There’s some big changes afoot for Apple’s MacBook product line. A new report citing a “reliable Chinese suppler” predicts the announcement of a new MacBook Pro this month (October) with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. As a result, it’s believed Apple may be removing all traditional USB ports from its devices, alongside previous MagSafe charging port and Thunderbolt 2.
It’s also believe Apple will ditch the 11-inch MacBook Air alongside the announcement, though there’s been predictions that the Air line will go entirely after the launch of the iPad Pro and the 12-inch MacBook launched in 2014. However, it’s thought now that the 13-inch model will remain. The report continues to back the idea that October will still be the month the new computers will be launched, despite others thinking maybe the announcement will slip to 2017.
USB-C is the next generation of USB standard. First featured in the 12-inch MacBook, the connector is smaller than older USB interfaces. It’s multi-purpose, intended for connecting devices, powering and the fast-transferring of data. Since Apple began using the connector, more laptops, tablets and smartphones from other tech companies have featured USB-C. All major OS software providers now support it too.
Thunderbolt is a hardware interface developed by Intel and features on current MacBook Pros. It allows the connection of external peripherals, like monitors, to computers. Currently, users have to connect via a Mini DisplayPort. However, with Thunderbolt 3, devices connect via USB-C. The latest Thunderbolt reduces power consumption and can now simultaneously power two external 4k displays at 60 Hz instead of just one.
Other predictions for Apple’s new hardware include the arrival of an OLED touch bar taking the place of the existing function keys. The benefit here is that users can program their own shortcuts, even app-by-app. It’s also likely there will be a new, thinner design.
Stay tuned for the official announcement.