For a long time, there have been rumors that Apple would refresh its Mac line in October. As we progressed into the second half of the month, some began to doubt whether the Cupertino company would still release the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air this month. Now Japanese publication Mac Otakara has learned from a “reliable Chinese supplier” that the new Macs are still on track to be announced and released in October.
Apple to ditch 11-inch MacBook Air
Mac Otakara is well-connected with Apple’s Asian supply chain. It was the first to predict that the tech giant would ditch the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, it doesn’t have a flawless track record. Supply chain sources told Mac Otakara that Apple will keep the same screen sizes of 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch for the new MacBook Pro.
The latest report is in line with a statement from Rhoda Alexander, the IHS Markit Technology’s Director for Tablet and Notebook PCs, that production for the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air began in the second calendar quarter of this year. Alexander claimed that both Macs should arrive in October. Mac Otakara added that Apple will discontinue the 11-inch MacBook Air, though it will keep the 13-inch model.
MacBook Pro to feature ‘Dynamic Function Row’
Supply chain sources told the Japanese publication that the new MacBook Pro and Air models will feature USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 support. Apple is said to do away with the USB-A ports and the MagSafe connector. Apple used the same strategy in its 12-inch MacBook. The new MacBook Pro is said to have a thinner body with a flatter keyboard. It will offer Touch ID support to let you unlock the device using your fingerprint.
The upcoming MacBook Pro is also rumored to include a “Dynamic Function Row” that will replace the physical function keys on the keyboard with a touchscreen OLED strip. The OLED touch panel will allow keys to be dynamic to match applications, though they will also perform the same tasks as physical function keys. According to Apple’s trademark filings, the OLED touch bar could be referred to as “Touch Bar” or the “Control Strip.”
Will Apple release the new Macs quietly?
It is unclear what processor Apple will use in the new MacBook Pro. It is said to use AMD’s Polaris graphics processor on the 15-inch model.
If Apple plans to hold a media event, we should expect an official invite to go out soon. Rumors suggest that the unveiling will take place on October 27th, which is slightly over a week away. But there are also speculations that Apple could debut the machines quietly with just a press release, without holding an event.