Apple may bring back the MacBook with a new slimmer design and eventually discontinue the MacBook Pro, according to an analyst.  

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated that the redesigned thinner notebook that is expected to launch tonight will be part of a new MacBook series, rather than a MacBook Pro.

Kuo believes the "new MacBook" will be slimmer (18mm for the 13in model and 19mm for the 15in); it will forgo an optical disc drive; it will feature a Retina display (2,560-by-1,600 for the 13in and 2,880-by-1,800 for the 15in); the edges of the the display will be 50 percent narrower than the MacBook Pro; and the capacity of the battery will be 15-20 percent greater than the MacBook Pro.

He predicts that the price of the new laptop will start at $1,199 (that’s around £771 ex VAT, or £925.2 inc VAT). However, Kuo doesn’t expect this model to be available until August.

A new MacBook Pro will also launch, but it will retain its optical disc drive and thicker form factor, according to Kuo. The MacBook line was discontinued last year.

Kuo also predicts that Apple will discontinue the MacBook Pro by 2013, notes Apple Insider.

Kuo has already predicted that Apple will discontinue the 17in MacBook Pro upon the arrival of a new, thinner and more powerful MacBook model.

Apple Insider notes that Apple may unify all its laptops as MacBook, losing the Pro, and potentially Air, in a similar fashion to the way the company ditched the generational numbering scheme with its new iPad.

Kuo is also making predictions about the iPhone 5, stating that component in the iPhone that will undergo the most dramatic make-over is the rear camera. He says his research shows that iPhone 5 will feature the first-ever slimmed rear camera of all iPhones, in an effort to deliver an ultra-slim iPhone 5.