Touch Bar keyboards, 'modest' Mac upgrades on Apple's slate for 2017

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Apple's Mac plans for next year reportedly include mostly "modest" upgrades, though the company is considering building standalone keyboards with Touch Bars and Touch ID.




The keyboards will only debut if the Touch Bar and Touch ID prove successful on the MacBook Pro, Bloomberg claimed on Tuesday as part of a broader expose on problems in Apple's Mac division. The site didn't say how Apple would address the security issues involving Touch ID, which would presumably require an onboard Secure Enclave to store fingerprints.

The iMac, which hasn't seen a 2016 refresh, is expected to adopt USB-C ports like its MacBook counterparts, and upgrade to new AMD graphics cards. That aligns with code discovered in macOS 10.12.2, pointing to support for the AMD technology.

On Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told the company that there are "great desktops" in its roadmap, without offering much extra detail except to say that desktops allow "a greater variety of I/O" than laptops.

The MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook are only expected to get speed boosts, Bloomberg's sources said. 2016 models of both were originally intended to be more impressive however, which could mean those lost features might make their debut. The Pro was supposed to have a more powerful, contoured battery, while the 12-inch MacBook might've gained Touch ID and a second USB-C port.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    jbishop1039elijahgai46repressthistechprod1gyzoetmbdysamoriaavon b7jblongzjony0
  • Reply 2 of 60
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,259member
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    Maybe they're under promising again?

    In all honesty I think they are being hamstrung by Intel at least on the mobile side of things. They want to move forward with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 which is only available on a small subsets of processors.  For instance, there is only one Xeon processor that could go in the MacPro lineup right now and the rest of the roadmap from Intel has been delayed by up to two years.  Unfortunately Apple has pinned it's success on a company that is also focusing on mobile now, so they are unlikely to see massive improvements.

    The one way Apple can get out of this of course is to design its own processors and chipsets for the laptop segment.  They may have already seen the writing on the wall and started down that design path (which takes years).  But in the meantime, what else do you expect the company to do when the company that makes the core components is happy with the status quo?  You get exactly what Apple is doing... better screens, better keyboard, thinner design and a Touch Bar.  Things that Apple can control directly and that is not tied to Intel.
    johntwolffai46ration alirelandwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 60
    I posted this in another thread but since that one was late and will get buried...

    I hate that type of rubbish that Cook is spouting.

    How difficult is it to simply come out with a model update regularly that has a faster processor, new graphics card, and maybe new ports (Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, etc).? Apple itself is probably making it harder to do this by inherently making designs non-upgradable.

    The main problem is Apple thinks they need to reinvent the wheel every time they come out with a desktop. The cylinder Mac Pro is a perfect example...it's more about visual aesthetic then anything else. They probably spent years refining the cylinder. The Mac mini is the Cube concept refined to it's maximum (minus any thought for upgradability or expandability).

    Then to see their laptop line adopt a gimmick like the Touch Bar...and remove all ports except USB-C...it really makes me wonder what they are thinking. I like Apple products, and they will sell millions of units regardless of what I think, but it's still frustrating.
    elijahgai46techprod1gymacplusplus
  • Reply 4 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,742member
    So very sad if true... and so plausibly true.

    perhaps it will be a Zen-based Linux box for me in 2017
  • Reply 5 of 60
    While I understand that the desktop computer isn't as profitable as it once was and that iOS is the way of the future, the fact remains that those great iOS apps need to be developed somewhere. And what better place than on a Mac with Xcode. They'll always be required, until there's a better way to do it I guess. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 60
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.

    The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile
    "The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile"

    This sentence pretty much nails it
    pulseimagesStrangeDaysdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 60
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.

    The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile
    PC is dead only in the mass consumer market. Steve once called them trucks. For some tasks you need a truck, or at least an SUV. Even if it were possible to do the SFX for Star Wars on an iPhone, no one who does that work would. All I am asking is for Apple to do more in that space. Bring back a "cheese grater" style Mac Pro for those who need it. I don't need innovation there so much as parity with the performance and features of my son's deluxe gaming PC. Doesn't seem like too much to ask. Apple making a profit and all that. 
    ai46repressthisdysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 60
    sog35 said:
    While I understand that the desktop computer isn't as profitable as it once was and that iOS is the way of the future, the fact remains that those great iOS apps need to be developed somewhere. And what better place than on a Mac with Xcode. They'll always be required, until there's a better way to do it I guess. 
    xcode is coming to iOS in a few years
    I'm sure many would hope so
  • Reply 9 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,742member
    sog35 said:
    I posted this in another thread but since that one was late and will get buried...

    I hate that type of rubbish that Cook is spouting.

    How difficult is it to simply come out with a model update regularly that has a faster processor, new graphics card, and maybe new ports (Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, etc).? Apple itself is probably making it harder to do this by inherently making designs non-upgradable.

    The main problem is Apple thinks they need to reinvent the wheel every time they come out with a desktop. The cylinder Mac Pro is a perfect example...it's more about visual aesthetic then anything else. They probably spent years refining the cylinder. The Mac mini is the Cube concept refined to it's maximum (minus any thought for upgradability or expandability).

    Then to see their laptop line adopt a gimmick like the Touch Bar...and remove all ports except USB-C...it really makes me wonder what they are thinking. I like Apple products, and they will sell millions of units regardless of what I think, but it's still frustrating.
    Apple has been making pretty regular updates on the iMac and Macbook.

    The MacPro is a niche product, so you can't expect them to update that every year.
    I think it's reasonable to expect an update every time updated key components are available. 
    entropystechprod1gydysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 60
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,755member
    Who at Bloomberg is paying off an Apple employee for this information? I don't remember reading anything about a TouchID keyboard in Tim's purported email to employees. I'm tired of places like Bloomberg pushing out rumors. Show me the money (technical drawings) and I'll believe it.

    Of course, I really hope Apple comes out with a secure TouchID keyboard (can't be spoofed) for the desktop Macs Tim supposedly said or inferred are coming out "sometime" (since the other AI article didn't mention 2017 in the email). 
    ai46dysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    Huh? Cars are definitely mature. Tesla isn't even successful -- last I heard they don't sell very many a year and sell them at a loss. 

    Iterative improvement is the name of the game, and it always has been for Apple. The big game changing devices are few and far between. Then it's all about iterative improvement. Here's Gruber writing about this almost seven years ago:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/1151235/macs/apple-rolls.html
    ration al
  • Reply 12 of 60


    Then to see their laptop line adopt a gimmick like the Touch Bar...and remove all ports except USB-C...it really makes me wonder what they are thinking. I like Apple products, and they will sell millions of units regardless of what I think, but it's still frustrating.
    Gimmick? Have you used to the Touch Bar? Because all the reviews and user reviews say quite clearly that it's not a gimmick and adds value. What are you basing your opinion on? People aren't dummies -- Apple can't sell millions and millions of a thing if it's useless. 

    USB-C is a great port. It's universal, non-proprietary, and very flexible. I didn't need the legacy ports like firewire ethernet, SD, etc. So removing them and removing their controller chips and power draws results in a machine that is more efficient. Then anybody who needs those other things can use an adapter, rather than forcing that tradeoff onto everyone. 
    edited December 2016 ai46ration altycho24roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.
    Surface Studio is evidence that you can innovate in the desktop market.  Apple is the one that ignores it because of the "fridge/toaster" thing.  And looks like MS proved them wrong. 

    The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile

    Same for Apple, that focus so much in mobile, because it feeds their cash cows (iOS devices).


    edited December 2016 tycho24
  • Reply 14 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    sog35 said:
    I posted this in another thread but since that one was late and will get buried...

    I hate that type of rubbish that Cook is spouting.

    How difficult is it to simply come out with a model update regularly that has a faster processor, new graphics card, and maybe new ports (Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, etc).? Apple itself is probably making it harder to do this by inherently making designs non-upgradable.

    The main problem is Apple thinks they need to reinvent the wheel every time they come out with a desktop. The cylinder Mac Pro is a perfect example...it's more about visual aesthetic then anything else. They probably spent years refining the cylinder. The Mac mini is the Cube concept refined to it's maximum (minus any thought for upgradability or expandability).

    Then to see their laptop line adopt a gimmick like the Touch Bar...and remove all ports except USB-C...it really makes me wonder what they are thinking. I like Apple products, and they will sell millions of units regardless of what I think, but it's still frustrating.
    Apple has been making pretty regular updates on the iMac and Macbook.

    The MacPro is a niche product, so you can't expect them to update that every year.
    HP, Lenovo and Dell have updated their workstations with the latest CPUs and GPU's for the last three years, while Apple haven't done anything to the Mac Pro.  They still sell it at the same price of 3yrs ago.  It's true that you don't need to update every year, but three years (and counting) is just wrong. 
    elijahgdysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.
    Surface Studio is evidence that you can innovate in the desktop market.  Apple is the one that ignores it because of the "fridge/toaster" thing.  And looks like MS proved them wrong. 

    The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile

    Same for Apple, that focus so much in mobile, because it feeds their cash cows (iOS devices).


    Sorry holmes. Microsoft has sold so few Surface Studios that they won't even mention how many units they sold. Surface Studio is a niche product or a niche product. 


    My reply was to your post,

    "The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) "

    Windows / Office aren't niche products.  The Surface Studio is a niche device, focused in designers and artists. But it's interesting how the "niche" device showed how slow Apple have become in innovation.  They proved that desktop touchscreen are usable, while Apple went with the toaster / fridge "logic".   
  • Reply 16 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    I posted this in another thread but since that one was late and will get buried...

    I hate that type of rubbish that Cook is spouting.

    How difficult is it to simply come out with a model update regularly that has a faster processor, new graphics card, and maybe new ports (Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, etc).? Apple itself is probably making it harder to do this by inherently making designs non-upgradable.

    The main problem is Apple thinks they need to reinvent the wheel every time they come out with a desktop. The cylinder Mac Pro is a perfect example...it's more about visual aesthetic then anything else. They probably spent years refining the cylinder. The Mac mini is the Cube concept refined to it's maximum (minus any thought for upgradability or expandability).

    Then to see their laptop line adopt a gimmick like the Touch Bar...and remove all ports except USB-C...it really makes me wonder what they are thinking. I like Apple products, and they will sell millions of units regardless of what I think, but it's still frustrating.
    Apple has been making pretty regular updates on the iMac and Macbook.

    The MacPro is a niche product, so you can't expect them to update that every year.
    HP, Lenovo and Dell have updated their workstations with the latest CPUs and GPU's for the last three years, while Apple haven't done anything to the Mac Pro.  They still sell it at the same price of 3yrs ago.  It's true that you don't need to update every year, but three years (and counting) is just wrong. 
    The market for the MacPro is too small to make yearly updates
    I don't think Workstations from HP, Lenovo and Dell are big sellers.  But they still serve a line of high end customers, just as the MacPro did many years ago.  It's a shame for Apple to ignore the MacPro, while these three company keep their offerings up to date.  And old specs is not the only thing, keep the same price is non sense too. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,150member
    blastdoor said:
    So very sad if true... and so plausibly true.

    perhaps it will be a Zen-based Linux box for me in 2017

    Buy what's best for your needs. 
    jSnivelydysamoria
  • Reply 18 of 60
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,150member

    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.
    Surface Studio is evidence that you can innovate in the desktop market.  Apple is the one that ignores it because of the "fridge/toaster" thing.  And looks like MS proved them wrong. 


    Innovation isn't the problem. Selling them in quantities to make them worthwhile is the problem. Microsoft hasn't done that yet.

    ai46ration al
  • Reply 19 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    Rayz2016 said:

    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.
    Surface Studio is evidence that you can innovate in the desktop market.  Apple is the one that ignores it because of the "fridge/toaster" thing.  And looks like MS proved them wrong. 


    Innovation isn't the problem. Selling them in quantities to make them worthwhile is the problem. Microsoft hasn't done that yet.

    Agree, MS has no problem with innovation, Apple does.  And if you think quantities is the issue, then Apple has that too, when you consider how far ahead are HP, Dell and Lenovo in "quantities".
  • Reply 20 of 60
    danvmdanvm Posts: 506member
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    danvm said:
    sog35 said:
    Here we go again with the tepid improvements. Apple got its cred by under promising and over delivering; by dropping unbelievably cool products on us. Now all we get in the Mac line are excuses and justifications. I'm not buying the "mature" product argument anymore. The automobile was about as mature as you could get, and then came Tesla. Come on, Apple, Tesla us. Be Apple again. Hoist up the pirate flags and deliver an insanely great, totally unexpected paradigm shifting Mac again. 
    sorry friend, but Apple makes profit unlike Tesla.

    bottom line is PC's are not only a mature product but they have been SURPASSED by mobile devices and wearables.

    This is like expecting Tesla to 'wow us' with a horse and buggy design.

    PC is dead. Don't expect big innovation from the PC space anymore.
    Surface Studio is evidence that you can innovate in the desktop market.  Apple is the one that ignores it because of the "fridge/toaster" thing.  And looks like MS proved them wrong. 

    The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) and because they absolutely FAILED at mobile

    Same for Apple, that focus so much in mobile, because it feeds their cash cows (iOS devices).


    Sorry holmes. Microsoft has sold so few Surface Studios that they won't even mention how many units they sold. Surface Studio is a niche product or a niche product. 


    My reply was to your post,

    "The only reason Microsoft is focusing so much on PC is because it feeds its cash cows (windows/office) "

    Windows / Office aren't niche products.  The Surface Studio is a niche device, focused in designers and artists. But it's interesting how the "niche" device showed how slow Apple have become in innovation.  They proved that desktop touchscreen are usable, while Apple went with the toaster / fridge "logic".   
    WRONG.

    Microsoft still has not proven a touch desktop is usable. They have sold so few Surface Studio units, it has proven NOTHING. 

    When Microsoft is selling tens of millions of touch desktops then we can talk.
    If sales numbers is what define what is usable, then macOS is completely useless compared to Windows, same as Android, which is ahead of iOS.
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