Apple introduced the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2 at an event in California earlier this month. It appears as if Apple isn’t done with big hardware releases for 2016 just yet. A new report published by MacRumors claims that Apple will update the MacBook Pro line, which will be ready to ship “sometime in the second half of October.”
Back in May, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has garnered quite the reputation for his stellar track record in predicting the future of Apple products, predicted that Apple would update the MacBook Pro line “sometime in the fourth quarter” of this year. In his research note, Kuo also mentioned some of the features to be expected in the new line. According to Kuo, the new line will, of course, be “thinner and lighter” with upgraded internals, and will replace the current magnetic MagSafe connector with a USB-C port for charging, with several additional USB-C ports for peripherals. Kuo also claimed that Apple would include Touch ID support which is rumored to be built into the power button, and a customizable, OLED touch-sensitive bar that would replace the row of function keys.
Rumors of Touch ID support and the OLED touch bar have been reiterated by several sources since Kuo published his research note, with alleged component leaks showing space for the touch bar above the keyboard. Several rumors claim that the touch bar will feature a row of touch-sensitive buttons that will allow users to customize, re-arrange, and replace to suit their needs. The touch bar will also reportedly feature context-sensitive functionality, with the controls on the bar changing depending on what app is currently open.
The MacRumors report claims that Apple will be ready to ship the new MacBook Pro models after macOS 10.12.1 is finalized, with a beta version seeding next week. The new macOS software, the report claims, will be essential to the MacBook Pro release, as the OS contains the software to control the new touch bar. Apple has ostensibly been adding code to support the touch bar in previous macOS 10.12 betas – a reference to a “Function Row” was found in the code for Apple’s Pages word processing software in a previous beta, likely referring to the touch bar.
According to the MacRumors report, Apple is also looking to release updated MacBook Air models with USB-C ports, as well as new iMacs with AMD graphics chips. In addition to the updated Mac lines, apple is also “reportedly working with LG on a new 5K external display to replace the discontinued Apple Thunderbolt Display.” A timeline, however, for when users can expect to see the new MacBook Air models, iMacs, and display wasn’t mentioned.