Apple to update MacBooks at WWDC 2017, including possible Air, Pro refreshes

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited May 2017
Apple is reportedly planning to announce MacBook updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5 -- possibly including a Kaby Lake processor upgrade for the MacBook Pro, and a similar refresh for the neglected MacBook Air.




The Pro is suspected to step up to Intel's Kaby Lake processors, Bloomberg sources said on Tuesday. The computer should otherwise be mostly unchanged from last year, though it might be equipped with Apple's rumored ARM chip for low-power functions.

Should the update to Kaby Lake happen, it will be the fastest update to Intel-based portables since Apple moved to the Penryn processor for the third refresh of the 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2007.

Apple is also said to be planning a speed boost for the 12-inch MacBook, and has allegedly "considered" updating the Air the same way. Once a signature Mac, the Air was last given a CPU update in 2015, and now lacks other common Apple features such as USB-C or even a Retina display.

The company hasn't launched new hardware at WWDC since 2013, but has also been relatively quiet in terms of other releases this year, its biggest addition being a $329 "budget" iPad in March.

WWDC 2017 will likely concentrate on software, including new versions of macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Apple is also rumored to be readying other hardware reveals though, among them new 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, and a Siri home speaker competing with the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,338member
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    1983albegarcentropysrandominternetpersonrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 60
    dtb200dtb200 Posts: 27member
    Because people value it over the alternatives?
    waverboyanantksundaramr00fus1bigpicsrepressthiswatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 3 of 60
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,338member
    dtb200 said:
    Because people value it over the alternatives?
    What alternatives?
  • Reply 4 of 60
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,107member
    macxpress said:
    dtb200 said:
    Because people value it over the alternatives?
    What alternatives?
    Non-Mac based laptops.
    anantksundaramr00fus1pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 60
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,546member
    macxpress said:
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    I think you answered yourself. And while the transition to USB-c continues it is good to have the Air until that standard has become more universally adopted. Apple has done similar things before, haven't they? There was the plastic Mackbooks that hung around for longer than people expected, and then the Aluminum Macbook came on the scene before they were all superseded by the Air. The Air had been on the market for quite a while before the others withered.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,269member
    macxpress said:
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    Withdrawing the MBA right now would make the laptop series too unbalanced towards the Pro line. I think a new machine in entry-level Macbook series (maybe an 15 inch?) must be introduced to withdraw the MBA.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 60
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,400member
    Nice update Kaby lake. Because next 10nm cannonlake procesor update will be fall of 2018. Hope, Apple continues 13" non oled touch strip based Macbook Pro for few more years and keep same numbers of USB-C on all level of Macbook Pro and low end Macbook Pro price affordable to majority if not all Macbook pro upgraders.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 60
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,823member
    The MacBook Air will never die.

    i wonder if the new MacBooks will still use U family processors?
  • Reply 9 of 60
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,338member
    macxpress said:
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    Withdrawing the MBA right now would make the laptop series too unbalanced towards the Pro line. I think a new machine in entry-level Macbook series (maybe an 15 inch?) must be introduced to withdraw the MBA.
    There's really always only been 1 consumer Mac laptop. If Apple could get the price of the 12" MacBook down to $999 they could drop the MacBook Air. Once the 12" MacBook gets cheap enough the Air doesn't need to exist anymore. Why keep an old Mac around when there's newer technology available? And it doesn't make any sense to upgrade the Air with a Retina display and redesign it when they already have the 12" MacBook. 



    randominternetpersonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 60
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,338member

    The MacBook Air will never die.

    i wonder if the new MacBooks will still use U family processors?
    Ha! People said the same thing about the iPad mini and 17" MacBook Pro. Look where that went. The Air will die. It will soon not need to exist. 
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 60
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 141member
    I really wish Apple would update the Mac Mini. I could really use it as a headless server (of sorts) but I need a bit more CPU power and RAM than the current model has. Obviously it's not as important to Apple as the MacBook/Pro, but it's been a while...
    hmurchisontaddrepressthiswatto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 60
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,823member
    macxpress said:

    The MacBook Air will never die.

    i wonder if the new MacBooks will still use U family processors?
    Ha! People said the same thing about the iPad mini and 17" MacBook Pro. Look where that went. The Air will die. It will soon not need to exist. 
    Why not this year? Embarrassing that Apple is still selling laptops with crappy TN panels. The entry level MacBook needs to com3 down in price and the Air needs to die. Apple is not hurting for profits. They can afford to do this. And the increase in sales would probably more than offset the lower margins.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    FatmanFatman Posts: 127member
    Consumer $999, $1299,
    Prosumer $1499, $1699
    Professional  $1899, $2199
    repressthis
  • Reply 14 of 60
    The computer will be unchanged but may have an ARM processor for low power consumption.  Cheers!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 60
    irelandireland Posts: 17,122member
    I'd like a MacBook Air with a Retina display. Most unlikely, but that's what I want. I couldn't move to a 12" display.
    edited May 2017 randominternetpersondocno42
  • Reply 16 of 60
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,621member
    Won't one key thing is they update the macbooks usb-C port to Thunderbolt 3?
    repressthiswatto_cobrachia
  • Reply 17 of 60
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,041member
    macxpress said:
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    sadly you are right. i value an MBA over the alternatives because of price, battery life, price, ports and price. at present it is the best school option.

    The macbook has a better screen, but fails on every one of the above factors. The MacBook to be a true replacement needs a massive price cut and three extra ports.
    edited May 2017 waverboyrepressthisirelandbaconstang
  • Reply 18 of 60
    anomeanome Posts: 949member

    Will be interested to see if they update the MacBook Pro this soon, and also whether it really is only a processor update. I think some people are hoping they'll admit they made some mistakes with the last one, and include a non USB-C port of some kind (probably USB-A).

    Also, certain commentators will probably really hope they change the keyboard, since that apparently makes the current MBP unusable.

    As I won't be updating my MacBook this cycle, since I am perfectly happy with my 2016 MBP, I'm more interested in other things they might announce. New desktops would be nice (although, again, my Mac mini is fine and not having any problems as yet). New iPads Pro have also been rumoured. New monitors? If the mini gets an update, might be time to roll out a new Apple Cinema Display to go with it (and the MBP, and next year's Mac Pro). Unlikely, I know.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 60
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,269member
    macxpress said:
    macxpress said:
    I don't know why Apple would leave the MacBook Air in their lineup still. The only thing I can think of is they want a sub $1,000 Mac laptop and they can't get the price point of the 12" MacBook down to that yet. I still think the days of the MacBook Air are limited though.
    Withdrawing the MBA right now would make the laptop series too unbalanced towards the Pro line. I think a new machine in entry-level Macbook series (maybe an 15 inch?) must be introduced to withdraw the MBA.
    There's really always only been 1 consumer Mac laptop. If Apple could get the price of the 12" MacBook down to $999 they could drop the MacBook Air. Once the 12" MacBook gets cheap enough the Air doesn't need to exist anymore. Why keep an old Mac around when there's newer technology available? And it doesn't make any sense to upgrade the Air with a Retina display and redesign it when they already have the 12" MacBook. 

    Now there are two consumer Macbooks and Apple kept them long enough to establish a tradition. I don't think Apple would revert to polycarbonate Macbook days. Once the 12" Macbook is pulled down to its long awaited $999 slot, its old slot must be filled with something else. That may not be 13" MBP w/ function keys, pushing that as "entry level" would scramble the impact of the "Pro" moniker.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 20 of 60
    shapetablesshapetables Posts: 201member
    The computer should otherwise be mostly unchanged from last year, though it might be equipped with Apple's rumored ARM chip for low-power functions


    I guess nobody figured out what runs the TouchBar rofl.

    Most of these upgrades are incredibly boring, but I'm careful not to wish for much excitement after Swift was dropped on us and all the UltraFine bullshit.
    repressthis
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