According to a new note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities and corroborated by our sources, Apple plans to introduce a dramatically overhauled MacBook Pro later this year. Kuo says the device will have a new “thinner and lighter” design with design cues taken from the 12-inch MacBook, as well as Touch ID support and a new OLED display touch bar above the keyboard.
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Kuo’s report explains that the MacBook Pro updates are the “brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts” and will come to both the 13-inch and 15-inch models sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.
The OLED display touch bar will replace the physical function keys along the top of the keyboard, while the design will adopt new metal injection molded hinges as reported earlier this year. Additionally, the refreshed MacBook Pros are said to feature USB-C support and Thunderbolt 3.
In addition to upgrading the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros, Apple will also introduce a new 13-inch MacBook similar to that of the 12-inch Retina model that was just upgraded with performance boosts. According to Kuo, Apple plans to make the MacBook Air the entry-level option, while the MacBook will become the mid-tier choice and the MacBook Pro will remain the high-end variant.
A report from earlier this month claimed that Apple was looking into providing a way to unlock Macs via Touch ID on an iPhone, but it now appears that the company is also looking into adding the physical hardware to MacBooks as well. A report from March said that Apple was looking to introduce thinner 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks by July, but it now looks as if we won’t see major Mac updates until the fourth quarter of this year.
We reported that Apple was planning Siri integration as a tentpole feature of OS X 10.12, which is likely to be introduced at WWDC. You can read our roundup of everything we know about Apple’s 2016 Mac lineup here.