New MacBook Pro 2016 release date, features & specs rumours UK:
MacBook Pro to be a no-show at September event | Apple Pencil compatibility with MacBook Pro trackpad | OLED touch bar | Touch ID
We investigate the rumours surrounding the long-awaited launch of the new MacBook Pro for 2016 – including news of Intel’s newly launched Kaby Lake processors. When will we get a new MacBook Pro? Apple last updated its 13in and 15in MacBook Pro laptops in March and May of 2015 respectively, so it can’t be long until the new line comes out, can it?
When will 2016’s new MacBook Pro be released?
Apple’s new updated MacBook Pro for 2016 should come out soon – most likely in autumn 2016. MacBook fans have been disappointed a couple of times recently – the MacBook Pro update was an obvious no-show when Apple updated the rest of its laptop range in Spring, and was again ignored at WWDC 2016 – but this only reinforces our sense that an update is overdue. Indeed, we suspect that we’re having to wait longer for the new Pro because it’s going to get a more major refresh than the MacBook and MacBook Air got back in March.
Two sizes of MacBook Pro are available right now: a 13in model, which was last updated in March 2015, and a 15in model, last updated in May 2015. (You can find out where to buy them here.) We hoped for new MacBook Pro models on 21 March at Apple’s spring event, but Apple didn’t mention Macs at all, and the same goes for WWDC 2016 on 13 June. So when is the new MacBook Pro 2016 coming out? You’ll find everything there is to know so far about new MacBook Pro 2016 models in this release date, specs and new features round-up.
Recent updates: 31 August, new references to the OLED ‘Function Row’ spotted | 30 August, we expect Apple to release updates for the MacBook in October, with changes tipped to come soon | 11 August, 7 September announcement date in doubt | 9 August, to include power button Touch ID rumours | 1 August 2016, to include an Apple patent that describes an Apple Pencil-compatible trackpad, and what this may mean for the next MacBook Pro. It was previously updated on 22 July to discuss Intel’s launch of its Kaby Lake processors – but MacBook Pro fans will have to wait a while yet.
New MacBook Pro 2016 release date rumours: When is the new MacBook Pro coming out?
Update 30 August: With the iPhone launch event taking place on 7 September, we still expect the MacBook to be announced later in October, alongside the upcoming iPad. We therefore expect an update soon, but not in September.
Prior to the WWDC 2016 keynote we were confident that a new MacBook Pro would be announced, but for the second Apple keynote in a row, we were disappointed. Lots of great stuff was announced at WWDC 2016 on 13 June, including MacOS Sierra and a rather hefty iOS 10 update, but there were no hardware announcements at all, so no new MacBook Pro. What’s going on, Apple?
We’re really, really hoping that Apple is planning a separate MacBook Pro event or a quiet release as it has done with Macs in the past. That happened on 19 April this year, when Apple announced its new 12in MacBook 2016
with a simple press release, and the MacBook Air got a very slight update too. Which just leaves the Pro.
With the iPhone 7 announcement all but confirmed for 7 September, we had our suspicions that Apple might not want to launch it alongside the major new MacBook Pro redesign (although obviously we hope it does). These fears seem to have been confirmed however after Bloomberg reported that the new MacBook Pro won’t be announced at the 7 September event. Apple apparently delcined to comment, which is normal in such instances.
We’d still expect the new MacBook Pro to be announced in 2016, but you should expect a Q4 announcement and launch date. This will either be at a single event or even via a quiet update during the week like we saw in April 2016 for the latest MacBook.
Trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that we should expect a redesign for the MacBook Pro this year, with a thinner and lighter body, Touch ID, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. Inside, we can expect to see faster Skylake processors powering the MacBook Pro and new graphics cards too. But most intriguingly, the analyst predicts there will be an OLED display touchbar just above the keyboard.
“While long overlooked, the MacBook line is the brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts,” Kuo said in a report sent out on 23 May that has got everyone excited.
He goes on to explain that the OLED display touch bar will replace the physical function keys with a set of customisable software keys that can be adapted to the needs and functions of individual apps. You’ll be able to open an application with one tap of the OLED touchbar, and it will subsequently show a set of controls (and display relevant notifications) for the software
Touch ID power button
In August, 9to5Mac heard from KGI Analysts, that the new MacBook Pro will also feature Touch ID support. The analysts are well known for providing accurate predictions and rumours. The firm hasn’t provided any further details, but it is suggested that it will be incorporated within the power button, making it an easy way to authenticate and switch on your MacBook.
There is no evidence or patents suggesting that Apple is developing the feature, however we do see it as a great addition to a popular device.
Cellular 4G connectivity
On 24 May 2016, Patently Apple shared a patent filed by Apple, which showcases a MacBook with cellular capabilities.
With the decrease in 4G connectivity costs and SIM-only deals, it’s very much possible that Apple want to bring a 4G-enabled MacBook Pro. The 4G MacBook Pro would most probably be an added hardware cost to buyers, meaning a similar price structure as the iPads.
In 2007, there were rumours around the MacBook having a 4G connection by use of an external antenna, but given Apple’s sleek design, it was most likely scrapped. Given how technology has moved forward, it would be feasible to see Apple integrating a cellular connection through the MacBook’s outer shell.
Apple Pencil-compatible trackpad
Now while it may not be as glamorous as an OLED touch bar or 4G connectivity, a patent application was recently granted which could introduce a new way to interact with your Macbook Pro – via the Apple Pencil. The patent was originally filed back in 2014 and while it mainly focuses on interaction with a touch screen display (or the iPad Pro to us), there are several images depicting its use with a trackpad and a Mac.
However, it doesn’t stop at trackpad compatibility either – the patent goes on to describe how the Apple Pencil (or stylus as it’s referred in the patent) could use a three- or six-axis sensor to act as a general input device like an ‘air mouse’, or even a joystick. The model of Apple Pencil depicted seems to be more advanced than the one currently available, having the ability to detect lateral movement in three dimensions as well as being able to detect and track rotational movement and orientation.
We’re not expecting the design of the MacBook Pro to change much, although the Ming-Chi Kuo report suggests otherwise. It’s possible that a gold model will be launched, but Apple might reserve that for the 12in MacBook, which got new colour options in March.
TechRadar reports that the MacBook Pro will get a new hinge design, and claims this will be created by Amphenol, which makes the hinges on the Microsoft Surface Book, while Kuo suggests we’ll see a thinner, lighter MacBook Pro with several new features including the Touch ID sensor and touch bar.
Further to the TechRadar report is a note in Digitimes reporting hinge makrer Jarllytec has reported major revenue increases. The company makes metal injection molding (MIM) hinges, and Digitimes puts down this rise in revenue to the MIM hinges expected to feature in this year’s new MacBook Pro design.
The new MacBook Pro models are likely to feature Skylake processors, the new, sixth generation chips by Intel. Right now, none of Apple’s MacBooks offer Skylake so it’s highly likely that Apple plans to address this soon. Skylake will bring significant performance gains to the new MacBook Pro, too, making it an even faster machine.