Apple sells three kinds of laptops: the powerful MacBook Pro, the affordable and long battery-lived MacBook Air, and the new skinny MacBook.
All of them are due for an update soon. Apple could refresh its laptops possibly as soon as next week, or more likely at its developer conference in June.
But unlike last year, when Apple simply updated the chips inside the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, there’s a chance that its laptops could get a much bigger makeover this time.
The big rumour is that Apple could be coming out with new, skinnier 13-inch and 15-inch laptops. Designer Martin Hajek, who posts renders on Twitter at @deplaatjesmaker, took the rumours and produced some stunning graphics depicting what the new thinner 15-inch laptop could look like.
Here’s everything we know about the MacBook refresh coming soon:
Let's start with the biggest rumour: It sounds like Apple is preparing MacBooks in new 13-inch and 15-inch sizes (Apple currently only offer a 12-inch MacBook, though its Air and Pro models are available in larger sizes) according to supply chain sources. These new MacBools would have a redesigned chassis.
In fact, trade publications in China and Taiwan have been rumbling about a 13-inch and 15-inch redesign since last fall.
Plus, the usually-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most accurate Apple analysts, mentioned a 'potential upgrade' to the MacBook lineup during the first half of 2016.
The 12-inch MacBook that exists today comes with a high-definition screen, one major upgrade over the MacBook Air lineup. It also uses a new kind of USB cord to charge, like a phone, instead of Apple's traditional magnetic laptop charger. Those features are also expected in the new 13-inch and 15-inch models.
According to Pike's Universum, an Apple developer blog, information hidden in OS X code indicates that Apple will use these processors in the 12-inch MacBook. That means there's a good chance they're used in the 13-inch and 15-inch models, too:
The big question is timing. Releasing new Macs at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June could make a lot of sense, but it wouldn't be surprising if Apple released new Macs quietly, without a keynote speech.
Another question is what colours it will come in -- likely Space Grey, Gold, and Silver, like the iPhone and the 12-inch MacBook. But could it come in Rose Gold as well? Pricing is up in the air, but don't expect these new MacBooks to come cheap (The current 12-inch MacBook starts at $1299).
Apple's MacBook Pro lineup is also due for a refresh. Pros are distinguished by having way more ports -- like an HDMI outlet to plug your laptop into the TV, and multiple USB slots -- and also more graphics cards options for users who might want to play games or run programs like Adobe Photoshop.
Plus, the Intel chips Apple needs to upgrade its MacBook Pros only became available after last year's updates went out. If Apple were to use Intel's 'Skylake' chips, they would get between 10% to 20% better performance, and potentially an extra hour of battery life.
Intel's new chips are also critical for supporting USB-C, a new kind of connector that will be the standard charger and data transfer cable soon.
Apple's MacBook Air has been its best-selling laptop for years, but its screen is starting to look very dated, and it hasn't gotten a major redesign since 2011.
Even Mac whisperer John Gruber from the Daring Fireball blog believes that Apple has effectively killed off the Air brand, but it's 'possible they could do a minor CPU speed bump for the MacBook Air' this year.
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