HDMI Port Returning to MacBook Pro This Year
Apple is planning 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.
In a research note obtained by MacRumors, Kuo recently explained that 2021's MacBook Pro models will feature the return of an SD card reader and an HDMI port:
We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have several significant design and specification changes. Some of the practical changes for users are equipping with the SD card reader and HDMI port.
The return of an SD card reader was first reported by reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman last month, adding credence to the rumor:
The upcoming MacBook Pro is an example of Apple's renewed focus on Mac loyalists. The company is planning to bring back an SD card slot for the next MacBook Pros so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras. That feature was removed in 2016, to the consternation of professional photographers and video creators, key segments of the MacBook Pro user base.
All MacBook Pro models released since 2016 have only had USB-C ports, forcing users to connect an adapter to access an SD card reader or an HDMI port. The SD card reader was vital to key segments of the MacBook Pro user base, such as professional photographers and video creators, who have had to resort to adapters in recent years. The same goes for HDMI, which is used to connect to external displays.
The MacBook Pro was last equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in 2015, so it is surprising to see these features making a comeback after years of absence. Nevertheless, the return of these ports is likely to make amends with some MacBook Pro users who have felt that their needs have been ignored since 2016, and more clearly distinguish the "Pro" machines from the MacBook Air.
Last month, Kuo said that Apple is planning to unveil all-new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models this year, featuring the return of the MagSafe charging connector with a breakaway power cable, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, brighter displays, and more ports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has since echoed many of these details.
For more on the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro models, see our "Everything We Know" guide.