Apple Drops 'Late' From 'Late 2016' MacBook Pro Model Names

Ever since the original MacBook Pro, Apple has identified the notebooks based on the time of year in which they were released.
  • Early: January-April
  • Mid: May-August
  • Late: September-December
The first MacBook Pro with a Retina display, for example, has a "Mid 2012" model name because it was released in June of that year.

Apple continued this trend when it launched its latest MacBook Pro lineup in October. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, along with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys, were described as "late 2016" models on Apple's website and support documentation.

Just recently, however, Apple appears to have dropped the "late" portion of "late 2016" when referring to its latest MacBook Pro models, as spotted by Apple blog Pike's Universum. Apple now simply identifies all of its latest MacBook Pros as "2016" models on its tech specs pages and under "About This Mac" on the second macOS 10.12.4 beta.


The latest MacBook Pro models are still identified as "MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)" or "MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016)" under "About This Mac" on earlier macOS Sierra versions for some users. Apple also has a few support documents that still refer to a "late-2016 MacBook Pro" in sentence usage on its website.

Given that Apple only refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup once last year, it is reasonable to assume that "late" was an unnecessary descriptor; however, Apple still refers to its latest 12-inch MacBook as "Early 2016" despite there being no other updates to that notebook last year. The same applies to the "12-inch MacBook, Early 2015."

Apple has also yet to remove "Mid" from its "Mid 2014" MacBook Pro, despite the fact that it was the only MacBook Pro model released in 2014, so this appears to be a clear deviation from the company's traditional nomenclature. We've reached out to Apple for an explanation, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

Update: MacRumors reader Peter Cao tweeted us a screenshot that shows "Late" has indeed been dropped under "About This Mac" on a 2016 MacBook Pro running the second macOS 10.12.4 beta.


Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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7 weeks ago
Next: 2010-2020 Mac Pro
Rating: 47 Votes
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7 weeks ago
They made the name thinner
Rating: 38 Votes
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7 weeks ago
Conspiracy theory: they want to release an early 2017 MacBook Pro, and don't want people to easily see "late 2016 and early 2017" beside each other, causing some buyers remorse.
Rating: 27 Votes
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7 weeks ago
Not surprising considering how often they're making new Macs.

I mean, the Mac Pro was last updated in 2013. That's like yesterday!
Rating: 20 Votes
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7 weeks ago
That's because they'll start naming them by years. 2014-2024 Mac Mini. The decade lasting computer.
Rating: 16 Votes
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7 weeks ago
Well, at least they didn't change it to "Last MacBook Pro."
Rating: 9 Votes
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7 weeks ago
Further potential evidence for the next iPhone just simply being called "iPhone" and being identified by year in the future.
Rating: 8 Votes
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7 weeks ago


*and of course for the record, a good portion of their timeline has to do with having to follow intel's


Intel's processor timeline is on Intel.

Skipping entire generations of Intel processors is on Apple.
Rating: 7 Votes
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7 weeks ago

Well, we're already at Mid-2010's model right now, so... IT'S NOT THAT FAR OFF. :eek:

Glassed Silver:win


"Can't update anymore, my A**!"

~ Phil Schiller, 2013 ('https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjNqNX-jv_RAhXDLSYKHfBsDt0QtwIIKDAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2KrhSaDVH6g&usg=AFQjCNH7XyMmL_V49KIkjnKdVd43tCLkOA')
Rating: 6 Votes
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7 weeks ago

"Can't update anymore, my A**!"

~ Phil Schiller, 2013 ('https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjNqNX-jv_RAhXDLSYKHfBsDt0QtwIIKDAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2KrhSaDVH6g&usg=AFQjCNH7XyMmL_V49KIkjnKdVd43tCLkOA')

Yeah, the fact they had the audacity to mock the naysayers who they proved right with the same model they launched that day is a slap in the face.

Some of the worst PR performance Apple has ever delivered here, but the target demographic has either moved on or is about to just give up on the nMP, so the few that remain interested aren't very loud, why listen.

Practically dropping the product line wouldn't sting half as much if they at least had the generosity of sharing what the hell they are on about.

I know they are all about surprises and secrets, but you can only go so far until you damage your customer relationship permanently.

Glassed Silver:win
Rating: 6 Votes
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