Suppliers have already begun providing its parts for Apple’s upcoming 13-inch MacBook, according to a paywalled report in China’s Commerical Times (via DigiTimes). The report states that Jarllytec, a notebook hinge maker, started shipping metal injection mold-made (MiM) hinges meant for a 13-inch MacBook to Apple in May.
A 15-inch MacBook Pro also in the works?
The technique used to create small, intricate metal parts is known as metal injection molding, and according to rumors, Apple will use such hinges to save space, as the next-generation MacBook Pro models are expected to be ultra-thin. Apple’s next-generation MacBook Pros will not just be ultra-thin but also include an OLED touch panel, replacing the function keys on the existing MacBook Pro. Touch ID may be included, along with a dynamic bar.
The report also states that in the third quarter of 2016, Jarllytec will begin shipping hinges for the 15-inch MacBook models. This gives rise to the possibility that the iPhone maker will stagger the releases of the redesigned MacBook Pro. First, it may introduce the 13-inch model and then later follow it up with a 15-inch model.
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This suggests that Apple will be able to release the 13-inch MacBook Pro in the next couple of months as it already has the hinges for it. A chassis that’s said to be for the 13-inch MacBook Pro has already been seen, further supporting the notion that it is already in production.
What are Apple’s plans?
Apple might not make MacBook Pro announcements at WWDC, but rumors suggest that the company will debut its next-generation MacBook Pros during the fourth quarter of 2016. If the U.S. firm is planning to stagger the releases, then in September, it could release the 13-inch model, followed by the 15-inch model in October or November.
However, it is quite difficult to predict Apple’s plans for the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros because the two computers have a lot of confusing rumors about them circulating. The devices have been referred to as simply “MacBooks” in many of the rumors, and a report from Ming-Chi Kuo has further confused that ambiguous naming.
Kuo suggested that Apple is working on a 13-inch MacBook that will be sold alongside the 12-inch MacBook. If we distill the rumors, it becomes clear that the company is working on new MacBook Pros, but until more information becomes available, it won’t be possible to figure out a concrete release date.