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Apple quietly launched a refreshed MacBook Pro lineup last month, including a new powerhouse eight-core 15-inch model, but it looks like the company isn’t even close to done with its MacBook lineup overall, which should be a refreshing change from the slower pace of updates we’ve seen over the past couple of years.
New filings in the Eurasian Economic Commission database found by MacRumors reveal seven unreleased Mac models that are almost certainly new MacBooks, since they’re described as “portable” computers. The model numbers themselves are identified as A2141, A2147, A2158, A2159, A2179, A2182, and A2251, although there’s not enough information to say much about which specific MacBook models they represent.
Of course, with Apple’s MacBook Pros having just been refreshed, it’s a safe bet that these are referring to updates to the non-Pro models, such as the 12-inch MacBook and perhaps even the MacBook Air. They could also represent a new entry in the MacBook lineup, although we don’t know if that’s going to be anything too exciting — there have been rumours of a 16.5″ redesigned MacBook Pro, however reliable reports suggest that’s still a couple of years away.
After being neglected for several years, Apple’s MacBook Air lineup got a much-needed refresh last October, adding Touch ID and a Retina Display. While it seems unlikely that Apple would offer another update to the MacBook Air so soon, it’s entirely possible that this could just be a spec bump to the latest processors, much like last month’s MacBook Pros.
On the other hand, Apple’s 12-inch MacBook hasn’t seen any updates since 2017, and it now sits at a particularly strange place in Apple’s MacBook family; it’s more expensive than the new MacBook Air while offering less power. Further, Apple’s mixed up their naming on this one as well — the MacBook Air first debuted as the ultra-slim, ultra-portable MacBook, yet now that’s not only the domain of the 12-inch MacBook, but arguably its only selling point in the entire lineup.
So right now, the 12-inch MacBook is primed to see some sort of an update, assuming Apple isn’t just planning to let it fade into obscurity. However, it’s also possible that Apple could use this opportunity to mix up the MacBook lineup by offering an entirely new MacBook (non-Pro, non-Air) design that once again fits in between the Air and the Pro.
It’s also worth noting that Apple doesn’t necessarily change its model numbers for minor product refreshes. We didn’t see any hint of Apple’s recent MacBook Pro refresh as the new 2019 models retained the same model numbers — A1989 and A1990 — of their 2018 counterparts. This hints at these seven new models being more significant updates, and could indicate that Apple is actually up to something really interesting with its MacBook family.
The timing on when we’ll actually see these isn’t entirely clear either. In the past, new products have appeared in the Eurasian database around two to four months before they’re released; new entries for Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup appeared last month, and it’s almost certain those are coming in September. Since Apple traditionally focuses its September event on the iPhone, an October debut seems much more likely for MacBooks, and this would fit with the timing of these most recent registrations.