MacBook Pro 17-inch reaches the end of the line

17-inch MacBook Pro
Apple allows the 17-inch MacBook Pro to ride off into the sunset

Lost amongst a flurry of exciting announcements at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference 2012 last week was the 17-inch MacBook Pro, which now appears to be headed out to pasture.

Although Apple remained silent on the subject, eagle eyes can find all of the evidence they need to confirm the demise of the biggest notebook the company has ever made.

Apple's retail stores are now completely devoid of the 17-inch MacBook Pro following last Monday's announcement of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well as refreshed models of the existing 13-inch and 15-inch classic models.

However, Apple-certified refurbished models continue to be offered online while supplies last - so big-screen fans have one last chance to give a proper eulogy that will only cost $1,689 (and maxing out at $2,159).

Don't call it a comeback

While it's possible that Apple may reintroduce the biggest, baddest laptop of them all at some point in the future, it seems unlikely given the overwhelming popularity of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, especially now that the next-generation model includes a gorgeous, high-definition display.

First introduced as the PowerBook G4 back in January, 2003, the 17-inch model had a pretty good run over the last nine years, despite most users being unable to open, let alone comfortably use one, on an airplane.

So much for being "the ultimate mobile studio"...