An internal employee incentive program aimed at Intel retail salespeople seems to have let the cat out of the bag about a major upcoming revision to Apple’s MacBook Pro line, according to AppleInsider. If the flyer detailing the program is accurate, the MacBook Pro will soon sport the Intel Core i5 processor, replacing the Intel Core 2 Duo chip that has long driven Apple’s upscale line of notebooks.
A prize draw for passing the training for sales associates for the month advertises two prizes of MacBook Pro laptops, featuring the Intel Core i5 processor. Intel, for its part, maintains that although the flyers are indeed company material, the suggestion that MacBooks will soon feature Core i5 tech is merely a typo.
The Intel Core 2 Duo has been running the show in MacBook Pros since the very same year Intel took over chip-making duties for the Apple line of computers in 2006, although originally the upscale notebooks ran Core Duos, and were upgraded late in the year. That means it’s been nearly four years since we’ve seen a major platform upgrade, although we have seen minor spec bumps and the introduction of the Santa Rosa platform in 2007, which incorporated the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M integrated graphics card.
Intel formally introduced the new Core i3, i5 and i7 chips last week during CES, and the mobile i5 is definitely the most likely suspect for inclusion in subsequent generations of Apple’s powerful notebook line. If Apple does decide to go with the Core i5 chips, contrary to earlier rumblings, future MacBook Pro owners can expect a nice little increase in performance over the Core 2 Duo chips, while at the same time not sacrificing anything due to increased power demands. Advantages also include increased battery performance, more speed and better graphics, and they could allow Apple to assign less internal space to the motherboard, which could clear up room additional battery volume or other things. 3G antenna, anyone?