Touch ID, OLED touch bar to highlight thinner MacBook Pro models in Q4

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Apple is expected to drastically revamp its flagship laptop line in the second half of 2016, according to one informed insider, with the slimmed down 13- and 15-inch models said to sport Touch ID, an OLED display touch bar, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, among other improvements.




In a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider on Monday, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple to release a new form factor MacBook Pro design sometime in the fourth quarter of 2016. Thinner and lighter than current hardware, the long-awaited redesign will also feature exotic technologies carried over from Apple's mobile device lineup.

Specifically, Kuo believes Apple plans to introduce a Touch ID fingerprint reader into the new MacBook Pro chassis, which if true will be the first non-iOS implementation of the biometric security system. In addition, an "OLED display touch bar" is earmarked for integration and will replace physical function keys located above the laptop's QWERTY keyboard.

Previous Apple patents have outlined illuminated touch controls embedded within a MacBook's chassis, while others protect rights to switchless keyboards and illuminated trackpads. The company also owns IP relating to in-key displays ala Art Lebedev's Optimus keyboard line, though the inventions yet to ship in a consumer product.

Riffing on the "thinner and lighter is better" trend, Apple will attempt to squeeze MacBook Pro's powerful innards into an even slimmer chassis, Kuo said. To help keep thickness at a minimum, Apple plans to employ low-rise butterfly mechanism switches and battery tech introduced with the 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. The move should prove to further blur the lines between the company's MacBook pedigrees, which include the 12-inch Retina MacBook, aging MacBook Air models and the beefy (by comparison) MacBook Pro.

Like last year's 12-inch MacBook, the new Pro models are expected to adopt speedy USB-C connectivity alongside the usual Thunderbolt ports, which should get a bump up to Thunderbolt 3. Whether Apple intends to ditch its proprietary MagSafe charger, as it did with the Retina MacBook thin-and-light, remains to be seen.

Kuo says this year's MacBook upgrades will be the most significant in four years.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Now Ming-Chi invents technologies and doesn't even bother to explain them. 
    calipulseimagesrogifan_newrepressthisdigital_guymejsricurahara
  • Reply 2 of 65
    Ugh, I hope "Q4" is wrong. I've got the money for a new MBP burning a hole in my pocket but I'm waiting for the new ones. Everyone's been saying "June" up until this point.
    jibberjpulseimagesjbishop1039funstraw
  • Reply 3 of 65
    jibberjjibberj Posts: 29member
    It all sounds good, but I hope they don't ditch the MagSafe.
    mobiusbaconstangcnocbuiaegean
  • Reply 4 of 65
    anomeanome Posts: 984member

    Likewise. Q4 is a long way off, and they're already running late. I'd have expected at least a speed bump to the current models around the time they bumped the MBAs if they were going to wait that long.

    Really hope they announce something at WWDC. Don't know about TouchID or the "OLED display touch bar" (whatever that is), but a nice, new MBP with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C would be good.

    Hickeroarpulseimages
  • Reply 5 of 65
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,474member
    What about an OLED trackpad? Works like the current trackpad, but there's an option to have information or controls displayed directly on the trackpad.

    Now you have your "touchscreen"  without actually having to touch (and smudge) the main screen.
    baconstangpatchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 6 of 65
    schlackschlack Posts: 672member
    They've been taking forever on these new laptops...so ready to upgrade my (amazingly still fast with SSD upgrade) 2010 MBP. I don't even care if it's faster than my 2010. I just want a better screen, lighter weight, and longer battery life.
    repressthisdigital_guy
  • Reply 7 of 65
    Q4 is Christmas time right? To hell with that time frame!
    Hickeroar
  • Reply 8 of 65
    jayinsfjayinsf Posts: 6member
    If the new MacBook Pros hav USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, I would expect the traditional Thunderbolt ports to be ditched in favor of Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C. https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-does-it-all

    It doesn't make sense to maintain a different Thunderbolt port and USB-C when the standard is for USB-C to carry Thunderbolt 3. I would instead expect the usual complement of $30 adapters to the current mini-DisplayPort connectors. 
  • Reply 9 of 65
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,582member
    jibberj said:
    It all sounds good, but I hope they don't ditch the MagSafe.
    Agreed. MagSafe is, dare I say it - beloved. Removing it from the MBPs would upset a lot of users. 
    mobiusbaconstangrepressthisrezwitsdigital_guyjibberjlostkiwipalomine
  • Reply 10 of 65
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,497member
    welshdog said:
    jibberj said:
    It all sounds good, but I hope they don't ditch the MagSafe.
    Agreed. MagSafe is, dare I say it - beloved. Removing it from the MBPs would upset a lot of users. 
    What makes you concerned that Apple might?
    oolonmcc
  • Reply 11 of 65
    Just hope they keep the MagSafe Connector, both USB-A port (13" version) instead of pursuing the so called "innovation". Why keep USB-A ports cause it not yet outdated furthermore the MBP is a machine designed for pro users. Furthermore, pro users need MagSafe for charging and USB ports for transferring instead of combining both commonly used tasks into one/two USB-C ports.
    baconstangkernapster
  • Reply 12 of 65
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Nice, I'll be in the market right about then to replace my early 2011. 
  • Reply 13 of 65
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    Will the pro model come with a discrete GPU? If so, I might be interested. 
  • Reply 14 of 65
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,876member
    What is an OLED display touch bar?
    repressthispatchythepiratelostkiwiwaverboypscooter63pulseimages
  • Reply 15 of 65
    danwellsdanwells Posts: 24member
    If it's thinner and lighter, I start to worry about what ports might get lost, and whether they have to drop the GPU or move down the CPU power scale for heat reasons... I've been hoping for a version with upgrades to RAM and/or SSD capacity, and not in Q4, either...
    pulseimages
  • Reply 16 of 65
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 490member
    What is an OLED display touch bar?
    It's this hot dive in SOMA...I was sooooo wasted.
    liketheskyanome
  • Reply 17 of 65
    What is an OLED display touch bar?
    That question is 99% of the reason I opened up this thread. I can't think of a non-gimmicky reason to have that feature. And since I know Apple doesn't do gimmicks, I'm intrigued. And flummoxed!

    Hmm, maybe somehow part of a gesture-based interface?
    pscooter63
  • Reply 18 of 65
    Hickeroar said:
    Ugh, I hope "Q4" is wrong. I've got the money for a new MBP burning a hole in my pocket but I'm waiting for the new ones. Everyone's been saying "June" up until this point.
    Apple's Q4 is July-September.
    baconstangDnlklrpscooter63
  • Reply 19 of 65
    It's been four years of nothing. Any upgrade would be significant. The OLED bar sounds gimmicky though. I'm calling BS on that one.
  • Reply 20 of 65
    jibberj said:
    It all sounds good, but I hope they don't ditch the MagSafe.
    Why doesn't Apple bring the smart connector to the Mac and have that become the new Mag Safe? Power and data.
    jkichlineliketheskypulseimages
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