Apple was working on a new MacBook Pro lineup for a 2012 launch described as a “milestone” for the product line. Now, AppleInsider is claiming the technology giant will launch a revamped Air-like MacBook Pros sometime this year…

There is nothing new in AppleInsider’s report, which debuted almost a year after the first report surfaced, but here it goes:

…people familiar with Apple’s roadmap say the Cupertino-based company currently plans to exit 2012 having completed a top-to-bottom revamp of its notebooks lineup that will see new MacBook Pros adopt the same design traits that have made its MacBook Airs an increasingly popular choice among mobile consumers…Meanwhile, existing MacBook Pro designs are expected to be phased out over the course of the year.

When it comes to Apple’s current 17-inch MacBook Pro model, AppleInsider said Apple would first release an all-new 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 17-inch variant in the months following. The report also said Apple will discontinue its current MacBook Pro designs within a year. However, the report is unclear on whether the new product will market as a next-generation MacBook Pro.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.