MacBook Pro: Apple May Ditch Controversial Design and Launch a 6K Screen
Apple is set to introduce a 16-inch to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro with an all-new design, an analyst note claimed over the weekend. A redesign would mean dropping the current MacBook Pro design, which has proven controversial due to its use of an ultra-slim keyboard and limited number of ports.
Ming-Chi Kuo, in a note seen by MacRumors, also claims that Apple will introduce a 31.6-inch 6K display with a mini LED backlight, as well as offering up to 32GB of RAM on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The rumors suggest Apple plans to make big changes to its professional laptop lineup, which has drawn criticism since its introduction in 2016. Critics have focused on the slim scissor keyboard design that’s prone to failure, the removal of full-size USB ports in favor of USB-C, and processor throttling on the higher-end versions. The Verge dismissed the laptops in 2016 as “not designed for professional use.” Apple chief designer Jony Ive said in 2017 he “hears” the criticism, but did not offer any timeline for changes.
It’s unclear how Apple may redesign the MacBook, but its previous patents can provide some clues. A patent from earlier this month suggests the company could use a glass keyboard to offer context-sensitive keys that shift depending on the situation. The company patented a similar idea back in March 2018. It could prove a logical expansion on the Touch Bar, the slim touchscreen that replaced the function buttons on high-end MacBook Pros.
Another curious aspect of the report is the launch of a new external display. Apple announced in April 2017 plans to launch a new, modular professional desktop Mac, as a replacement for the “trash can” design Mac Pro that debuted in 2013 but has since received no updates. The company also claimed it had plans for a “pro display,” after it discontinued its 27-inch 2,560 by 1,440 display in 2016. A 6K display would beat the 5K display used on the 27-inch iMac Pro.
Kuo claims the new products will launch in 2019. While a firm release date is unclear, Apple is expected to announce its future software plans at the annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference in the summer, which could provide a suitable launch platform.
It may not be long before Apple shifts its sights onto dropping Intel from its Mac lineup.