MacBook Pro gets $100+ price cut as Apple prepares to ship new models

Best Buy MBP DiscountForgot crystal balls and tarot cards: If you want to know when a new Apple product launch is imminent, just rub the pages of a Best Buy circular together. The embattled retailer just discounted Apple’s MacBook Pro by at least $100 — beefier high-end 15.4-inch models are showing even better deals, at nearly $200 off Apple’s usually unimpeachable MSRP. The development could foretell the widely expected release of a completely redesigned MacBook Pro, as Best Buy attempts to sell off existing inventory before an announcement. Apple could launch the new model as soon as World Wide Developer Conference 2012, which takes place on June 11.

The last time Best Buy discounted an Apple product in a significant way, it was a $50 dollar cut on the iPad 2 back in February. The new iPad was released a week later.

Although rumors of a thinner, more powerful, more MacBook Air-like Pro have been circulating for months, nothing lends a rumor credence like an IRL inventory purge. In the past week, exciting details of a retina display wielding Pro have cropped up, which would put the new Pro in line with Apple’s transition to high-quality panels, such as the 2048×1536 display found in the new iPad. Sources familiar with the new Pro have called the display “jaw-dropping,” according to 9to5Mac.

In addition to the upgraded display, the new Pro is reported to include Intel’s new Ivy Bridge silicon architecture, as well as USB 3.0 ports. Much to the chagrin of physical-media enthusiasts however, it is also expected to fall in step with Apple’s successful MacBook Air line and dispense with its optical drive entirely.