New MacBook Pro Leak Will Anger Everyone – Forbes

Apple’s annual developer conference kicks off next week, and we’re expecting updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, alongside hints of Apple’s future direction in hot-topic areas such as health, augmented reality, and standalone digital assistants in speakers.

But WWDC looks to have another surprise in store. The anticipation is mounting for Apple to update the various MacBook product lines as part of the conference, and that could upset the faithful.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) previews a MacBook Pro during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

As reported on Forbes last week, the MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air machines are all expected to be updated:

The updates are expected to be based around Intel’s seventh generation chip design. The Kaby Lake processor already features heavily in the high-end laptops that are running Windows 10 (such as HP’s Spectre 13) and is set to dominate the professional laptop space this year.

But there may be a sting in the tail if Apple brings in these changes to the MacBook line. MacBook sales are on the up, with Trendforce reporting a fifteen percent year-on-year rise for the last quarter. This updated feels like an ‘off-cycle’ refresh to the new hardware debuting late last year in October 2016.

If Tim Cook and his team do refresh the three main product lines, then those who have bought into the ‘new Macs’ are going to be facing a curious slice of buyers remorse. If they bought for power then the new machines – with the aforementioned Kaby Lake architecture – are going to be faster, more efficient, and better equipped to handle high workloads. If they bought because of price and value for money, the new machines are going to depress both the retail price of the late 2016 models and the price of the machines on the second-hand market.

Technology moves on and anyone buying any hardware will know that at some point in the future their hardware will be bumped down to a lower tier – that’s the nature of the digital beast – but for Apple to bump the  its laptops down in such a short period of time feels like a break in the covenant between consumer and manufacturer.

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

Apple is in a squeezed  position – the late 2016 launch of the new machines meant that it was too early to go all-in on Intel’s Kaby Lake machines, which gave the Windows 10 machines coming out in the first half of 2017 an advantage. It forced Apple to either go long with the sixth generation chipsets and wait until October 2017 for a regular update cycle (which would hand the Kaby Lake ground to the competition) or make the switch early and potentially upset the early adopters.

It appears that Apple has decided to go with the latter option, pushing forward with technology as quickly as is practical and hoping that it can ride out any criticism of the rushed update.

Now read more about Apple’s financial strategy for the MacBook…

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