Apple launches new Macs every year, with most of the upgrades bringing the expected performance improvements that come with each CPU and GPU refresh. Major redesigns are rare, as those come only every few years. It so happens that rumors say 2021 will be the year when Apple drops redesigned MacBook Pro and Air models. But the insiders familiar with Apple plans have offered all sorts of launch predictions. The most optimistic rumors claimed Apple wanted to launch the new MacBook Pro at WWDC back in June. And Apple has leaked the M1-successor name on YouTube, seemingly confirming that an M1X MacBook Pro reveal might have been in the works.
Now, a new report indicates that we might not see the new MacBook Pro in stores until much later this year. That’s in line with the more pessimist leaks from earlier that pointed to September as a potential launch window.
Apple changed the game last November. It released the first MacBook Pro and Air devices with its own Apple M1 chip inside. All Macs that will follow will run on M1 chips or better, as Apple doesn’t need Intel anymore. But the 2020 MacBook Pro and Air featured the same designs as their Intel-based predecessors.
The redesigned MacBook Pro
Apple is planning a major redesign for both laptop models. We’ve already seen purported MacBook Air renders, and the redesigned MacBook Pro claims appeared in several rumors earlier this year.
The 2021 MacBook Pro’s flat edges aren’t that exciting. What’s really exciting are claims that say Apple will bring back MagSafe charging and several of the ports it removed a few years ago. The list includes HDMI and an SD card reader.
The redesigned MacBook Pros will also feature mini-LED screens, similar to the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro display.
Finally, Apple plans to launch the new Pro in two sizes. We’re looking at 16-inch and 14-inch display variations. The latter represents a new entry in Apple’s MacBook Pro line-up.
September announcement at the earliest
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter (via 9to5Mac) that Apple will announce the redesigned MacBook Pro sometime between September and November.
The insider said that production will start in the third quarter. Ming-Chi Kuo made similar claims recently. “These new MacBooks were supposed to launch earlier, but complications around the new mini-LED display have held up production,” Gurman said. Previous reports claimed that production yields impacted Apple’s launch plans for the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro. The 12.9-inch tablet featuring the Liquid Retina XDR display (mini-LED) wasn’t available in stores immediately after Apple’s spring event.
Gurman did not detail the redesigned MacBook pro in the newsletter, aside from mentioning the potential launch window. He said that buyers unsure what MacBook to choose should go for the Air if they need web browsing, email, and light photo editing. The MacBook Pro will deliver more speed and RAM for resource-intensive apps like Photoshop and video editing software.