Apple is shipping its newest computers this week, including the brand new iPad Pro and the redesigned iMac that were unveiled a few weeks ago. But the company has planned a few significant additions to its Mac line later this year, according to rumors that predated the recent spring event. Those reports said Apple would continue updating other MacBook Pros to its custom M-series processors this year and launch a 14-inch MacBook Pro that will replace the existing 13.3-inch model. More interestingly, the 2021 MacBook Pros will feature brand new designs that customers would appreciate. The laptops will support MagSafe charging and feature diverse connectors, not just the USB-C ports available on current MacBook Pro models. Also, the new MacBook Pros might lose the Touch Bar display that sits at the top of the keyboard. The MacBook Air might get a similar design makeover, and recent leaks showed what the new keyboard would look like. Finally, mini-LED displays are also coming to the 2021 MacBook Pros.
As exciting as these rumors might be, a new report says that the MacBook Pro supply might be constrained well into 2022, even though Apple might be aiming to launch the new devices this year.
The new MacBook report comes from the Taiwanese blog Digitimes (via MacRumors), which claims that several issues might impact MacBook Pro availability this year.
Apple plans to start volume production of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the first quarter of 2022, with the 14-inch version to reach mass-production in the fourth quarter of 2021. Both laptops would feature Apple silicon and the new mini-LED display that Apple introduced with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro a few weeks ago.
The report notes that Apple plans to release the new MacBook Pros in the second half of the year, but the devices might not be widely available for purchase until a few weeks later. The same thing just happened with the iPad Pro and iMac refresh. The two products were unveiled on April 20th but won’t ship to buyers until May 21st, at the earliest.
Mini-LED supply issues might impact the launch. On top of that, Taiwan is currently facing an unexpected COVID-19 surge. The country has been widely praised for navigating the pandemic so far, but the country has just registered a spike unlike anything before that. Taiwan reported between 200 and 300 new cases per day in the past few days. The country has never had peaks of over 25 new cases per day so far.
Volume production of Apple’s miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro series may have to be postponed to fourth-quarter of 2021 or first-quarter 2022 if the sudden surge in the number of COVID infections in Taiwan continues to worsen, according to industry sources.
Having launched its miniLED-backlit 12.9-inch iPad Pro in late April, Apple plans to release two miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro products – one having a 14-inch display and the other a 16-inch display – in the second half of 2021, said the sources.
Digitimes also said that a minimal number of 14-inch MacBook Pros would be produced in the third quarter of the year.