16-Inch MacBook Pro Touch Bar Layout Confirmed in Image Found in macOS Catalina 10.15.1
We've been hearing rumors about the 16-inch MacBook Pro for months now, and saw possible reference images of the device in the macOS Catalina 10.15.1 beta.
Now macOS Catalina 10.15.1 is out, and it appears the update was hiding even more 16-inch MacBook Pro secrets -- including an image of the machine's updated Touch Bar and Touch ID layout.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature a Touch ID power button that's separate from the Touch Bar, as first found by 9to5Mac. That's a design change that's distinct from the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which has its Touch ID button positioned as an extension of the Touch Bar.
There have also been hints based on the previously leaked images that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will feature a separate ESC key that is an actual physical key that's no longer a part of the Touch Bar. That's not confirmed in the image found today, but given that the Touch ID button is separate, it would make sense for the escape key to be separate as well.
The original 16-inch MacBook Pro icon that was discovered earlier in October has now been removed from macOS Catalina 10.15.1, which suggests that the images being found in the update are not signs of an imminent release as previously thought.
We were expecting the 16-inch machine to see a launch in October, but the month is close to over and Apple made no announcements beyond the AirPods Pro this week, so it's not entirely clear when the new MacBook Pro is going to launch.
It could, of course, still come in November or December, but historically, Apple hasn't done many late fall updates. Chances of a fall event also seem highly unlikely because October is almost over and Apple hasn't held a non-October fall event.
A recent investor's note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested a new MacBook with a scissor keyboard is going to launch in the late second quarter or early third quarter, and given that he previously said the 16-inch MacBook Pro would use such a keyboard, it's possible (but not confirmed) he's referring to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
In that case, we would be waiting until 2020 for the new higher-end 16-inch MacBook Pro.