Will We See a New MacBook Pro Next Week? (Reliable Sources Disagree)

MacBook Pro Concept Render 2021 Credit: Ian Zelbo / Twitter
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

Several analysts and leakers have maintained that a new MacBook Pro is coming at WWDC next week, however new information from supply chain sources is now casting some doubt on that assertion.

Specifically, DigiTimes reports that the first of Apple’s new MacBook Pro models aren’t even scheduled to go into mass production until later this year, with only the 14-inch MacBook Pro expected to be released in the “second half of 2021.” Moreover, DigiTimes says that the 16-inch MacBook Pro isn’t expected to go into production until the first quarter of 2022.

However, the report suggests that Apple will announce both new MacBook Pro models later this year — “in the second half of 2021” — but the larger model simply won’t be available before early 2022.

We’re somewhat skeptical about this last part since Apple rarely pre-announces updates to its current product lineups that far ahead of their release. Major product pre-announcements have almost always been confined to entirely new products, such as the original iPhone in 2007, the Apple Watch in 2014, and the HomePod in 2017 — all categories where there’s no risk of cannibalizing sales of existing products.

What’s Going on Here?

It’s worth noting that DigiTimes is specifically referring to the mini-LED versions of Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s possible those may be the next-generation models.

In other words, Apple could still be planning to unveil a powerful new MacBook Pro with an M2 chip next week, but with a redesign that doesn’t include the anticipated mini-LED display technology.

While it would be unusual for Apple to refresh the MacBook Pro lineup twice in one year, it’s by no means unheard of. Just last year we saw the company release Intel versions of the MacBook Pro only six months before unveiling its revolutionary new M1 models.

Another analyst has also added her voice to the chorus today, with Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley sharing a research note with MacRumors that claims it’s “likely” that at least one new Apple Silicon-powered MacBook will arrive at WWDC next week.

However, even Huberty concedes that the new model may not be ready to ship to customers until the second half of 2021, which could line up with the DigiTimes report.

There’s some precedent for this with Apple’s recent 24-inch iMac, which was announced in mid-April but didn’t ship until May 21, however that shorter timeframe would suggest that the “second half of 2021” is actually closer to July than September.

Part of the problem may also come from challenges sourcing the necessary components for mini-LED displays in the midst of an ongoing global chip shortage.

Apple already told investors back in April that although it’s managed to weather the shortfall of chips so far, it will suffer from supply constraints throughout the rest of 2021. However, company executives didn’t say whether that’s going to delay product releases entirely, or whether customers will simply have a harder time getting their hands on its newest products.

So, at this point we have leaker Jon Prosser, and analysts Daniel Ives of Wedbush and Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley all predicting a new MacBook Pro next week, while Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has predicted the new models will arrive early this summer — which technically is the second half of 2021. However, both DigiTimes and Nikkei Asia are now saying that suppliers won’t even begin producing the first new MacBook Pro models until later this year.

If all these sources are even partially correct, this means that either Apple is merely going to announce a new MacBook Pro next week and start shipping it much later, or that these first Apple Silicon MacBook Pro models will feature a standard LCD, with Apple saving the mini-LED display upgrade for a future refresh farther down the road. Either way, we don’t have to wait much longer to see what happens, as Apple’s virtual WWDC kicks off on Monday.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

Social Sharing