The Apple rumor mill is in overdrive as two established insiders – analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman – caught trace of significant design changes hitting the Mac lineup, possibly as early as Q3 2021.
MacBook Pro ports returning?
For us, music producers and gearheads, the real possibility of MagSafe charging, expanded ports, and physical function keys returning to the MacBook Pro is a godsend. These are the old crowd favorites that made the 2015 MacBook Pro a desirable laptop to this day. Apple had abandoned them in favor of thinner chassis, prevalence of Thunderbolt ports, and OLED touch bars – decisions that made sense to the manufacturer, but also made lots of users uncomfortable.
These changes, along with iPad Pro-like squared-off edges, (possibly) Mini-LED displays, next-gen Apple silicon and updated thermals are reportedly coming to new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models scheduled for 2021. On the side of ports, an important matter for music producers, we speculate about the addition of more USB-C ports, HDMI, and SD card reader. Ethernet and USB-A seem unlikely, given Apple’s love for wireless and USB-C.
A prettier iMac and half-sized Mac Pro
Reportedly, the iMac is under a comprehensive facelift whose outcome will resemble the Apple Pro Display XDR. This means trimmed bezels and flat-back design, along with anything else Apple decides to throw at the iMac’s pretty, but ageing design.
On the Mac Pro front, we may be looking at two new machines. One is a refresh of the current tower design with the possibility of Apple sticking to Intel processors. The other will introduce a different form factor – possibly a throwback at the Power Mac G4 Cube at half the current Mac Pro’s size. Additionally, Apple may be working on a new external display that pairs the USD 5000 Pro Display XDR down to a friendlier price point.
All in all, these are exciting news for Mac users. With designer Jony Ive and marketing head Phil Schiller no longer at the helm of product design, Apple is giving new blood a chance to rethink what goes into a truly great Mac. We’ll be keeping you up to speed with these developments as more information surfaces.