Apple Said to Receive 16-Inch MacBook Pro Shipments This Quarter, Launch Timing Remains Unclear
While it is unclear if the widely rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro will launch in 2019 or 2020, the latest report from DigiTimes claims that Apple will begin receiving volume shipments of the notebook in the fourth quarter of this year. Taiwan-based manufacturer Quanta Computer is said to be the key supplier.
The report reiterates that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will have an ultra-thin-bezel design, suggesting the overall size of the notebook might be similar to the existing 15-inch MacBook Pro despite having a larger display.
Apple receiving volume shipments of the 16-inch MacBook Pro in the fourth quarter does not necessarily mean the notebook will launch in the fourth quarter. Apple may simply be planning to stockpile the 16-inch MacBook Pro ahead of the U.S. government's proposed 15 percent import tariff on an additional round of Chinese goods, including notebooks, slated to take effect December 15.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally said the 16-inch MacBook Pro would launch in the fourth quarter of 2019 with an all-new design, including a scissor switch keyboard. As of late, however, Kuo has more vaguely stated that a "new MacBook model" with a scissor keyboard will launch in mid 2020. It's unclear if the "new MacBook model" that Kuo has referred to more recently is the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Multiple images corresponding to a 16-inch MacBook Pro have been found in macOS Catalina in recent weeks, including one that reveals that Touch ID will likely be separated from the Touch Bar on the notebook.
The leaked Touch Bar design lends credence to the Esc key also being a separate, physical key again, as can be seen when zooming in to the previously leaked 16-inch MacBook Pro icon.
MacRumors has confirmed the location of the Touch Bar image in macOS Catalina. The filename includes "Device16."
DigiTimes previously said the 16-inch MacBook Pro would launch by the end of October, and today is the final day of the month. The site does not have the best track record when it comes to the timing of new Apple products, but its connections within Apple's supply chain are occasionally accurate.