A recent investors’ note by tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo gives size, design, and processor details of the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro models. Kuo claims that Apple is working on 14-inch and 16-inch models of the new MacBook Pro which will have a completely new flat-edge design language like the current iPhone 12 and 2020 iPad Pro and more. If true, then the new upgrades to the MacBook Pro line-up will be the most significant in 5 years.
Previously reports by various tech publishers have claimed that Apple will launch new MacBook Pro models in 2021 with Apple Silicon in 14-inch and 16-inch size options and only gave display details. DigiTimes, TrendForce, and Kuo stated that the new MacBook Pro will ship with mini-LED displays in 2021.
For the first time, Kuo’s new report lists down in-depth design changes in the new MacBook Pro lineup and more importantly, claims that Apple will only offer Apple Silicon variants which marks the next step to Macs’ transition from Intel Core to custom ARM. M1 Apple Silicon for Macs has been a game-changer for the company which allows it to offer new technologies that it was unable to do with Intel processors. TrendForce calculated that the M1 MacBook models will capture up to 7% market share by the summer of 2021.
2021 MacBook Pro details: Design, Processor, Size
After 5 years, MacBook Pro will go through major design changes starting with a flat-edge exterior without curves like most new devices launched in 2020. Apple will replace the OLED Touch Bar with physical functions keys. Touch Bar was introduced in 2016 MacBook Pro models which allowed users to easily swipe to function keys, photos, emojis, control keys, and others but users found it unnecessary.
Kuo further details that the new 2021 MacBook Pro models, will use the same heat pipe design as the current 16-inch MacBook Pro model, and Apple will restore MagSafe charging connector design but is unsure how that will work with the device’s USB-C port. He wrote,
- The two new models are equipped with about 14-inch and 16-inch displays, respectively.
- In terms of casing design, the new models carry the curvy design of existing models’ top and bottom parts and adopt a flat-edged form factor design similar to the iPhone 12.
- The MagSafe charging connector design will return.
- The OLED touch bar is removed, and the physical function buttons are restored. There is no Intel CPU option for the new models as they will be moving to Apple Silicon.
- They are equipped with more types of I/O, and most users may not need to purchase additional dongles.
The veteran analyst expects that the new MacBook Pro models to launch by the third quarter of 2021, “due to the revamped design and strong replacement demand, Kuo expects total MacBook shipments to grow significantly by 25 to 30 percent year over year to 20 million units.”
Update: Bloomberg has also reported on the new MacBooks and added that Apple will keep two USB-C ports on the side with MagSafe on the new MacBook Pro models. The new design will an iteration on current MacBook Pro models and not a radical redesign. MagSafe will also allow for much faster charging than current generation MacBook Pro models. Bloomberg report also says that a MacBook Air redesign is in the works too, but it will not release anytime soon.