So what if then, Apple sees retina screens as “pro only” while they wait for economies of scale to bring the price of the screens down?
Well, that would mean that the MacBook Airs won’t be getting a retina screen any time soon — which is really too bad.
It’s a solid theory, that Retina is a pro-only feature, but I see two problems (and maybe it’s because I don’t want it to be true). First, the definition of pro stretches pretty far. Historically there is no such thing as pro and consumer iOS devices. There are new iOS devices and old ones, which sometimes stick around to be sold at a discount. Second, if the GPU in the 13 inch MacBook Pro can support a Retina display, so too can the Air.
I think Brooks’s argument makes a good case that the Air will be last to get the Retina upgrade (I’d say cost is a bigger factor, though). I hope it happens sooner rather than later, but I don’t think it will split based on pro or consumer.
Besides, with that theory we’d see a Retina Cinema Display before the iMac or the Air. Economically, it has to make better sense to go with many little Air panels rather than a relative few, giant Cinema Displays.