Rumor has it that Apple is about to update the MacBook Pro with a retina display in the coming months. And according to well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities and 9to5mac, it should be much more than a specification bump.
The company wants to keep two screen sizes with a 13-inch model and a somewhat more powerful 15-inch model. But these laptops should come in a thinner and lighter design, bringing it closer to the MacBook Air.
But if you have a MacBook Pro, you know that the laptop’s thickness is constrained by the ports. The retina MacBook Pro is roughly as thick as a USB port, or a Thunderbolt port, or an HDMI port — these three types of ports are more or less the same thickness.
So how is Apple going to solve that? The answer is USB-C. Apple is already using this thinner USB standard in the 12-inch MacBook with a retina display. And it looks like the company doesn’t want to stop there. USB ports are probably going to become USB-C ports. But you can also make Thunderbolt-compatible USB-C ports, so Apple could also switch to USB-C design for Thunderbolt ports. Similarly, Apple could take advantage of a USB-C port to drop the MagSafe connector. Finally, Apple could drop the HDMI port or replace it with a Mini-HDMI port.
According to these reports, Apple is also thinking about adding a Touch ID sensor right on your Mac. It’s nice that you won’t have to type your password again. But it could also open other possibilities, such as Apple Pay on the Mac for online purchases.
The last addition is a bit more surprising. Apple could be adding a tiny OLED touchscreen above your keyboard thanks a new, smaller metal-injection molded hinge. While Apple has never made laptops with touchscreens, this narrow touch screen would feature shortcuts and could change depending on the app you’re using. This could be the most surprising element of the new MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook Pro will feature the new Intel Skylake processors. It could also feature a redesigned keyboard that would look like the Magic Keyboard.
Unfortunately, today’s reports say that you shouldn’t expect to buy a new MacBook Pro before Q4 of 2016. Many anticipated a big announcement at Apple’s WWDC, but it looks like it won’t be ready just yet.
(originally posted on Tech Crunch.)