Apple 2016 ‘Hello Again’ MacBook Event To Feature Kaby Lake, OLED Touch Strips, 15-inch MacBook Pro, And New iMacs
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been pretty accurate with regards to iPhone channel leaks over the years, has given some insight into what he expects to see with this week’s Mac updates. The most exciting updates are likely to be reserved for the MacBook Pro family, which is currently available in both 13- and 15-inch form-factors.
It’s almost a given that both laptops will be powered by Intel’s Kaby Lake processors, and will incorporate USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports in place of the more traditional USB 3.0 ports found on current models. We can only hope, however, that Apple doesn’t make the same mistake with the MacBook Pro that it did with the 12-inch MacBook by only including a single USB-C port. Given the larger frames of these professional-oriented devices, we would expect to see no less than two USB-C ports to appease power users.
Kuo also continues the widely expected rumor that the thinner, updated MacBook Pro lineup will include an Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) touch panel above the keyboard. The panel is said to give users customizable keyboard shortcuts that are displayed depending on which application you are currently using. For example, Safari could display refresh and navigational soft buttons, while iTunes could present playback controls. It’s also said that the traditional power button will be replaced with an updated version that supports Touch ID.
Rumors also suggest that AMD Polaris-based graphics are in store for at least the 15-inch version of the MacBook Pro (the 13-inch models have traditionally used Intel integrated graphics).
As for the iMac, it likely that Apple will also update these all-in-one desktops with Kaby Lake power, and perhaps Polaris graphics on higher-end models. You can also expect to see USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. There’s also a very high chance that Apple will announced a new 5K-capable standalone Thunderbolt Display to replace the dusty old model that was discontinued earlier this year.
What’s less clear is what Apple is planning on doing with the Mac Pro and MacBook Air lineups. There have been no channel leaks pertaining to the Mac Pro (which has gone years without any meaningful updates) and things are less certain for the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air family currently resides at the entry-level point for Apple notebooks, with 11-inch and 13-inch models priced from $899 and $999 respectively, it would be wise to release updated models and keep the same price points, otherwise the cheapest Apple laptop would be the $1,299 MacBook.
But all of this is just speculation at this point. We know for certain until this Thursday, October 27th at 1PM when Apple’s keynote address kicks off.