Shipping times for Apple's 15" MacBook Pro with discrete GPU slip to 2-3 weeks, point to refresh

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited June 2015
Days after apparent supply constraints slowed ship times for certain Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro models to 1-2 weeks, the Online Apple Store on Friday extended those estimates to 2-3 weeks.




On Wednesday, AppleInsider reported that 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display inventory has been fluctuating over the past month. With discrete GPU models now shipping in 2-3 weeks, the dwindling supply could point to an imminent refresh with expected to bring Broadwell processors and Force Touch trackpad inclusion.

When Apple announced refreshed MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models last month, the 15-inch MacBook Pro was noticeably absent likely due to delayed production of Intel's high-performance Broadwell chips.

As for current availability, sources said authorized resellers are seeing shifts in supply, with Apple drawing down channel inventory in March only to send out fresh shipments in April. It seems, however, that supply for 15-inch MacBook Pros with discrete Nvidia GPUs is steadily decreasing at both resellers and Apple's own stores, suggesting a new model could be announced soon. A good time to debut a refresh is coming up at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Apple's last 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display update brought Haswell CPUs and more standard memory in July 2014.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Well that truly sucks. If real this means SkyLake is farther off than expected. Either that or Intel is to ship SkyLake early.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    krawallkrawall Posts: 159member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Well that truly sucks. If real this means SkyLake is farther off than expected. Either that or Intel is to ship SkyLake early.



    Yes ... :-(

  • Reply 3 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,738moderator
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Well that truly sucks. If real this means SkyLake is farther off than expected. Either that or Intel is to ship SkyLake early.

    It looks like desktop Broadwell chips will be available in June:

    http://wccftech.com/intels-5th-generation-unlocked-broadwell-desktop-socketed-processors-arrive-mid2015/
    https://www.computextaipei.com.tw (June 2-6)

    There's a slide here with the mobile Broadwell quad-cores:

    http://s8.postimg.org/4ui02ccit/New5th_Gen_Quads.jpg

    Apple uses the i7-4770HQ, i7-4870HQ, i7-4980HQ just now. There will be i7-5700HQ, i7-5750HQ, i7-5850HQ, i7-5950HQ.

    It doesn't make sense to even bother with the upgrade in June when they're clearly going to be launching Skylake in August, just 2 months later. Even Dell who usually ships every available upgrade is going to skip over it with some models:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2865877/dell-plans-laptops-with-intels-skylake-chips-in-second-half-of-year.html

    Skylake is scheduled for mass production mid-2015:

    http://www.techspot.com/news/58009-intels-14nm-skylake-platform-demoed-mass-production-scheduled-for-mid-2015.html

    so it's possible that Apple could get an early batch and be able to show off wireless charging etc but they used Broadwell in the 13" not long ago. There's no way that Intel is going to delay Skylake very long. Worst case it'll be early next year for MBP chips. The fastest upgrade Apple has done is around 7.5 months so if a MBP arrives in June, they would push the Skylake one out to around Jan/Feb 2016. That would be a bit disappointing, especially if PC manufacturers will be shipping Skylake this year. It would only be about 3-4 months later though.

    There's no way that Broadwell's Iris Pro competes with NVidia this year so one plus is there may be a bump to a 950M, even though it's at the higher price point.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    krawallkrawall Posts: 159member

    Good analysis Marvin. It indeed doesn't make a lot of sense so I guess we're all praying (for naught) that it's gonna be a Skylake version...

     

    Me too thinks it would be better to delay the 15" upgrade for half a year but getting Skylake at the same time.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    It doesn't make sense to even bother with the upgrade in June when they're clearly going to be launching Skylake in August, just 2 months later.

     

    While some Skylake parts will ship in Q3 2015, I don't expect Skylake-H parts suitable for the MBP before Q4 at the earliest.  I think we'll see Skylake MBPs in February or March 2016.

  • Reply 6 of 22
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Yeah, I don't think a Broadwell MBP would be worth it.. The real game changer is Skylake (Wireless charging, Wireless 4k Displays and devices, etc) ..

    So if it's Broadwell, I'm holding off on my upgrade. My 2013 rMBP is fine for now..

    I honestly think Apple would have been better off holding off on the new Macbook and using Skylake in that.. It's single port would have made a whole LOT more sense with Skylake on-board.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,851member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Well that truly sucks. If real this means SkyLake is farther off than expected. Either that or Intel is to ship SkyLake early.

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Krawall View Post

     

    Good analysis Marvin. It indeed doesn't make a lot of sense so I guess we're all praying (for naught) that it's gonna be a Skylake version...

     

    Me too thinks it would be better to delay the 15" upgrade for half a year but getting Skylake at the same time.


     

    You guys are amusing.  Other than having the latest and greatest, for what do you NEED Skylake?  You'd rather have Apple go 18 months without an update to its flagship notebook?  Delaying the upgrade another 6 months would be insane.   It would suppress sales of existing models big time.  People like me, who are in the market for a new 15" machine this year...we're just waiting to get the most for our money.

     

    As someone upgrading from a 2009 MBP, I can tell you that Skylake vs. Broadwell will not make a lick of difference, even for the tasks I do.  Apple needs to bring the 15" up to feature parity with the 13".   In the process you'll still get a better processor.  They'll update again next March or whatever, and you'll get your beloved Skylake and its marginal performance gains.  

  • Reply 8 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Marvin wrote: »
    It looks like desktop Broadwell chips will be available in June:

    http://wccftech.com/intels-5th-generation-unlocked-broadwell-desktop-socketed-processors-arrive-mid2015/
    https://www.computextaipei.com.tw (June 2-6)

    There's a slide here with the mobile Broadwell quad-cores:

    http://s8.postimg.org/4ui02ccit/New5th_Gen_Quads.jpg

    Apple uses the i7-4770HQ, i7-4870HQ, i7-4980HQ just now. There will be i7-5700HQ, i7-5750HQ, i7-5850HQ, i7-5950HQ.
    Interesting, I'd seen references to quad core Broadwells before but I have a hard time believing Apple would for that route in the MBP when SkyLake is supposedly so near.
    It doesn't make sense to even bother with the upgrade in June when they're clearly going to be launching Skylake in August, just 2 months later. Even Dell who usually ships every available upgrade is going to skip over it with some models:
    I want to believe that but slipping shipments makes one uncomfortable. I suppose there are lots of other possible explanations for the dragged out shipments.
    This is still my understanding though I did hear rumors along time ago about an earlier roll out of high end SkyLake notebook chips. However I heard nothing later to support that rumor.
    so it's possible that Apple could get an early batch and be able to show off wireless charging etc but they used Broadwell in the 13" not long ago.
    Speaking of which, I just upgraded to one of the new 13" MBP. Nice machine really.
    There's no way that Intel is going to delay Skylake very long. Worst case it'll be early next year for MBP chips. The fastest upgrade Apple has done is around 7.5 months so if a MBP arrives in June, they would push the Skylake one out to around Jan/Feb 2016. That would be a bit disappointing, especially if PC manufacturers will be shipping Skylake this year. It would only be about 3-4 months later though.
    I really can't see Apple waiting to implement SkyLake in a MBP in 2016. They would embarrass themselves significantly. This is why I really don't believe that SkyLake is far off.
    There's no way that Broadwell's Iris Pro competes with NVidia this year so one plus is there may be a bump to a 950M, even though it's at the higher price point.

    Interestingly Intels GPUs are good enough for what I need in a laptop.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    You make an assumption here that SkyLake will be a technical failure. You can't believe everything Intel tries to sell us but the word is SkyLake will be a huge architecture / performance update.
    sdw2001 wrote: »


    You guys are amusing.  Other than having the latest and greatest, for what do you NEED Skylake?  You'd rather have Apple go 18 months without an update to its flagship notebook?  <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Delaying the upgrade another 6 months would be insane.   It would suppress sales of existing models big time.  People like me, who are in the market for a new 15" machine this year...we're just waiting to get the most for our money.</span>


    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">As someone upgrading from a 2009 MBP, I can tell you that Skylake vs. Broadwell will not make a lick of difference, even for the tasks I do.  Apple needs to bring the 15" up to feature parity with the 13".   In the process you'll still get a better processor.  They'll update again next March or whatever, and you'll get your beloved Skylake and its marginal performance gains.  </span>
  • Reply 10 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,738moderator
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Other than having the latest and greatest, for what do you NEED Skylake?  You'd rather have Apple go 18 months without an update to its flagship notebook?  <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Delaying the upgrade another 6 months would be insane.

    It depends on when Skylake-H chips would be available. If they arrived in October, it would be unlikely that Apple would use them after updating the MBP in June with Broadwell. They'd just delay the update until 2016.

    Skylake is a much bigger improvement than Broadwell as the GPU moves to 72 cores. It also has DDR4 memory so laptops can get up to 32GB and higher bandwidth memory, which helps the iGPU. There's PCIe 4 too and TB3, double the bandwidth up to 5K display support, maybe 8k if they decide to go with dp 1.4. Then there's wireless charging and data, wireless display output.

    Intel is promoting Skylake as one of the biggest technology advances it's had in years. Obviously people that buy a Broadwell one can just sell it on again and upgrade but given that Dell is using Skylake, Apple could easily skip over Broadwell. It's not like a 4 month wait (assuming October) would be such a big deal for someone buying a new laptop.

    If the MBP update comes sooner like early May then early December would be 7 months so that's a possibility. That might work out best as people could get refurbs on 2015 Broadwell models cheap even though they just came out. For people buying a machine to last, Skylake will be more future-proof. Wireless charging is huge. You never even have to plug it in. You can just buy a mat for a desk or sideboard and sit everything on it.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,851member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    You make an assumption here that SkyLake will be a technical failure. You can't believe everything Intel tries to sell us but the word is SkyLake will be a huge architecture / performance update.

     

    I'm not assuming that at all.  I don't know about "huge."  That's a subjective term.  

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    It depends on when Skylake-H chips would be available. If they arrived in October, it would be unlikely that Apple would use them after updating the MBP in June with Broadwell. They'd just delay the update until 2016.

     

    Agreed.  

     





     

    Quote:

    Skylake is a much bigger improvement than Broadwell as the GPU moves to 72 cores. It also has DDR4 memory so laptops can get up to 32GB and higher bandwidth memory, which helps the iGPU. There's PCIe 4 too and TB3, double the bandwidth up to 5K display support, maybe 8k if they decide to go with dp 1.4. Then there's wireless charging and data, wireless display output.


     

    OK.  I don't doubt it will be significant.  



     

    Quote:

    Intel is promoting Skylake as one of the biggest technology advances it's had in years. Obviously people that buy a Broadwell one can just sell it on again and upgrade but given that Dell is using Skylake, Apple could easily skip over Broadwell. It's not like a 4 month wait (assuming October) would be such a big deal for someone buying a new laptop.


     

    I think that's overstated, but even if not, does that translate to the MBP improving by leaps and bounds?   Not necessarily.  In fact, I'd bet most users wouldn't see much of a real world difference, especially in a rev A Skylake machine.  



     

    Quote:

    If the MBP update comes sooner like early May then early December would be 7 months so that's a possibility. That might work out best as people could get refurbs on 2015 Broadwell models cheap even though they just came out. For people buying a machine to last, Skylake will be more future-proof. Wireless charging is huge. You never even have to plug it in. You can just buy a mat for a desk or sideboard and sit everything on it.


     

    OK, I agree to a point.  But here's the thing:  The 15" MBP has not been updated in almost a year.  Skylake is likely going to begin shipping in October now.  That means if the MBP not updated before Skylake, it will probably be December 2015 or January 2016 until Apple's ready to ship.  That would be about 18 months between upgrades, which is not only unacceptable, but bad for business.   

     

    Thinking about this some more, I think there's a good possibility that Apple will update it with Broadwell now, and then again early next year as you speculated.  7-10 months would be a decent cycle.  I also think we'll see a near-future update because Apple really needs to get its flagship notebook up to spec with the 13" variant.  

     

    As for performance and "future proofing," it really depends.  Just because the chip set can handle wireless display and charging doesn't mean Apple will implement those features right away.  In fact, knowing Apple, my money is against it.  I do understand that point about future proofing, but one can only do so much of that.  I bought a top of the line 15" in 2009, and it is positively a DOG now.  Someone like me is going to see unbelievable performance gains no matter which chip set is used.   Unless you're a bleeding-edge video editor or graphic designer, I don't think Skylake vs. Broadwell makes much difference.  I was amused at how people were "praying" it was Skylake, like back in the days where we all hoped to God himself that Apple would release a Powerbook G4 instead of another bumped G3.  

  • Reply 12 of 22
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 447member

    Hopefully they'll take the opportunity to include (by today's standards) a decent GPU, like the Cuda/OpenCL capable Quadro K2100M, or GeForce GTX 965M (or better)...  and go back to offering more than one model with a dedicated GPU.

     

    Hello?  Apple?

  • Reply 13 of 22
    t0mat0t0mat0 Posts: 58member
    Looking at WWDC 2012, and 2013, how about this:

    WWDC 2015:
    They've already updated the 13" MBP to Broadwell. Why not pull a rMBP announcement?


    Talk on how designing the 2015 12" MacBook gave them inspiration. The higher end new MBP come in different colors, and with Skylake, new form factor


    (Relistening to Schiller, it's part demo, part direct to brainwash messaging telling YOU what YOU will now want. Using you ambiguously, as if the audience is part of the design team for the next gen product allowing them to blatantly instruct the audience what they will now want. He adds the last sentence on top of the other things no-one would really disagree with having.)

    "Let me start by some of the key ideas. You want a next gen MBP to have a killer new display - I do. You want it to have an architecture built for the future. You want it to be radically thin and light. And of course **you want to be bold and embrace the newest technologies and be willing to discard the old legacy things** so you could make something unlike any other notebook that's been made to date"

    So how do they make it better?
    Screen: Well it's retina across the board, but the new models get edge to edge like the 12"MacBook.
    Presumably could make a little thinner, and lighter. Heaven forbid they just increase battery life.
    TB3
    USB-C

    When can they ship then? Well, they announced the nMac Pro at WWDC 2013, but shipped in December 2013. So why not announce in June, then have shipping it when they can? Who knows when that is, but surely Apple would want out asap? They then get to proclaim the whole world's best/fanciest/newest notebook title on announcement, whilst Skylake still ships H2.

    (Q - If they have the wireless screen for Skylake, presumably means simultaneous launch of new screen? And what of ATV update, WiDi, WiGig if they're going wireless?)

    Then that leaves them with the next Macbook, Macbook Air update to finish the update of the lineup, updating the MBA form factor to be in line with MBP and Macbook.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    I don't know when Broadwell quad-core mobile processors are coming out let alone Skylake quad-core mobile either. The only thing they could really do is silently update to a GTX 950M with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. They also need to update the 27" iMacs with the max memory for nVidia graphics cards as well.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,851member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by t0mat0 View Post



    Looking at WWDC 2012, and 2013, how about this:



    WWDC 2015:

    They've already updated the 13" MBP to Broadwell. Why not pull a rMBP announcement?





    Talk on how designing the 2015 12" MacBook gave them inspiration. The higher end new MBP come in different colors, and with Skylake, new form factor





    (Relistening to Schiller, it's part demo, part direct to brainwash messaging telling YOU what YOU will now want. Using you ambiguously, as if the audience is part of the design team for the next gen product allowing them to blatantly instruct the audience what they will now want. He adds the last sentence on top of the other things no-one would really disagree with having.)



    "Let me start by some of the key ideas. You want a next gen MBP to have a killer new display - I do. You want it to have an architecture built for the future. You want it to be radically thin and light. And of course **you want to be bold and embrace the newest technologies and be willing to discard the old legacy things** so you could make something unlike any other notebook that's been made to date"



    So how do they make it better?

    Screen: Well it's retina across the board, but the new models get edge to edge like the 12"MacBook.

    Presumably could make a little thinner, and lighter. Heaven forbid they just increase battery life.

    TB3

    USB-C



    When can they ship then? Well, they announced the nMac Pro at WWDC 2013, but shipped in December 2013. So why not announce in June, then have shipping it when they can? Who knows when that is, but surely Apple would want out asap? They then get to proclaim the whole world's best/fanciest/newest notebook title on announcement, whilst Skylake still ships H2.



    (Q - If they have the wireless screen for Skylake, presumably means simultaneous launch of new screen? And what of ATV update, WiDi, WiGig if they're going wireless?)



    Then that leaves them with the next Macbook, Macbook Air update to finish the update of the lineup, updating the MBA form factor to be in line with MBP and Macbook.

     

    I was about to post that this was a reasonable argument for a bigger change in June, but then I saw it was from 2012.  I don't see how that applies.  He was just introducing what is now the current form factor and design. The current 13" model is not a new generation, just an evolution from the 2012 introduction.  Namely, it has the ForceTouch trackpad and Broadwell.  

     

    Speaking of Broadwell/Skylake, I did a little light research on timing.  Broadwell only began shipping for limited applications in very late 2014.  It's only now gone mainstream, which is one reason that Skylake has been delayed.  Initially, Intel targeted "second half 2015" for Skylake, leading many to believe the first units would ship in August.  From what I've heard and read, estimates now place that date more in October or even later.  If Broadwell is any guide, that means these will be the first shipments.  Mainstream adoption will not take place until around this time next year.   

     

    Now, some will take Apple's lack of 15" update (along with the 13") as a sign they have something bigger planned for the larger machine. But if you look at the timeline and think it through, that falls apart.  First, we know that while Broadwell is now available in quantity, the mobile quad-core and higher power desktop versions are expected "mid 2015."   It would make perfect sense that Apple would want the larger 15" machine to come with stronger processor options.  It would not make sense that they'd end up a pro line that has two different architectures.  Additionally, I can only assume that integrating ForceTouch might be an additional design challenge on the larger machine.   

     

    Bottom line?  All signs point to Broadwell and feature parity with the 13" model.  

  • Reply 16 of 22
    t0mat0t0mat0 Posts: 58member

    2012 WWDC shows they introduced a new MBP - introducing the retina screens to the MBPs. Of the MBPs they've refreshed, they've only done the 13" - If they mean to refresh the 15" (which presumably would be first in line to get Skylake) why not refresh them at the same time?

    Doesn't make sense to refresh the 15" MBP if Skylake is only a few months away. From recent Intel roadmap leaks, Skylake is coming from Q3 2015 onwards. Broadway has had a reduced CPU lineup and whilst Broadwell was delayed, Intel has said that Skylake isn't, so Broadwell isn't going to push back Skylake. 

    Assuming TDPs: You could get say a Skylake U - 28W TDP, or Skylake H at 35-45W, Skylake S could cover iMacs at  85W (Something like Intel Core i7-6700). So we're seeing desktop Skylake in Q3 that could work in Mac Mini, iMacs. http://wccftech.com/intel-6th-generation-skylake-s-processors-officially-confirmed-core-i76700k-core-i56600k-coming-q3-2015/

     

    For the ones for MBP - U, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/intel-skylake-processors-tipped-to-debut-in-august-not-june/ it does look more like August - but wouldn't Apple want these asap? August is also mid (May-August) 2015...

    Come Computex, WWDC or IDF, we'll find out more, crumb by crumb. But at least it looks more like 2015 than 2016.  

    July 29, 2014 - With an average of 250 day cycle, seems one way or another the lineup is going to get refreshed soon enough.

  • Reply 17 of 22
    nerdznerdz Posts: 1member
    blah...blah...blah...Nerd overload, lol. Just kidding :) but seriously, all I want is "wireless charging" I think, Skylake is the only one that I've heard of that is opening that realm of geekness that I seek.
    So, do I want the latest and greatest? Yeah, but sh*t changes every week it seems. But it's like buying a 1080p video camera when you know that the 4K camera is about to be released for a similar price. That's my two geek cents!
  • Reply 18 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,851member

    Looks like things have certainly changed since the MBP refresh wasn't Broadwell, and since Intel announced a week later that Broadwell quad core was available.   The chances of a Skylake MBP by early next year (or at least a Broadwell version in fall) are much higher.  

  • Reply 19 of 22
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

     

     The chances of a Skylake MBP by early next year (or at least a Broadwell version in fall) are much higher.  


    If a Broadwell update was impending, I don't think we would have seen any recent changes. They updated the trackpad and gpu, which is atypical outside of a change in cpu and logic board.

  • Reply 20 of 22
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,851member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hmm View Post

     

    If a Broadwell update was impending, I don't think we would have seen any recent changes. They updated the trackpad and gpu, which is atypical outside of a change in cpu and logic board.


     

    I should clarify that my comment above could easily be taken out of context.  I was really just expressing my changed view now that the update was Haswell-based.  I was previously running around here making predictions based on the notion the mid-May update would be Broadwell.  Others were saying they might pre-announce Skylake  (which I thought highly unlikely) or go Broadwell now and then Skylake by October.  

     

    If by "impending" you mean fall, I don't know.  It doesn't make any sense that Apple would update the MBP and then see Intel release Broadwell quad core a week later.  I get the impression that there was a communication breakdown between the two companies.  If not, then I'd say a few things are possible:  

     

    1) Apple could quietly switch the Haswell chips to Broadwell without making a big deal of it.  

    2) Apple could wait until late mid-fall to update to Broadwell, then release Skylake in the May 2016.  

    3) Apple could skip Broadwell entirely, going with Skylake Q1 2016.  

     

    The most likely?  No idea.  I could see any of the three happening.  Knowing that Apple really doesn't spec whore though, I think it might be #3.  In fact, I could see them not updating the machine at all until May 2016.  

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