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White MacBook reaches end of life, education sales to cease

Although discontinued for consumer sales last July, the plastic MacBook remained available for sale to educational institutions as a (relatively) low-cost option for schools seeking portable Macs for students. If you were wondering how long that would last, wonder no longer; seven months later, Apple has ceased distributing the MacBook to educational institutions, according to Mac Rumors.

Apple has notified resellers that the plastic MacBook is now classified as "End of Life," meaning it will no longer be produced or sold to anyone. Production of the old model may have ceased as long ago as last July, with Apple selling through surplus inventory to educational institutions over the subsequent months.

Considering its recent focus on using the iPad as a digital replacement for textbooks, it seems likely that Apple will start pushing the iPad to fill the educational niche the MacBook once satisfied. Even the most expensive iPad is still cheaper than the MacBook was, and the iPad has several other potential advantages over the old MacBook.

This represents the end of the road for the plastic MacBook. First introduced in May 2006 as a replacement for the iBook, the MacBook spent most of its life as Apple's top-selling notebook. The low-cost versions of the MacBook Air started stealing some of the MacBook's thunder in the past couple years, and the 64 GB version of the 11-inch MacBook Air now fills the $999 slot the MacBook once occupied.

If it's your thing, pour one out for our dearly departed MacBook, the last vestige of Apple's decade-long fling with devices made out of shiny white plastic.

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