Apple is expected to debut a new MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display. But a new report hints that the device may not be physically larger than current 15-inch models.
The upcoming MacBook Pro model is rumored to have an “ultra-narrow bezel,” according to an unnamed supply chain source cited by DigiTimes. Essentially, that means that Apple could fit a larger 16-inch display into the same general size as current 15-inch MacBook Pro models.
DigiTimes’ source also claims that the new MacBook Pro could have an LG-produced display with a resolution of 3,072 x 1,920.
The report suggests the new machine could cost up to $3,200, but it isn’t clear whether that would be the base model price or some other higher-tier configuration.
While DigiTimes does a decent job at monitoring the supply chain, it has a very hit-or-miss track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s actual product plans.
16″ MacBook Rumored Features
Back in February, well-connected TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple would debut a MacBook Pro with an “all-new design” and a 16-inch display. That has been backed up by other reports, too.
Earlier this month, Kuo also forecasted in a separate investors’ note that the 16-inch MacBook Pro could be the first Apple portable to ditch the butterfly keyboard in favor of a new design based on a scissor-switch mechanism.
Kuo added that the scissor keyboards will be a bit thicker, but “most” users may not be able to tell the difference.
The MacBook Pro Lineup
Notably, the DigiTimes report hints that the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro may not really be a true successor to Apple’s past 17-inch MacBook Pro size tier.
Some Mac fans hope Apple reverses course and makes its pro notebooks bigger. But if Apple achieves the 16-inch display size by reducing the bezels, that could mean that the upcoming MacBook Pro won’t be physically larger than current models.
On the other hand, Apple’s rumored scissor-switch mechanism would be a bit thicker than current butterfly keyboards, Kuo predicts. That means that Apple would need to make the case size a bit larger or reduce the size of its internal components to make room for the new keyboard.
It’s worth venturing that a future version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro could also get slimmer bezels for a larger display (perhaps in the 14-inch range). At this point, we haven’t seen any substantial evidence to back that up, however. Kuo’s only prediction for the 13-inch MacBook Pro was the addition of a 32GB RAM configuration.
On the other hand, Kuo said he expects the new 16-inch MacBook Pro to debut alongside new 13-inch and 15-inch models — which kind of throws a wrench in the theory that the 16-inch device will replace the 15-inch one.
That could mean that Apple would wait to put slimmer bezels and a new keyboard on 13-inch models and just release the 16-inch device this year. Whether that will be the case remains to be seen.