Photos of purported MacBook Pro chassis surface with OLED touch bar slot, four USB ports, no MagSaf

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2016
Photos of a supposed next-generation MacBook Pro chassis that surfaced Tuesday appear to support recent predictions that Apple is planning to drastically revamp the laptop's design by adding an OLED touch bar and winnowing down external connections to four USB format ports.




The images, sent to Cult of Mac by an anonymous source said to be within Apple's Chinese supply chain, claim to be the first "spy shots" of a heretofore unknown MacBook Pro. As seen in the picture above, the aluminum laptop chassis follows traditional MacBook design, but lacks a top row of function key cutouts normally found on all Apple keyboards. In their place is a solid groove and what looks to be space for a connector or controller module, suggesting the niche will be used to seat an OLED touch bar forecast by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last week.

Side views of the purported MacBook Pro part show what seems to be four rounded portholes matching the size and shape of the USB-C standard. Apple is rumored to include USB-C into its upcoming Pro laptop, though initial reports did not mention whether the company plans to use the protocol to also charge the device. This might be the case, however, as a MagSafe power adapter notch is notably absent. MagSafe has long been Apple's standard means of recharging, but the format was deleted in favor of USB-C when the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display launched.




The headphone jack has also been relocated to the right side of the chassis, while speaker grilles flank both ends of the keyboard. Apple's current 13-inch MacBook Pro hides its speakers underneath the keyboard.

Interestingly, the unit does not appear to be much thinner than existing Pro models. In his report, Kuo specifically notes both 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro variants would be thinner and lighter than current offerings, changes that come part and parcel with keyboard and external connectivity port modifications. While the analyst failed to elaborate on aesthetics, it has been speculated that Apple will borrow liberally from the design language introduced with last year's Retina MacBook.

Today's "leak" is the first to be associated with this year's MacBook revamp, which Kuo says is shaping up to be the most substantial in four years. Apple is rumored to be eyeing a fourth quarter release for the redesigned MacBook Pro, to be preceded by a new 13-inch model for the MacBook with Retina display line.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    jbishop1039jbishop1039 Posts: 223member
    Well, look at that. My next computer. Been waiting for this one for awhile now. Hopefully in two weeks we'll get to see what it really looks like.
    pulseimages1983jhudgins84
  • Reply 2 of 108
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    Hopefully the leak about it coming late in the year was just misdirection.
    1983
  • Reply 3 of 108
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,041member
    If there's room in a device for 4 USB-C ports, and a headphone jack, then why not include it, regardless what Apple ends up doing with the rumored removal of the iPhone headphone jack. If the function keys become a touch bar, that should open up a lot of space below for not only a headphone jack but also a Lightning connector. And, I fully expect Apple to include a Lightning port on all Macs if Apple actually removes it from the iPhones. On the Retina MacBook, Lightning will replace the headphone jack, but perhaps not on the Pro depending on just how much room is available on this new laptop, and it appears to be a lot.

    One thing is for certain, Apple's not going to drop the headphone jack, or add a Lightning port, before it's announced on the iPhone, and that means all of these new releases are being designed for the easy replacement or addition as required (if there's any truth to the rumor at all).

    But this does make me wonder if the rumored headphone jack removal will happen in September, or not until next September now (if at all) ...
    aylkjhudgins84
  • Reply 4 of 108
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    What's the purpose behind removing the function keys and replacing them with an OLED bar instead?

    Is it because instead of F1,F2,F3 etc. being shown, now the computer will be able to have symbols and full color icons instead for each key, that can change and adapt to the software being used?
    repressthismonstrositymattinoz1983
  • Reply 5 of 108
    irelandireland Posts: 17,223member
    apple ][ said:
    What's the purpose behind removing the function keys and replacing them with an OLED bar instead?full color icons instead for each key, that can change and adapt to the software being used?
    I guess we will see them try to sell us on it.
  • Reply 6 of 108
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Here's another idea. 

    Some apps can use the bar as a long volume slider, using the entire bar for just volume control, or brightness control for example. You just slide your finger from left to right to make the volume louder.

    Or a Moog Synth can use the entire OLED bar as a ribbon controller, emulating the original. :#
    slprescottrepressthismonstrosityaylkwelshdogsphericjkichline1983
  • Reply 7 of 108
    Can someone try their best to explain to me the benefit of a potential move away from MagSafe, other than cost savings for Apple? Oh, and without throwing a tantrum in the process, lol.

    I know quite a few pro users whom are very nervous of the mechanical function bar being replaced. They are software engineers and algorithm developers. They regularly navigate OS X exclusively through function keys and other various commands. As a pro-sumer, I'm excited :#
    irelandaylkdysamoria1983
  • Reply 8 of 108
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 592member
    I'll take MagSafe over USB-C any day. It wouldn't be unlike Apple, but is there really need to drop everything (including the SD slot)? They aren't lacking space inside the MBP, it'll be back to a bagful of £30 dongles to connect to anything at all... 
    aylk1983
  • Reply 9 of 108
    slprescottslprescott Posts: 737member
    Apple ][, your slider idea is intriguing. It could support both discrete keys (emulating function keys) and a single continuous slider for any app that could use a linear analog user input: volume, zoom, color levels, etc.
    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 108
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 592member
    apple ][ said:
    Here's another idea. 

    Some apps can use the bar as a long volume slider, using the entire bar for just volume control, or brightness control for example. You just slide your finger from left to right to make the volume louder.

    Or a Moog Synth can use the entire OLED bar as a ribbon controller, emulating the original. :#
    It'd be nice to use it to control scrubbing in iTunes/Quicktime player, much easier than trying to drag the scrubber bar with the mouse.
  • Reply 11 of 108
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 197member
    apple ][ said:
    What's the purpose behind removing the function keys and replacing them with an OLED bar instead?

    Is it because instead of F1,F2,F3 etc. being shown, now the computer will be able to have symbols and full color icons instead for each key, that can change and adapt to the software being used?
    Yes, that would likely be the idea. Plus your suggestion of volume and brightness controls.

    Somebody may think notifications, but that would be below your line of sight so probably not.

    Depending on how open the API is there could be some pretty incredible and creative new uses that we can't even begin to think of. 3D touch functions perhaps?
  • Reply 12 of 108
    Are the arrow keys on this different to the current rMBP?
  • Reply 13 of 108
    Can someone try their best to explain to me the benefit of a potential move away from MagSafe, other than cost savings for Apple? Oh, and without throwing a tantrum in the process, lol.

    I know quite a few pro users whom are very nervous of the mechanical function bar being replaced. They are software engineers and algorithm developers. They regularly navigate OS X exclusively through function keys and other various commands. As a pro-sumer, I'm excited :#
    1. MagSafe seems to be capped at 85W. Apple's big laptops really need 100W. 
    2. You don't have to replace the entire charger if the cable fails. 
    3. You don't have to buy an Apple charger. 
    4. If you forgot your charger, chances are someone will have one you can use (this will take a few years)
    irelandradarthekatjhudgins84badmonk
  • Reply 14 of 108
    As far as the OLED pad, look up the Optimus Maximus keyboard from 2007 or so, it'll be the same idea here I suspect. 
  • Reply 15 of 108
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    frank777 said:
    Hopefully the leak about it coming late in the year was just misdirection.
    That leak never happened. What happened is people don't understand Apples "financial quarters".
    fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 108
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    apple ][ said:
    What's the purpose behind removing the function keys and replacing them with an OLED bar instead?

    Is it because instead of F1,F2,F3 etc. being shown, now the computer will be able to have symbols and full color icons instead for each key, that can change and adapt to the software being used?
    The purpose is to generate sales by keeping the Mac fresh and innovative in the minds of the buyers out there. As for how it would be used who knows. One smart move would be to move the dock there.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    Can someone try their best to explain to me the benefit of a potential move away from MagSafe, other than cost savings for Apple? Oh, and without throwing a tantrum in the process, lol.

    I know quite a few pro users whom are very nervous of the mechanical function bar being replaced. They are software engineers and algorithm developers. They regularly navigate OS X exclusively through function keys and other various commands. As a pro-sumer, I'm excited
    Actually there are considerable benefits if Apple is open to third party support hardware. Look at it this way, there are many USB power sources out there that may potentially charge this machine. You could for instance have a cheap cigarette lighter, charger for use in a truck, boat or car. This would be fantastic in my mind as I use a USB power source right now to keep iPad charged while driving around. I'm a fairly advanced user and hardly ever use the function keys. In fact I'd have to look up some of the functions they supposedly support. I suppose it depends upon how engraved muscle memory is but I don't see a problem.
    repressthis
  • Reply 18 of 108
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,247member
    Apple has some pretty steep competition these days. Good thing that they still have the unmatched Mac OS X.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,247member
    I frequently use the top bar blindly, knowing that the Esc key is at the upper left (a very useful key!), followed by the brightness, volume and playback keys. I fear that usability will be degraded by requiring one to look at the touch bar to know where to press. Let's hope that Apple has some common sense in their design of this.
    edited May 2016 dysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 108
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    wizard69 said:
    Look at it this way, there are many USB power sources out there that may potentially charge this machine.
    Assuming Apple allows that. For instance, I believe a new HP laptop that uses the technology won't charge off anything but an official HP charger. I could easily see Apple doing the same thing.

    I am really disappointed, but not surprised, there aren't any standard USB 3.0 ports and no ethernet jack. Apple doesn't seem to care that people don't want to rebuy peripherals or carry around a bunch of dongles. I am sure they will still sell though…Apple seems to have really locked up the more money than brains market.

    -kp
    xixoxiamenbill
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