MacBook Pro Updates Still to Come, But What Can We Expect?

Earlier this week, many observers were surprised that Apple did not announce updated MacBook Pro models at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Sources such as KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had indicated that updated Retina MacBook Pro models based on Intel's new Haswell processors were likely to appear at WWDC, but questions arose when model number leaks ahead of the event suggested that either the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, but not both, would be receiving updates.

So the question for many now is: Where are the new MacBook Pros? Kuo's note prior to WWDC indicated that Apple was likely to leave the non-Retina models without an update as part of an effort to continue pushing consumers toward the Retina line, so the primary focus is really on new Retina MacBook Pro models.

retina_macbook_pro_hand
One potential explanation comes from a late April note from Kuo in which he suggested that updated Retina MacBook Pro models may not ship for some time after WWDC due to production bottlenecks on the displays used in the machines. Depending on when those updated models might be ready, Apple may simply have felt that the gap between WWDC and their availability would be too large to make an announcement at WWDC.

If that is the case, Apple could simply introduce new Retina MacBook Pro models in the coming weeks while having avoided putting an additional damper on sales of current models by pre-announcing the launch at WWDC.

Despite the lack of new Retina MacBook Pro models at WWDC, many of the circulating rumors still stand, and some of the developments seen in the new MacBook Air will likely also apply to the MacBook Pro, offering a better picture of what we can expect from Haswell-based MacBook Pro models. Among the expectations:

- Better battery life: With the new MacBook Air based on Intel's energy-efficient Haswell processors, Apple was able to boost battery life by up to 80%, with the 11-inch model's runtime increasing from 5 hours to 9 hours and the 13-inch model's moving from 7 hours to 12 hours.

macbook_air_2013_battery_life
While the Retina MacBook Pro may not see quite as dramatic improvements in battery life given the more power-hungry Retina displays and the 15-inch models' dedicated graphics chips, the Haswell platform should still offer some battery life benefits for the Retina MacBook Pro line. The current models are rated for 7 hours of battery life at both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes.

- Haswell processors: Intel has a well-stocked lineup of mobile Haswell processors in both dual-core and quad-core varieties now available, so Apple will have no problem incorporating the latest chips into its MacBook Pro models. Intel's advanced "Iris" integrated graphics should bring significant performance improvements to the line, although it remains to be seen just how Apple will balance performance and power draw.

- 802.11ac Wi-Fi: With the new faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard making its way into the updated MacBook Air and Apple releasing updated AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations, it is clear that Apple will be rolling out 802.11ac support across its lineups as they are updated.

flash_storage_icon- Faster PCIe-based flash storage: The new MacBook Air takes advantage of PCIe-based flash storage, pushing peak read/write throughput to nearly 800 MB/s. Apple announced that the same technology is coming to the Mac Pro later this year, and it will presumably also be coming to the MacBook Pro and other Macs.

- Slimmer 13-inch model?: Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed several times that Apple is planning to slim down the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, despite the fact that the machine was just introduced last October. It is unclear how much thinner Apple is planning to make the machine, but the current design is slightly thicker than that of the 15-inch model: 0.75 inches vs. 0.71 inches.

- Full HD FaceTime camera: Kuo has also claimed that the next-generation Retina MacBook Pro models will see upgrades to 2.0-megapixel 1080p FaceTime cameras for improved video quality on the machines' high-resolution displays. The Retina MacBook Pro models currently use a 720p camera.

- Timing: With the predicted WWDC keynote timing having come and gone, there is now considerable uncertainty about just when a Retina MacBook Pro update might occur. It seems unlikely that a launch would come within the next week or two given the proximity to WWDC, but any time after that would seem to be reasonable.

It also makes sense for Apple to target a launch before September, as the company is reportedly aiming to launch new iPhone and iPad models beginning around that time, with the new Mac Pro also presumed to be coming relatively late in the year. While Apple did stack up a number of hardware releases in the fall of 2012, ideally the company will be able to spread them out a bit more in 2013 to maintain public interest and smooth out sales spikes.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"

Top Rated Comments

ZacNicholson Avatar
101 months ago
I don't want someone to see me in true HD. I am scary enough in 720 p :D
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yycguy Avatar
101 months ago
I am going to wait and get me one of these bad boys!!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samac92 Avatar
101 months ago
They need to fix that the computer goes into hibernation mode after 4 hrs of sleep (when plugged in) -- it takes a few minutes to start up from this, plus when unplugging the power from the machine, the hard drive starts up making it somewhat dangerous to lug around if the drive is spinning...

A few minutes to start from hibernation? It should take a couple of seconds, and the MacBook Pros don't have spinning hard drives they use all flash storage.

Your comment sounds like it has come from 2003 :p
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krazy Bill Avatar
101 months ago
Two thing to consider...

#1) School event starts soon

#2) ThunderBolt 2

Apple won't update anything literally "days" after the school promotion begins. It'll piss people off. They'll use TB2 later this year as the excuse to hold off. Also, won't irritate the Summer buyers as much.

BTW... I have nothing to base this on and I'm about to start my 7th beer.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OrangeSVTguy Avatar
101 months ago
I wonder when Apple will put the retina displays in the Airs and basically just combine the two platforms.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
signalpst Avatar
101 months ago
Why no rMBP at WWDC you ask?

Simple.

They'll launch it alongside Mavericks public release in the fall.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
pink squares macos

Apple Investigating Issue With 'Pink Squares' Appearing on Displays Connected to M1 Mac Mini

Sunday February 21, 2021 11:08 am PST by
In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple informed service providers that it is aware of and investigating an issue that may result in "pink squares or pixels" appearing on displays connected to an M1 Mac mini. Image via Twitter user @FatihVidyograf This issue has been reported by users across the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors Forums, and Reddit since the M1 Mac mini...
Top Stories 47 Feature

Top Stories: More iOS 14.5 Beta Changes, iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Watch Charging Issue Fixed

Saturday February 20, 2021 6:00 am PST by
Apple is continuing to tweak things during the iOS 14.5 beta testing period, and it looks like there will be some nice changes coming in the update when it's released to the public in a month or so. This week also saw the release of a watchOS bug fix update for Series 5 and Series SE owners, addressing a serious issue where their watches may not charge after entering Power Reserve mode,...
google chrome macos big sur

Chrome Used 10X More RAM Than Safari on macOS Big Sur in Recent Test [Updated]

Saturday February 20, 2021 12:52 pm PST by
Under normal and lightweight web browsing, Google Chrome uses 10x more RAM than Safari on macOS Big Sur, according to a test conducted by Flotato creator Morten Just (via iMore). In a blog post, Just outlines that he put both browsers to the test in two scenarios on the latest version of macOS. The first test was conducted on a virtual machine, and the second on a 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
maxresdefault

Revisiting Apple's MagSafe Leather Wallet After 3 Months of Usage

Saturday February 20, 2021 8:04 am PST by
Back in November when Apple's MagSafe-compatible Leather Wallet first launched, MacRumors videographer Dan took a look at the accessory and ended up disliking it because of the weak magnetic connection. Dan kept using the Leather Wallet despite its flaws, and after three months with the accessory, his opinion has changed and he wanted to share some new thoughts on it. Subscribe to the ...