Kuo: 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro to Launch with New Flat Design, No Touch Bar, More Ports

Apple is rumored to be working on 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro refresh with its M1x chip. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now provided some more details about the upcoming MacBook Pro refresh from the company which includes some major changes and the removal of the Touch Bar.

As per Kuo, Apple is currently developing 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with a flat-edged design similar to the iPhone 12 series and drop the curvy design language as seen on the existing models. Apple had last updated the design language of its MacBook Pro lineup in 2015 so a design refresh is overdue.

Interestingly, Kuo also notes that Apple will bring back its MagSafe charging connector for the next-gen MacBook Pro. The company has already shifted to USB-C for charging on its MacBook Pro lineup so it remains to be seen how it will integrate MagSafe with this. The analyst also notes that Apple will also get rid of the Touch Bar from its future MacBooks and instead return to physical function buttons.

Apple also plans to add more I/O ports to its 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro which as per Kuo will eradicate the need for purchasing additional dongles. These new MacBooks will be offered without an Intel CPU option.

Apple is also planning on using the same heat pipe cooling design as the existing 16-inch MacBook Pro on both the new MacBooks. This will provide better cooling performance and is a step up from the cooling solution that Apple currently employs in the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Kuo expects Apple to release the new MacBook Pro models in Q3 2021. He expects Apple to ship at least 25 to 30% more MacBook units due to the new design and increased demand.

Our Take

It looks like Apple is planning a major revamp of its MacBook Pro lineup this year. Kuo does not mention anything about mini-LED display but it is expected that new MacBook Pro models released this year will feature the new display technology. Apart from the design changes, the new MacBook Pro models are rumored to come with Apple’s M1x chip that should bring about a major leap in performance and efficiency.