MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors

Apple’s MacBook Pro range hasn’t been updated for some time: the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina was refreshed in March 2015 and the 15-inch in May. New MacBook Pros are clearly imminent, especially considering Apple’s market share in the computing space fell 4.9% in Q2 2016 compared to the year prior.

The biggest change is likely to be in the Pros’ processors, and while there are rumors of detachable touchscreens we’d take them with a hefty pinch of salt.

Appearing more and more likely, though, is that a small, OLED display will take the place of the MacBook Pro’s function keys in its 2016 revision. And, like the iPhone 7 before it, some are even suggesting the death of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Let’s sift through the river of rumors to find nuggets of knowledge: what can we really expect from the 2016 MacBook Pro refresh?

The 10 best MacBook cases, sleeves and bags aroundCut to the chaseWhat is it? The next generation of Apple’s professional notebookWhen is it out? Rumors point to late October 2016What will it cost? Likely starting at £899 ($1,099, about AUS$1,670)

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MacBook Pro 2016 release date

While some of us expected a MacBook Pro 2016 reveal at Apple’s September 7 iPhone event, there were no computers in sight. Nevertheless, shortly thereafter, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested customers “stay tuned” for Mac developments, perhaps indicating that an unveiling wasn’t far off.

Since then, following the launch of macOS Sierra, we’ve caught word that Apple is working on an update to its operating system specifically tailored to the new MacBook Pro hardware. That’s right, in macOS Sierra 10.12.1 – which is slated for the latter half of October – we’ll see integration with the new OLED touch bar, if reports from MacRumors are to be believed.

Metal injection-molded hinges inspired by Microsoft’s Surface Pro line purportedly began shipment back in June for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the 15-inch model’s hinges were set to arrive in the third quarter of the year, making the late October release window argument even more convincing.

Reports suggest that the new slim MacBooks will boast a quadruplet of USB-C ports, two on each side, maybe even with a few new color variations.

MacBook Pro 2016 price

The current MacBook Pro range starts at £899 ($1,099) for the 13-inch non-Retina model, rising to £999 ($1,119) for the entry-level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and topping out at £1,999 ($2,099) for the 2.5GHz 15-inch Retina.

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors


The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro, tucked away apologetically at the foot of Apple’s product page, surely can’t be long for this world; come the updates we’d expect it to vanish in favour of a Retina 13-inch model instead.

Apple tends to keep its pricing similar between generations, so an £899 entry-level Pro with Retina display is likely to be the baby of the range.

MacBook Pro 2016: What’s so special about Skylake?

The MacBook Pro is trailing PC rivals in the processor stakes: Dell and HP are moving on to the seventh-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors this fall, while Apple is still clinging to the fifth-generation Broadwell chips.

This year’s MacBook Pro, however, is believed to meet in the middle, purportedly sporting sixth-generation Skylake chips. The move to Skylake is likely to warrant massive speed improvements across the board in addition to more impressive battery life.

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors


Skylake has some tricks up its silicon sleeve that Broadwell lacks, including support for WiGig and WiDi short-range, high speed data transfer as well as wireless charging. We may not see that flip of the switch in this year’s notebooks, but it’s possible nonetheless for Apple to tap into this functionality later on.

However, one thing Skylake can’t do is output 5K resolutions over a single cable stream. That’s why, in June, sources told Buzzfeed reporter John Paczkowski that Apple is working on a 5K external display complete with its own integrated graphics chip based on AMD’s Polaris architecture.

MacBook Pro 2016: Hello USB-C, goodbye headphone jack

Faster is a given, better battery is almost certain. What about design changes? The current MacBook Pro is fairly porky compared to Apple’s other notebooks, especially the minimalist USB-C MacBook.

That’s partly because it’s an older design and partly because the current MacBook Pro boasts lots of ports: twin Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3, an HDMI socket and an SDXC card slot.

Apple isn’t sentimental about removing supposedly must-have features it deems redundant – the MacBook Pro lost its SuperDrive years ago – so could those ports be for the bullet too in favor of one or two USB-C ports? Reports seem to point to that.

Not only is the MacBook Pro 2016 expected to feature USB Type-C ports, but on top of that, they’ll be USB 3.1 Gen 2, making them even faster than the first-gen port of the 12-inch MacBook. However, like with the iPhone 7 before it, the headphone jack might get the bullet on the MacBook Pro as well.

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors


With Intel’s integration of Thunderbolt 3 in USB-C connections, USB, Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, PCI Express and power can be delivered over a single cable. If the Lenovo Moto Z is anything to go by, so too can digital audio.

What’s more, USB-C has the bandwidth for daisy-chaining even the most demanding devices, and of course Apple is always happy to sell reassuringly expensive adapters when it bins a previously popular port.

MacBook Pro 2016: Touch ID and next-gen SSDs?

The Pros are all about performance, so will they get next-generation SSDs? It’s a nice thought, but while Intel’s blazingly quick Optane SSDs are destined for Macs, they aren’t likely to appear in any this side of 2017.

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors


Another persistent rumour is TouchID fingerprint recognition, but that particular pundit also predicted TouchID in the recent Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad updates, which of course didn’t happen. A recent leak does suggest, though, that a fall MacBook rollout will incorporate a power button featuring TouchID tech.

MacBook Pro 2016: A stylus without a touchscreen

In a July patent approval, Apple suggested it was interested in extending Apple Pencil support beyond the limits of the iPad Pro’s touchscreen display and onto its Magic Trackpad. The speculation doesn’t stop there, of course, as this idea could easily translate to the onboard MacBook trackpads as well.

Don’t be surprised if, come Autumn, we see a revamped Apple Pencil revealed alongside a new set of MacBook Pros.

MacBook Pro 2016: Detachable keyboard and screen?

One of the most interesting MacBook Pro rumors is that it’s getting a touchscreen, and perhaps a detachable keyboard, too. We think that’s spectacularly unlikely, for several reasons. More likely to come true is the theory that Apple will implement a smaller touchscreen component.

While a patent filed by Apple suggests an iPad-like interface in favor of a the physical keyboards we’ve all grown accustomed to, photographs recently acquired by Cult of Mac show something a little different; that is, a more conventional Magic Keyboard-esque qwerty layout featuring a touchscreen OLED display to replace the function keys.

And, although this rumor seems awfully farfetched for an annual MacBook Pro revision, there is evidently some truth behind it, according to French website MacGeneration via 9to5Mac who discovered code indirectly alluding to the OLED bar’s virtualized buttons.

A touchscreen, even a tiny one ousting a single row of keys, could make for an enticing compromise for those in pursuit of the classic MacBook Pro experience as well as for fans of the ever-flourishing 2-in-1.

Now, what about the its inevitable rival, the Surface Book 2?

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors


49 thoughts on “MacBook Pro 2016 release date, news and rumors

  1. I want to switch from Dell XPS to Macbook Pro but I have to wait two or three months to get something similar and more expensive.

  2. 32GB RAM, >1 USB(-C) port (ideally positioned such that using one does not block the other(s)), better battery life. Less heat. and oh yeah: keep magsafe!

  3. Prototype Kaby Lake chips are now in manufacturer’s hands. Since the next gen MacBook Pro will jettison its legacy ports, it only makes logical sense that Kaby Lake’s native support for Thunderbolt 3, native USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2 and 2G graphics architecture to substantially improve performance (30x) in 3D graphics and 4K video playback would be Apple’s choice for its next generation MacBook Pro. Timing is the issue, the Core i7-7500U 2.7-2.9GHz quad-core processors are not due until 2017. Apple has not updated the MacBook Pro from Broadwell because Intel has consistently missed delivery dates. If Intel can deliver Kaby Lake which has 2.5 times the performance with 3 times the battery life over Skylake in 2016, Apple will take the bait. Apple has a close relationship with Intel, it would not be the first time that Intel has rewarded Apple with an early release primary because Intel knows the it will be a game changer in that Apple’s PC competitors will have to match specifications generating sales in a stagnant PC market. The upgrade to Kaby Lake will also bode well to support Apple’s plan to shave off more than a few millimeters from the next gen MacBook Pro’s thickness while increasing battery volume because Kaby Lake would help reduce the thermal need for heavy fan cooling. The thickness reduction would be aided by metal injection molding by Surface Pro manufacturer Jarllytec along with a MacBook like keyboard with butterfly mechanism. \n\nBecause of its new graphics capability, the next gen MacBook Pro could bump up retina to full 4K without too much of a hit on performance or battery life. A move to OLED or Apple’s Micro LED would be unlikely but possible. At the same time as Kaby Lake becomes available, Intel/Micron’s Optane SSD will be released with its 1000x improvement which would usher in a truly game changing next generation MacBook Pro. \n\nThe top function row will be replaced with a full color OLED backlit touch screen whose icons would change given the context, application or other triggers. The new row would the perfect place to incorporate a Touch ID sensor which is already supported in Sierra macOS. I suspect that changing all the mechanical keyboard backlighting to context sensitive color OLED icons for language, formulas and games may not make it into the next generation.

  4. I wish they would figure out a better way for the power cord. I hate that it constantly gets knocked out. I wish there was a way to configure it to either have different sides to plug in, depending on where the plug is, and or have it recessed so it doesn’t get knocked out.

  5. I do like the newer improvements as my macbook is now 4 years old and needing some hardware upgrades. I am currently waiting for the newer 2017 macbook pros to come out and i hope at some point they come out with the aluminum in other colors, like the iphone. While that isn’t exactly necessary to the performance of the computer, it indeed makes a bit more appealing. I also would like it if the processing and graphics capabilities would step up their game. I tried a 2016 version i7 15

  6. wait, are they removing all regular usb ports and replacing them with usb type c ports..? i mean i expect them to keep maybe some regular usb ports but all of them..?

  7. As long as there is an SD card slot. There has to be an SD card reader.

  8. It is unfortunate because cloud storage relies on an internet connection which can be unreliable and not available in a lot of places when you are out and about. It will always be better to save things locally.

  9. It’s not unfortunate Azmbnz (is that a name?) — Cloud storage and connectivity is one of the most important developments to come along in the computer era. (And you know that)

  10. Unfortunately the cloud is where the future delivery system of storage is headed. It also presents a convenient rational for manufacturers to

  11. 0% chance this will happen. Everything they do encourage the use of cloud and external SSD

  12. The new MacBook Pro needs a 2TB SSD option or I’m not buying. Seems like this should easily be technically and economically possible by now. Not everyone wants to trust their data to the cloud…

  13. Lol if they somehow don’t include USB C id love to see you guys eat an iPad

  14. I would like to see a good (gaming) graphics card. Nvidia GTX 970M or eq.\nThen we can use the Macbook Pro also for good gaming with Bootcamp.

  15. Please go somewhere quiet, without the internet, and never come back.

  16. Sky lake, an 980M and a 32gb option is what I want, I don’t care about a redesign and I sure don’t want to lose any ports.

  17. I’d love to see a couple usb-c ports of course with full thunderbolt 3 compatibility. Preferably NO 4k screen (would ruin all that nice extra battery life with Skylake) well..maybe an option for those who need/want it. :-). I have an external 4k for that work. I’d love tiny bezels..I sure do love those tiny bezels and it would satisfy that extra screen real-estate want in the same body size. XPS 13/15 was beautiful for that. I doubt we’ll see upgradable ram / ssd with all this super slim and tiny talk. Solder is the name of the game there. but who knows! also DDR4 ram for sure. 1 more thing….something other than silver….and before you say Rose gold, personally, that’s not what I’m looking for. anodized Black would be good.

  18. you’ll never see a touchscreen on a macbook pro since mac OS doesn’t support touch input

  19. Thin and light shouldn’t be in the design spec of the MacBook Pro. I’ll be buying the MacBook Pro 2015 before this new model comes out, because I need these ports.\n\nThe world isn’t ready for full USB-C.

  20. I don’t want that. I have that now! Just want it better. But if Microsoft could do it better I would switch. Surface Book comes close but quality and support not there.

  21. Basically you want Apple to run your entire life, and no other. Ever.

  22. What would be great is touch screen, multiple USB-C with high speed functional. 32 gig RAM, 2 terabytes SSD, Wifi a/c, pen, security both photo ID and finger print ID, Great Video production software, front and back camera minimum 16 mp, ability to run iOS and OS X x.x., ability to mimic Apple TV or operate Apple TV via the MacBook Pro.\n\n4K video, TV tuner HDMI connections. \n

  23. I need one for college too. I’m going to buy a cheaper 15

  24. you should wait for the new one as it has massive imporvements

  25. I’m need to buy a laptop for college. Should I buy the current Macbook Pro 13

  26. No more features. Just make it better (faster, lighter, longer battery life, highest def screen, more usb slots). STOP adding features for at the expense of improving the experience we already have !!!!!

  27. What is happening to Apple? is it Tim Cook? Johnny Ive? When will they innovate again? I’ve been using Apple products since the late 80’s and I am a tech professional. Apple lead the pack for years with their new devices and technologies and allowed us Apple snobs to brag over our Windows/PC/Samsung/Google counterparts. Apple hasn’t wowed us with anything in years. I am still devoted to Apple for their interface design, and attention to detail, but come on. Not the fastest or slimmest or most high tech phone. No where near the top of the line laptops, no full OS tablets (Surface), no convertible ultrabooks, almost two generations behind in processors on the MacBooks, and I’m sorry, but the watch is a joke. I’ve been proving to people for years that Apple products are the best, but it’s almost impossible anymore. The trend of Windows to Mac converts is starting to swing the other way. On top of all this, their stock hasn’t changed significantly in 2 years.\n\nAnd yes, the 17

  28. As I will be buying it mostly for audio / video production, my biggest anxiety is over the number and type of I/O ports available.

  29. I am working a lot with large files on photo and video editing, so besides the speed improvement on Skylake I would love the option to go for 2TB SSD and 32GB RAM.\n\n\nUSB-C is a nice to have, but I would appreciate to keep at least one

  30. Apple needs to catch up with other retailers such as dell who make more powerful laptops at a lower price. Apple should try to entice people to buy their products for other reasons then having macOS.

  31. i’ve been using apple products all my life, 17 macbook pros are EXTREMELY NECESSARY to me.\nI am tired of using a 5 year laptop as my main computer.\nI tried those tiny ones, I tried connecting to screens, \n\nit’s not the same. Some times you need to work while in bed or outside, or while traveling.\n\nBRING BACK a 17 macbook PRO APPLE

  32. I just smile at the sensational comments that demand an intelligent response such as yours. I smile because I enjoy apple products. I smile because, in our free market, I can partake of whatever tech I deem personally necessary, and add some indulgences on top. I smile because I can completely ignore the idiotic comments on the interwebz that offer no redeeming value to the article posted. So keep on developing, Antonio, even if it is in the midst of lunacy exemplified by some of the comments on here.

  33. Antonio, I wasn’t born yesterday. At what point in your life did Apple products become necessary? What made Apple products a necessity in your life? The answer to that question is, when you CHOSE to develop solely iOS software, at which time it became a requirement not a necessity. Mewcomm responded to my comment and set a precedent with the word

  34. Hey Adam, I am a software engineer.. I have focused my career in iOS development… I eat thanks to my Apple products… 😉 So,

  35. This world is chalk full of sensationalists and stiff-necked fools.

  36. Digestion is neccesary. Using an Apple product is a preference, not a neccesity. I wasn’t born yesterday, here. Stop trolling.

  37. Unneccessary for most people? Everything Apple sells is unnecessary.

  38. Apple is serious. A 17 inch laptop is unnecessary for most people. Including Video producers/Graphix artists. They can always feed to a 4K/5K Monitor of their choosing. And have a superior operating environment at that. Change is hard to accept

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