Apple is widely expected to announce the high-end 2021 MacBook Pro models at some point soon, although leakers are split on the notebooks’ actual in-store launch. Some reports say the redesigned MacBook Pros will be launch in the summer, while others claim the laptops might be available to buyers only later this year. Recent reports have indicated that two of the key components for this year’s main MacBook Pro models will start shipping in summer. These are the mini-LED screens and the new M2 custom System-on-Chip (SoC) silicon.
Apple might unveil the two new MacBook Pro flavors in just a few days at WWDC 2021, even if the new macOS devices won’t be available to preorder immediately after the event. A leaker said a few days ago that the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros would be announced during the June 7th keynote. An analyst just echoed the same sentiment.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note to investors that MacRumors saw that Apple plans to introduce the two new MacBook Pro models during the main WWDC 2021 event on Monday.
Apple’s developer conference is reserved for software announcements, but the company does announce new hardware from time to time. As we said before, the 2021 MacBook Pros are rumored to deliver a massive redesign, which would warrant a proper introduction via a press event rather than a simple press release announcement.
First of all, Apple is expected to jump from 13.3-inch to 14-inch when it comes to screen size for the smallest Pro model. That’s the same type of upgrade Apple gave the 15-inch MacBook a few years ago when it replaced it with the 16-inch model. Rumors do say that an entry-level 13.3-inch MacBook Pro will stick around after the 14-inch version launches.
On top of that, both the 14-inch and 16-inch laptops will feature mini-LED displays, a screen upgrade only available on the largest 2021 iPad Pro right now.
The new laptops are also getting a new chassis, which will feature flat edges, in line with Apple’s existing iMac and iPad Pro design. More exciting than the new chassis is the rumor that says Apple will bring back several ports that Pro users want, including HDMI and the SD slot. The new MacBook Pros are also expected to feature MagSafe charging, which Apple removed with the last redesign a few years ago. The Touch Bar keyboard might be going away for good, according to the same reports.
Finally, the new MacBook Pros should deliver better performance than the existing 13.3-inch MacBook Pro that features an M1 processor. Rumors say Apple is about to introduce an M2 processor for the redesigned MacBook Pros. Ives refers to the SoC as the M1, but that’s unlikely to be the case. One of the advantages of dropping Intel is that Apple can upgrade the chips on a regular, predictable schedule rather than waiting for Intel to roll out next-gen chips. The M1 already powers four distinct Macs, including the 13.3-inch MacBook Air and Pro, the Mac mini, and the new 24-inch iMac. It would make sense for Apple to release an upgraded SoC with the macOS hardware set to launch in the second half of 2021.
The Wedbush analyst did not provide additional details about the new MacBook Pros but said that Apple has a “few surprises” saved for WWDC, including the new laptops. Ives also said that the iPhone 13 series will bump up storage up to 1TB, in line with recent reports. He also said that Apple will unveil its AR glasses at WWDC 2022, with the Apple Car to follow in 2024.