The 2012 MacBook Pro With Retina Display Is Now 'Vintage'

People love "vintage." Fashionistas search thrift stores for old clothes, winos discuss the merits of a particular growing season, and retailers constantly find ways to make their products resemble something from the '50s. Apple doesn't use the word in a positive way, though, so its decision to designate the MacBook Pro with Retina Display that debuted in 2012 as "vintage" doesn't bode well for it.

Products that the company stopped manufacturing more than five years ago receive one of two designations: "Vintage" products haven't been manufactured for more than five but less than seven years and can only receive support from Apple service providers in Turkey or California and "Obsolete" products are those for which production ceased more than seven years ago; they aren't supported at all.

That means Apple stopped manufacturing the first MacBook Pro with Retina Display sometime between 2011 and 2013. The laptop was released in 2012, so Apple either made one run of the product before its debut or stopped manufacturing it just a year after release. It's not all that surprising either way, because the MacBook Pro with Retina Display was a way to introduce high-resolution displays to all MacBooks, not just the Pro line.

You can now find a Retina display in the baseline MacBook as well as the latest MacBook Pro models. Apple has also updated the MacBook Pro line with everything from the Touch Bar, which enables unique controls for individual apps right above the keyboard, to improved components and completely redesigned systems. The only laptop Apple still sells without a Retina display is the MacBook Air. A high-resolution display was enough to set the MacBook Pro with Retina Display apart in 2012; it's just another feature in 2018.

Some, however, see this version of the MacBook Pro as the best available, as it doesn't use Apple's butterfly switches that have been plagued with issues. Now, it's going away completely.

So if you've managed to hold on to your 2012-era MacBook Pro with Retina Display for this long, well, enjoy being able to say you have a "vintage" laptop while you still can. It's only a matter of time before Apple's designation catches up with the perception of that laptop being obsolete.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • kuhndj67
    I have one I bought around 2014 (with every option you could get)... it's still very useful. Processing wise it's no screamer but it's ssd was crazy fast for its time (over 1GB/s) and is still very respectable, resulting in a fairly responsive machine for most tasks (even working with 4k video). I didn't see any compelling reason to upgrade to the new MBP - IMO their upgrades amounted to gimmicks other than a bit more resolution... Still don't see a reason, if they don't come out with a MBP with REAL upgrades I'll likely just go 100% windows after my current MBP dies. I also have a loaded Dell M3800 and have the same problem in the windows world... it's 4 years old now and last year I "upgraded" to a new ZBook Studio only to find out it was no faster and not as user friendly (and with an inferior display) - so that machine went to someone else on my team and I stuck with the older Dell. Seems like laptop performance has been pretty stagnant for the last 5 years.
  • mapesdhs
    If you want to learn about the actual quality of the boards inside Apple's laptop products, check out Louis Rossmann's board repair videos. I was, to say the least, rather surprised, especially given how much these products cost.
  • cscott_it
    Mapesdhs - Spoiler but it's all done by Hong Hai Precision Industries.
  • cscott_it
    Hon** Hai Precision Industries.
    Apple, Dell, etc. It's all perceived differences. Do you like the box it comes in better? Do you like the OS better? Aside from that - you get the same or similar components. Proc, memory, gpu, etc.
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    It's OK, the 2014 version is about to become obsolete in late 2019. The one that ended up being a massive investment was the non-retina PRO 2012, which was I think retired in 2015, so if you bought it in 2012 you got a whopping 7 years of it being supported.