A reboot of the MacBook Pro line is long overdue, and rumors of a new lineup have been circulating the web for months now. While some expected the new lineup to appear alongside the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 at Apple’s press event last month, more recent rumors put the release date in the “second half of October.” A recent tweet by Zee M Kane, former CEO of The Next Web, adds clarification to the release date, claiming that Apple will release the new MacBooks on October 27th.
The tweet cites a company that produces laptop sleeves for the information – “Just got an email from a company with an offer to pre-order their Macbook sleeves designed for the new Macbooks to be released on the 27th.” The company, called Waterfield, designs laptop sleeves in a small workshop in San Francisco, and would likely be privy to the release date for the new line of Apple laptops.
The new MacBook Pro will allegedly see a total redesign – it will, of course, be “thinner and lighter”, and will feature updated internals and Touch ID built into the power button, as well as several USB-C ports for charging, peripherals, data transfer, etc. The most exciting feature in the new line of MacBooks, however, is the rumored addition of a touch-sensitive OLED bar in place of the traditional function keys above the keyboard. The OLED touch bar, which was originally predicted by Ming Chi Kuo and subsequently reiterated by several trusted sources, will feature a row of touch-sensitive buttons that users can customize and re-arrange, including shortcuts and context-sensitive controls that change depending on which app the user is currently using. References to a “Function Row” were found in the code for Apple’s Pages word processing software in macOS betas, and several reports state that Apple is waiting for finalization on macOS 10.12.1, which would include support for the touch bar, to release the new MacBook Pro lineup.
It’s not exactly clear which MacBook line will see the refresh on the 27th – while the general consensus is that the MacBook Pro line is the next laptop release from Apple, boasting all of the aforementioned features, plenty of rumors claim that the MacBook Air will also see a refresh on the 27th. Details are scarce on what would be included in a new MacBook Air – a souped up processor would be likely as well as the addition of USB-C ports, and more unlikely rumors claim that the laptop may feature a 5K display, as well. It’s more likely that the MacBook Air lineup will see a refresh sometime next year, with the 27th reserved for the new MacBook Pro. Apple has been, as usual, silent on the matter – we will have to wait until the end of the month to find out what the company has in store for its customers.