It’s time for the venerated MacBook Pro line-up to get some fresh blood, and this evening’s simple “Hello again” from Apple means we won’t have to wait long.
Apple has sent out the friendly invites asking the media to join Tim Cook and his team on Thursday October 27th at the Apple Campus in Cupertino. It is expected that a new line-up of MacBook Pro machines will be announced, and there is a strong chance that the MacBook and MacBook Air line-ups will also be refreshed.
Recent Mac and MacBook launches have seen a relatively long lead time between the official announcement and pre-orders being taken in various territories, although I would expect customers in the US and the main EU territories to receive the first units in time for Christmas 2016.
The full MacBook range has not received a huge amount of love from Apple in the last few years. Apart from the launch of the ultrathin MacBook last year, the MacBook Pro range’s last update was a token specs bump during 2016. In contrast to the iPhone and iPad lines Apple continues to sell a MacBook Pro model that was launched over four years ago in 2012.
Cook is expected to reveal a MacBook Pro which continues the ethos of dropping ports and old solutions that saw the headphone jack removed from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Apple’s push for minimalism and advancing new connectivity options will be achieved by dropping both the older USB ports and the Magsafe power cord from the new MacBooks. The hardware will rely on USB-C and Thunderbolt connections for power and peripherals, just as Apple achieved with last year’s new MacBook. The major addition to the design could be a programmable touch-sensitive OLED display strip above the keyboard offering a mix of information and redefinable function keys.
The new MacBook Pro design is expected to be available in both 13 inch and 15 inch form factors. The MacBook Air could see an updated 13 inch model as well, but there are strong indicators that the 11 inch model of the Air will be discontinued. That would not be a shock as the 12 inch MacBook is ruling this space and the smallest Air is lacking any unique features that could help it stand out.
It’s worth noting that all we have is a date, an image, and a logo. Naturally Taniyama-Shimura applies, but everything lines up in the diary, and “Hello again” is remarkably similar to the “Hello” which launched the Mac in 1984.
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