Apple might debut 'MagSafe-like' USB-C adapter with redesigned MacBook Pro line

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited October 2016
According to well-informed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple might launch a USB-C adapter with MagSafe functionality to return easy-on, easy-off functionality to a fully upgraded MacBook lineup, expected for unveiling at next week's "Hello Again" media event.




Kuo in a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider predicts the MagSafe-esque adapter will either be rolled out by Apple or a third-party, citing supply checks and continued customer interest in the venerable breakaway design. Apple began migrating its laptops toward an all-in-one USB-C charging and data transfer solution with the 12-inch MacBook last year, a design shift expected to continue with revamped MacBook Pro models announced on Oct. 27.

In addition to the MagSafe adapter, Kuo predicts Apple's next-generation MacBooks to incorporate processors from Intel's Skylake family. Other notables include a new 2TB SSD storage tier and displays featuring an oxide panel for better image quality and energy efficiency. Screen resolutions should be identical to current-generation models, Kuo says.

The analyst goes on to reiterate past predictions, saying Apple is due to add a 13-inch model to its thin-and-light MacBook lineup. Also on the docket for the "Hello Again" keynote are two redesigned MacBook Pro versions featuring an OLED touch bar with fingerprint sensor, a keyboard with butterfly mechanism keys, Thunderbolt 3 and -- gasp -- a switch to USB-C. New metal injection molded hinges are anticipated for application in all new MacBook iterations.

Kuo also shed a bit more light on the OLED touch bar -- aka "Magic Toolbar" or "Control Strip" -- saying Apple plans to power the component with a sub-processor similar to the one found in Apple Watch. Whether the analyst is referring to the wearable's S2 system-in-package processor or the integrated display controller is unclear.

Finally, today's report notes Apple is working on updates for its all-in-one iMac desktop line, as well as a replacement for the recently discontinued Thunderbolt Display, but those models are due to arrive in the first half of 2017.

Kuo estimates MacBook shipments between 3.8 million to 4 million units in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016, up 20 to 30 percent quarter-on-quarter but down 5 to 10 percent year-over-year. New MacBooks expected to launch next week will account for 40 to 45 percent of overall shipments during the coming quarter, he says.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101
    If the first rumors are correct, the new Thunderbolt Display will have a GPU.. Similar concept to Razer Core and Asus ROG XG Station 2 which allow for an external GPU via Thunderbolt 3..

    Only difference I think will be the GPU can be upgraded in the TB3 enclosures, I doubt the new TB3 displays GPU can be upgraded.

    One benefit though is that Apple can use it's custom display controller to allow for an external 5k display. Something not possible right now with current display port and HDMI port specs in Thunderbolt 3.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 2 of 101
    LassieGetHelp!LassieGetHelp! Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    HP has Kaby Lake and DDR4- If Apple doesn't match that, I'll have to pass
    ksecbdkennedy1002
  • Reply 3 of 101
    I assume it will be just the 2 thunderbolt 3 ports with USB c built in replacing thunderbolt 2 Porta right?
  • Reply 4 of 101
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,695member
    Hope Apple keeps Megasafe power connector in some form. Nice design. I lived through easily breakable windows laptop power connector and unfortunately Windows laptop manufacturers has not found better replacement yet.
    pscooter63mobiuscanadiandudejasenj1afrodri
  • Reply 5 of 101
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Hey, oxide-backed displays! 

    IGZO at last. One more hour of battery life, I'll wager.
    edited October 2016 irelandredgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 101
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,395member
    HP has Kaby Lake and DDR4- If Apple doesn't match that, I'll have to pass
    The Kaby lake in the HP is a dual core mobile processor, like you would get in an up to date MBA. MBP use mobile quad cores, which in skylake form are a recent release, and aren't out in Kaby Lake form until next year. But yeah DDR4.

    if they update the MBA it will be interesting how they market a KabylaKe MBA and a skylake MBP.  Aside from performance that is
    edited October 2016 irelandredgeminipaalexisstompy
  • Reply 7 of 101
    jvmbjvmb Posts: 59member
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    baconstangrevenantsphericjony0chabigzoetmb
  • Reply 8 of 101
    Hopefully we get a better source on this, maybe Gurman.
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    If you're docked with that much stuff, the odds of your cabling being in a place where someone could trip over it are beyond remote, assuming the user has even a modicum of competence.
    revenantajmasfastasleepnolamacguyafrodri
  • Reply 9 of 101
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    But then why make it look like USB-C that can handle data?  Why not leave it MagSafe?
    kirkgray
  • Reply 10 of 101
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    But then why make it look like USB-C that can handle data?  Why not leave it MagSafe?
    To give you options. 4 USBc connectors, and put the mag-safe power adapter in any port you want. If you need all four, then remove it.

    im also expecting them to add a Lightning port for a 5th option for power and data, not to mention headphones.
  • Reply 11 of 101
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    flaneur said:
    Hey, oxide-backed displays! 

    IGZO at last. One more hour of battery life, I'll wager.
    Hopefully, at the very least an extra hour, but they could always shrink the battery capacity and weight down so that it remains the same.
    ireland
  • Reply 12 of 101
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member

    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    But then why make it look like USB-C that can handle data?  Why not leave it MagSafe?
    You're asking why use USB for power that can be charged with any random USB port, including your car, instead of having an extra USB port for data over having a simple, dedicated MagSafe port that can only be used for power? Is that right?
    redgeminipaSpamSandwich
  • Reply 13 of 101
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    Look at the current MagSafe connector and now try to figure out how this can be done with all the pins for USB-C. Maybe it's technically possible, but I can't see how this would work unless there is an optical cable connecting the magnetic ends, which doesn't seem feasible to me.
  • Reply 14 of 101
    mobiusmobius Posts: 378member
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    I think you already found the solution to this potential problem in your first sentence; the MagSafe would only be used for power. I would be dumbfounded if they allowed it for data too.
    edited October 2016 irelandredgeminipa
  • Reply 15 of 101
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    It's simple: you take a usb-c connector, run the power lines to a magsafe like cupped end, add a strong neodymium magnet and voila. You end up with a stubby end that stays in the port, like for many wireless keyboards and mice, and it offers magsafe functionality. Obviously not data.
    irelandlogic2.6
  • Reply 16 of 101
    HP has Kaby Lake and DDR4- If Apple doesn't match that, I'll have to pass
    Why? Serious question, not judging your decision.

    Isn't Kaby Lake essentially just Skylake with integrated controllers for TB3 and USB3.1? Won't Skylake with separate controller chips provide the same features and performance at the expense of some extra space on the motherboard, or is there something else to it?
  • Reply 17 of 101
    Soli said:

    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    But then why make it look like USB-C that can handle data?  Why not leave it MagSafe?
    You're asking why use USB for power that can be charged with any random USB port, including your car, instead of having an extra USB port for data over having a simple, dedicated MagSafe port that can only be used for power? Is that right?
    VERY few USB chargers supply enough power.  Also, Macs generally require 14+ volts, not 5.  My MBA uses a 45w supply, the Pros generally take 60w or more.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 18 of 101
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,820member
    Why wouldn't Apple just use the SmartConnector from the iPadPro?

    We know it can charge the 12inch pro and a small amount of data, we don't know how much power it could handle. I'd think Apple engineers would at least have thought to let it handle USB-c full power specs over time which more than handle the MacBooks and Pro's if they can get a higher enough spec USB-c brick.

    Smartconnector when you just want power, USB-c when you want data and power for dock like situations like connecting to a monitor which is going to have a decent power supply built in to feed the laptop. 


  • Reply 19 of 101
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    The adapter would remove the data functionality of the specific port.
  • Reply 20 of 101
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,022member
    ireland said:
    jvmb said:
    I think a magsafe usb-c connector would be a bad idea, unless it is only used for power. Losing the power on a battery powered laptop for a minute is not a problem. Losing a data connection while you are connected to a network, external drive, or blu-ray burner can be a problem. 
    The adapter would remove the data functionality of the specific port.
    But that ruins the advantage of a single power and data cable to plug into a hub, or a next-gen Apple Display with hub features.
    chabig
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