2016 expected to be a big year for Apple's MacBook lineup, upgrades to arrive in coming months

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Continued growth for the MacBook lineup -- particularly in enterprise markets -- will be a bright spot for Apple in 2016, further bolstered by an update in the first half of the year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.




Kuo, of KGI Securities, believes the MacBook lineup could lead the way for Apple in terms of growth this year. He said Apple's notebook lineup has seen "solid growth" among businesses, and he expects sales will accelerate with upgrades likely to arrive by June.

Demand for newly upgraded MacBook models will also benefit Apple suppliers SZS and Casetek, Kuo said. His forecasts were revealed in a note to investors on Sunday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider.

Though new MacBooks are apparently in the works, little is known about the anticipated upgrades. It's likely that Apple is waiting on new "Skylake" processors from Intel for its next-generation notebooks.

The Skylake platform is Intel's follow-up to Broadwell, and will offer the usual performance improvements -- boosting CPU speeds by 10 to 20 percent, and integrated graphics chips by 16 to 41 percent -- but also continue a trend towards efficient power use, thanks to smaller 14-nanometer architecture. In laptops, switching to Skylake could add as much as 30 percent more battery life.

Kuo didn't offer any specifics on what other upgrades Apple's new notebooks might offer, nor did he indicate which of the company's lineup will see updates. But Sunday's report was the well-connected insider's first indication that new MacBooks will arrive in the first half of the year.

One report published last November projected that Apple will introduce a revamped Macbook Air lineup at its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2016. It was said that Apple is planning to extend the form factor to include a larger 15-inch model potentially in lieu of an 11-inch version.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    I'm still traveling with my trusty 2012 MBA.  I would love to upgrade, but Retina Display is a requirement for me if I'm going to spend the money.  A 15" is very appealing to me, as is the Skylake chip.  I look forward to seeing what Apple ships this year.
    argonaut
  • Reply 2 of 49
    irelandireland Posts: 17,414member
    Kuo gets way too much credit for his own good and websites giving it to him in spades should worry about their reputation. As for the 30% increase in battery life, MacBook could benefit greatly from this as 9 hours when new is no longer enough for me. Frankly I'd like to see MacBook Air go to 14 hours. My greatest wish this year is for MBA to get a slight redesign and go Retina.

    If I was running Apple I'd separate the MacBook, Air and Pro models by a 2" screen size difference. I'd narrow out the bezels and I'd have 12", 14" and 16" machines separated by name, thinness, processing power and port count:

    MacBook Retina (12")
    MacBook Air Retina (14")
    MacBook Pro Retina (16") 'A power monster'
    edited January 2016 thepixeldoc
  • Reply 3 of 49
    Yawn. Not interested unless Apple introduces a MacBook with an A series CPU. 

    I passed up the MacBook and waited for the iPad pro. I am extremely pleased with that decision. 

    By the time Intel fixes the yields of their Skylake Core M processors, the release of the A10X will be imminent. 
  • Reply 4 of 49
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    As others have said; just give me one more USB-C port, and a decent speed bump.
    That should be about enough to pluck the wallet out of my pocket.
    john.bargonaut
  • Reply 5 of 49
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,067member
    " It's likely that Apple is waiting on new "Skylake" processors from Intel for its next-generation notebooks."

    There are already laptops with Skylake processors, since November you can buy them.

    I'm waiting just for a MBA Retina and I will buy it to replace my 2010 MBA
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 6 of 49
    Add me to the list of people awaiting a MacBook with and Apple "A" processor in it.
    awilliams87
  • Reply 7 of 49
    I find it interesting that MacBooks (of all sorts) are doing well in the face of cheaper Windows knockoffs. I expected the knockoffs to do better then they have...well, there is that Windows thing...
    christopher126argonaut
  • Reply 8 of 49
    The MBA's are on Broadwell, which is 14nm as well. Same for the retina MacBook and the 13" MBP. 

    Skylake has graphical performance improvements but CPU performance improves by 5% at most, Intel's numbers are bogus marketing fluff. 

    Skylake is is actually less power efficient than Haswell/Broadwell because it lacks the fully integrated voltage regulator. It makes up for that somewhat with new sleep states but the OS and drivers have to be customized to use that, as Microsoft has found out the hard way with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. 

    I will be moderately surprised if Apple does an MBA redesign. I expect these rumors of new 13/15 notebooks to be redesigned rMBP's rather than Airs. 
    canukstorm
  • Reply 9 of 49
    Not much of a call. MBs and MBPs are sure for some type of upgrade in 2016. 

    (My 2012 15" is in brilliant shape. And blazingly fast. Not sure how much more Apple can truly deliver except longer battery life, larger HD, and a tad lighter for the same price). 
    edited January 2016 argonaut
  • Reply 10 of 49
    Yawn. Not interested unless Apple introduces a MacBook with an A series CPU. 

    I passed up the MacBook and waited for the iPad pro. I am extremely pleased with that decision. 

    By the time Intel fixes the yields of their Skylake Core M processors, the release of the A10X will be imminent. 
    You'll be waiting a long time then. If Apple switched to their A series, they would either have to abandon every scrap of software that came out before its release, or create a new version of Rosetta to run legacy apps in VM. Surprise surprise, the A series isn't anywhere near powerful enough for that. It can barely run complicated apps that are coded specifically for its architecture. That's why your precious IPad pro runs a gimped version of Adobe instead of the full version like the Surface Pro. And why should Apple abandon Intel when their processors are doing just fine for them, just to assuage fanatics that never got over the "betrayal" of abandoning the PowerPC for Wintel chips? Let's say they did, and went full Apple inside and out. The first few versions would be a mess performance wise, but that wouldn't matter because Apple would save a bundle fabbing their own parts versus outsourcing. It would be naive to think Apple would pass those savings onto the end users though. MBP's would continue to retail at a thousand and a half and up, third party software would be buggy or nonexistent for years. That's really something you're keeping your fingers crossed for? 
    edited January 2016 afrodribigpics
  • Reply 11 of 49
    ireland said:
    Kuo gets way too much credit for his own good and websites giving it to him in spades should worry about their reputation. As for the 30% increase in battery life, MacBook could benefit greatly from this as 9 hours when new is no longer enough for me. Frankly I'd like to see MacBook Air go to 14 hours. My greatest wish this year is for MBA to get a slight redesign and go Retina.

    If I was running Apple I'd separate the MacBook, Air and Pro models by a 2" screen size difference. I'd narrow out the bezels and I'd have 12", 14" and 16" machines separated by name, thinness, processing power and port count:

    MacBook Retina (12")
    MacBook Air Retina (14")
    MacBook Pro Retina (16") 'A power monster'
    Totally agree. The compactness introduced with the 12" means that your proposed 16" could be smaller and lighter than the current 15" Pro.

    I would just present it as one MacBook lineup though with different price points depending on size, cpu, memory, disk etc. You could get a cheaper, weaker 16" if you aren´t a power user but want a bigger screen, for example.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,125member
    Yawn. Not interested unless Apple introduces a MacBook with an A series CPU. 

    I passed up the MacBook and waited for the iPad pro. I am extremely pleased with that decision. 

    By the time Intel fixes the yields of their Skylake Core M processors, the release of the A10X will be imminent. 
    You'll be waiting a long time then. If Apple switched to their A series, they would either have to abandon every scrap of software that came out before its release, or create a new version of Rosetta to run legacy apps in VM. Surprise surprise, the A series isn't anywhere near powerful enough for that. It can barely run complicated apps that are coded specifically for its architecture. That's why your precious IPad pro runs a gimped version of Adobe instead of the full version like the Surface Pro. And why should Apple abandon Intel when their processors are doing just fine for them, just to assuage fanatics that never got over the "betrayal" of abandoning the PowerPC for Wintel chips? Let's say they did, and went full Apple inside and out. The first few versions would be a mess performance wise, but that wouldn't matter because Apple would save a bundle fabbing their own parts versus outsourcing. It would be naive to think Apple would pass those savings onto the end users though. MBP's would continue to retail at a thousand and a half and up, third party software would be buggy or nonexistent for years. That's really something you're keeping your fingers crossed for? 
    Apple would likely have a MacBook form factor with iOS before they would build an A series with OS X. That "gimped" Abobe anything could change rapidly with acceptance of the iPad Pro/Pencil and a continuation of the rapid performance improvement in A Series vs Intel Core. Read Anandtech's iPad Pro review to get an idea of the competition between A Series and Core.

    When you compare applications on a Surface Pro with the iPad Pro apps, you need to keep in mind that Apple controls both iOS and A Series development; Adobe will develop for where the money is, and for mobile, that is solidly iOS. I would be surprised if Abobe embraces Universal Apps anytime soon, hence, Surface will be solidly "legacy" and losing mobile.
    macky the mackythepixeldocargonaut
  • Reply 13 of 49
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Bring Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Type C (reversible) Generation 2 and SDXC reader supporting UHS-II maximum read/write speed (300 MB/s).
  • Reply 14 of 49
    Continued growth for the MacBook lineup -- particularly in enterprise markets -- will be a bright spot for Apple in 2016, further bolstered by an update in the first half of the year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.




    Kuo, of KGI Securities, believes the MacBook lineup could lead the way for Apple in terms of growth this year. He said Apple's notebook lineup has seen "solid growth" among businesses, and he expects sales will accelerate with upgrades likely to arrive by June.

    Demand for newly upgraded MacBook models will also benefit Apple suppliers SZS and Casetek, Kuo said. His forecasts were revealed in a note to investors on Sunday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider.

    Though new MacBooks are apparently in the works, little is known about the anticipated upgrades. It's likely that Apple is waiting on new "Skylake" processors from Intel for its next-generation notebooks.

    The Skylake platform is Intel's follow-up to Broadwell, and will offer the usual performance improvements -- boosting CPU speeds by 10 to 20 percent, and integrated graphics chips by 16 to 41 percent -- but also continue a trend towards efficient power use, thanks to smaller 14-nanometer architecture. In laptops, switching to Skylake could add as much as 30 percent more battery life.

    Kuo didn't offer any specifics on what other upgrades Apple's new notebooks might offer, nor did he indicate which of the company's lineup will see updates. But Sunday's report was the well-connected insider's first indication that new MacBooks will arrive in the first half of the year.

    One report published last November projected that Apple will introduce a revamped Macbook Air lineup at its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2016. It was said that Apple is planning to extend the form factor to include a larger 15-inch model potentially in lieu of an 11-inch version.
    I like everything about 12" macbook, but it needs thunderbolt 3 and more cpu power.  A10x or whatever the mobile processor is a weakling in comparison to Intel, not meant for real work, I have to develop on my laptop, ipad is a glorified book reader.  14 inch yet same low weight would be better though.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    Having a "A" series Macbook will mean that it can no longer run Windows either boot-camp or virtualized due to Windows not supported on ARM. This is a huge problem for me, computing students, and also techies who wants to use a Macbook but needs to run Windows (e.g. testing infra setup).

    Apple may introduce a Macbook with "A" series processor, but only for the lower end MacBooks (e.g. Macbook) which are meant for non-power user. I highly doubt it'll be in the high end series such as the rMBP 15" as power users wouldn't want an ARM processor for many reasons. Especially now that the base model of rMBP 15" comes with 16GB RAM, it's very suitable to run many VMs (especially Windows VMs).
  • Reply 16 of 49
    Wishes:
    Macbook Pro
    15" or larger Retina Display (wishing for 17 inch)
    32-64 GB RAM
    Fastest Intel Quad or more CPU
    Faster AMD or nVidia GPU
    2 TB or more SSD (wish there was space for 2)
    2 or more USB C ports with thunderbolt
    2 or more USB 3.0 ports
    HDMI port that handles 5K monitors.
    SD card slot that handles fasted cards
    Touchscreen display (dreaming)
    12 hour battery time


  • Reply 17 of 49
    teedee said:
    Having a "A" series Macbook will mean that it can no longer run Windows either boot-camp or virtualized due to Windows not supported on ARM. This is a huge problem for me, computing students, and also techies who wants to use a Macbook but needs to run Windows (e.g. testing infra setup).

    Apple may introduce a Macbook with "A" series processor, but only for the lower end MacBooks (e.g. Macbook) which are meant for non-power user. I highly doubt it'll be in the high end series such as the rMBP 15" as power users wouldn't want an ARM processor for many reasons. Especially now that the base model of rMBP 15" comes with 16GB RAM, it's very suitable to run many VMs (especially Windows VMs).
    "Apple may introduce a Macbook with "A" series processor, but only for the lower end MacBooks (e.g. Macbook) which are meant for non-power user."

    That's exactly the point. 
  • Reply 18 of 49
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,566member
    Great news but where is the marketing for the nMac Pro?  It is an amazing machine.  Not only is it a killer Mac I boot into Windows on an external SSD and with AMD Crossfire drivers installed, run GTA V at +90 f.p.s. on an Apple 27" LCD   ... what's not to like? :smiley: 
    edited January 2016 thepixeldocargonaut
  • Reply 19 of 49
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,902member
    What about Macbook running iOS? Lol...
  • Reply 20 of 49
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,172member
    bobschlob said:
    As others have said; just give me one more USB-C port, and a decent speed bump.
    That should be about enough to pluck the wallet out of my pocket.
    You won't get a second USB-C on the 12" MacBook, but you will get a Lightning port where the 3.5mm headphone jack is. ;-) 
    thepixeldocargonaut
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