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"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

ZacNicholson Avatar
106 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
106 months ago
I am going to wait and get me one of these bad boys!!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samac92 Avatar
106 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
106 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
106 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
106 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

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
iPad Pro Feature Magenta

Mac Otakara: iPad Air 5 to Feature iPad Pro-Like Design, No Design Changes Coming to iPad Mini 6 or iPad 9

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:06 am PDT by
The next-generation iPad Air will feature a design that's similar to the third-generation iPad Pro, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing a Chinese supplier, the site says that the fifth-generation iPad Air will continue to feature a 10.9-inch display and a Touch ID button on the side, but it will gain a dual-lens camera system with Wide and Ultra Wide cameras. A LiDAR Scanner is ...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...