Has the New 16-inch MacBook Pro Been Delayed?

16-inch MacBook Pro Concept Credit: Viktor Kádár
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Apple is readying a new MacBook model with a scissor-switch keyboard for release in the second or third quarter of 2020, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors on Wednesday.

That’s pretty much in-line with previous forecasts made by Kuo. But based on the timing of the note and the absence of Apple’s rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro, Kuo’s prediction is causing a bit of confusion.

Is This the 16-inch MacBook Pro?

Apple is largely expected to be on the verge of releasing a new 16-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor-switch keyboard, slightly slimmer bezels and updated internals.

Previous reports have suggested that the device could be unveiled by the end of October. As of the writing of this article, that’s just one day away — making it unlikely that we’ll see the 16-inch MacBook Pro this month.

Taken in combination with Kuo’s note on Wednesday, this has led some Apple watchers and media to believe that the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been delayed until next year.

At first glance, that seems to make some sense. But we could still see a MacBook Pro refresh this year.

A Few Things to Consider

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the MacBook mentioned in Kuo’s research note may not, in fact, be the 16-inch model.

Earlier this month, Kuo said that a MacBook with a scissor-switch keyboard could debut in the second quarter of 2020. Today’s research note just seems to corroborate that past prediction.

Kuo is also usually pretty precise with his language. In all past reports about the 16-inch MacBook Pro model, Kuo specifically used the “MacBook Pro” moniker.

In today’s research note, he simply says “MacBook” — which could be anything from a 12-inch refresh to an unseen Mac notebook form factor.

Still, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that a 16-inch MacBook Pro redesign will actually be released this October as many past reports have previously suggested.

The entire month has come and gone without any mention of an October keynote. While some users were expecting the new MacBook Pro to be unveiled via press release this week, it seems iffy that Apple would do so on a Thursday holiday.

But a 16-inch MacBook Pro could still come this year. Apple did hold private media briefings for its iMac Pro launch in mid-December.

It wouldn’t be unheard of for Apple to debut the device via press release before holding an unusually scheduled event in the last two months of the year.

Software Evidence That It’s Coming Soon

It’s also worth noting that macOS Catalina contains some pretty compelling evidence that the 16-inch MacBook Pro is still coming.

That includes a previously reported icon depicting the slimmer bezels, as well as a new render in macOS 10.15.1 that suggests the upcoming device could have a physical ESC key and a discrete Touch ID sensor.

Apple’s Upcoming Scissor Keyboard MacBooks

So what about the MacBook with a scissor keyboard mentioned in today’s investors note? That’s likely one part of a new wave of Mac notebooks with redesigned keyboards coming next year.

Apple is expected to move all of its MacBook models over to scissor-switch keyboards next year. That probably includes a new MacBook Air, as well as various MacBook Pro models.

Based on Kuo’s usage of the term “MacBook,” it’s possible that Apple could launch a refresh of the 12-inch form factor. But, at this point, that’s just speculation.

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