MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Late 2012 Teardown - iFixit:
The empty space next to the SSD is very un-Apple. It's not like them to leave big air gaps in their newest, sleekest designs.

Our first thought was that a standard 2.5" laptop drive might fit in this space, and it almost looks like this little nook was designed with that in mind.
Our 9.5mm Crucial SSD didn't allow the bottom cover to be closed, but just by a smidge. We'll see if a 7 mm or 5 mm super-slim hard drive could be incorporated into the space.

This reminds me a little of the original iMac's mezzanine slot -- the extra space here seems to be something Apple had designed initially planning to use it for something, then at the last moment ripped it out or didn't go through with whatever should've been there.  So I'd guess Apple initially figured they'd have a [more] traditional drive for offer in the low-end 13" instead of SSD and changed their minds.  Or perhaps they planned to offer (or yet plan to offer) one of those "fusion" drives that are on the iMacs and minis?

The best part?  More flexibility for third party hard drive vendors to make 13" MacBook components.  I wanted to see what the state is with the hard drive (remember that even the 15"'s SSD hard drive can be upgraded, so I hoped I could hold off on paying hundreds for more storage) before I try hard to trick myself into buying a 13"er.

The real platypus at this point seems to be the 15" Retina MacBook.  Its design, with the trackpad covered by batteries and the SSD-only hard drive, makes it feel like a prototype now rather than a flexible, in-production piece of hardware.

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