Apple could be preparing to refresh its Retina MacBook Pro lineup with improved hardware as soon as tomorrow, according to a pair of reports that surfaced over the weekend and this morning. The ultra-slim notebooks could be upgraded with faster Haswell processors and increased RAM under the hood, with each model retaining the same price point as the previous generation.
A leaked photo that surfaced over the weekend on the Chinese forum BBS Feng (via MacRumors) reveals hardware spec bumps to all three 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models, with the base model coming with a faster 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM as standard hardware specifications. The notebook is currently powered by a 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM.
The mid-tier model has a faster 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, an upgrade over the current 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, and the same 16 GB of RAM found on the existing notebook. Last, the high-end model has a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of flash storage. All three configurations retain Intel Iris Pro graphics, including the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M on the two higher-end notebooks.
The leaked product chart, which allegedly comes from a new Apple Store in Chongqing, China, shows that the two standard configurations for the notebook are priced at 14,288 yuan and 18,688 yuan, the same prices as the current models. If the leaked photo is legitimate, it suggests that Apple will retain the same pricing for its 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro lineup in lieu of $100 discounts it offered on the MacBook Air.
According to MacRumors, citing a reliable source, both the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro lineups will be updated tomorrow:
“MacG.co now claims the update is set to arrive tomorrow, July 29. The information comes from a reliable source who has accurately predicted MacBook Air, iMac, and iPod touch updates in recent months, although the source was off by a few days on the iPod touch update timing.
Few details on the new Retina MacBook Pros are available from the source other than that the update will include both 13-inch and 15-inch models and that only minor changes to the internal model number (J44a and J45a respectively) point to a simple speed bump.”
The improved specifications lineup with the faster Haswell processors that Intel released last week, so a refresh could make sense from a timing perspective. Intel also recently announced new Core i5 processors, lending credibility to the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro lineup receiving a hardware refresh as well. Meanwhile, the rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Pro may be on hold because of Intel’s delayed Broadwell chips.
Apple last refreshed the Retina MacBook Pro in October 2013.
Update: MacRumors has confirmed that at least seven new model numbers are incoming at Apple Stores, likely corresponding to three new 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros and one “ultimate” model commonly found at retail stores.