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Insider says redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro on track for launch this year

Published Jul 9th, 2021 7:31AM EDT
14-inch MacBook Pro
Image: Apple Inc.

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A large number of reports detailed Apple’s MacBook Pro earlier this year. Most of them tease the same massive redesign for the Pro line. That includes the introduction of the highly-anticipated 14-inch MacBook Pro. But not all leakers agreed on the launch timeframe. Some of the most exciting 2021 MacBook Pro rumors said Apple wanted to unveil the new series at WWDC in June. Others said Apple will launch the new Pros only much later this year. And a few days ago, a report said the colorful MacBook Air update won’t happen until 2022. An insider with an excellent track record leaking Apple products says that Apple is on track to mass-produce and launch the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros in the third quarter of the year.

Apple did not say anything about the new MacBook Pros during the WWDC event. But it did leak the new Pro’s chip accidentally. The YouTube video for the WWDC keynote had keywords referencing the M1X CPU name that’s sometimes associated with the new Pro laptops. That seemed to confirm that the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks were in the cards for a WWDC reveal at some point.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a new note to investors that MacRumors obtained that Apple will begin mass production of the redesigned MacBooks this quarter.

The exciting 14-inch MacBook Pro

Both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will deliver the same upgrades. They’ll run on the same Apple custom silicon, whether it’s called M1X or M2. And they’ll feature the same new design. We’re looking at mini-LED screens with thinner bezels, the addition of new ports (HDMI and microSD), MagSafe battery charging, and a new keyboard with no Touch Bar screen at the top.

Apple is yet to confirm these hardware details. But most of the MacBook Pro rumors we saw so far this year offer the same general picture about the 2021 laptop series.

The 16-inch model will have a larger screen and a higher-capacity battery, but it’s the 14-inch MacBook Pro that’s the more exciting of the two.

When Apple unveiled the 16-inch MacBook Pro in late 2019, we expected to soon see a 14-inch variant in stores. The 16-inch replaced the 15-inch model. The 14-inch would do the same thing with the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. The overall laptop size would not change, despite the screen size upgrade. Instead, the bezel would shrink significantly.

Apple never released a 14-inch MacBook, keeping in place the 13.3-inch design. The 14-inch model would offer users a much bigger screen but a more compact size. The smaller Pro would be lighter and easier to carry around.

Release date still unclear

Whether Kuo is correct about the MacBook Pro mass-production plans, it’s unclear when Apple will unveil the new 14-inch and 16-inch laptops. Apple might announce them alongside the new iPhones in September, assuming the iPhone 13 series launches on time. Or it could a Mac-centric event for them.

The current mini-LED screen shortages might impact the actual in-store launch. Apple might unveil the laptops during a press event, but they might not reach buyers until much later. The same thing happened with the 2021 mini-LED iPad Pro earlier this year. This is all speculation, however, based on the most recent MacBook Pro rumors.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.