Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Still on Track for 2021 Launch, But Supplies Likely to Be Constrained into Next Year
Volume production of the redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon and a mini-LED display is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022, while mass production of the smaller and new 14-inch MacBook Pro will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report.
Yesterday, DigiTimes posted a preview of a story reporting that the launch of the redesigned MacBook Pros could be delayed until next year. Now, the full report offers more context, including the fact that Apple suppliers are feeling constrained by the launch of the new mini-LED 12.9-inch iPad Pro, hindering production for the Mac.
Volume production of Apple's miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro series may have to be postponed to fourth-quarter of 2021 or first-quarter 2022 if the sudden surge in the number of COVID infections in Taiwan continues to worsen, according to industry sources.
Having launched its miniLED-backlit 12.9-inch iPad Pro in late April, Apple plans to release two miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro products - one having a 14-inch display and the other a 16-inch display - in the second half of 2021, said the sources.
DigiTimes still reports that Apple plans to release the new MacBook Pros in the second half of this year, but implies that much like the new M1 iPad Pro and iMac, they may not be widely available for purchase until a few weeks after their initial announcement. Apple announced the new iPad Pro and iMac at an event on April 20, yet neither product officially ships and launches to customers until the second half of May, most likely this week on May 21.
Apple may opt to take a similar approach with the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, announcing them to the public but not make them available until sufficient production is underway. However, DigiTimes also notes that a minimal number of 14-inch MacBook Pros will be produced in the third quarter of this year, likely hinting that supply will be tight, despite reasonably high demand.
These new MacBook Pros will offer the biggest redesign to Apple's Pro portable Mac lineup since 2016. According to Bloomberg and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to abandon the Touch Bar with the new MacBook Pros, bring back MagSafe charging technology, and more ports, including an HDMI port. These new MacBook Pros will also feature an all-new mini-LED display and a more powerful Apple silicon chip.