It’s been an unexpectedly busy couple of days in Apple news. First off, Apple released an updated version of the MacBook Pro yesterday. These new 2018 versions have new Intel processors, more RAM, better screens, and a “quieter” keyboard. Unfortunately, Apple has not mentioned any design changes to the keyboard based on the number of complaints of failures due to dirt and grit getting under the keys. While a specific mention of this could be problematic for Apple due to ongoing litigation over this issue, the feeling around the industry is that this version of the keyboard will not be a significant improvement.
This is interesting, considering that Apple recently instituted an extended repair program to deal with issues with the MacBook and MacBook Pro Butterfly-style keys. This move alone admits some amount of responsibility on their part. Why not go all the way and fix the deficiencies now? As for this new MacBook Pro, it is possible that Apple has made some subtle changes to the keyboard and isn’t announcing them to keep from admitting the scope off the problem. It is also very possible that they know a deficiency still exists and they are just kicking the can down the road until the next major upgrade to the Pro. We shall see.
The keyboard isn’t the only head-scratcher here. It is no secret that the MacBook Pro’s TouchBar hasn’t been a huge hit, even with loyal Apple fans. However, the only models that were updated yesterday were those that have the TouchBars. The MacBook Pros without them have been left at their original specs. I don’t get it. It’s as if Apple sometimes goes out of their way to antagonize parts of their user base.
Here’s another odd decision from Apple- they killed off the 2015 MacBook Pro. Yes, it is an older machine. However, it is also a popular one, because it was the only MacBook Pro that still had multiple different ports and an SD Card slot. Oh, and it also had the previous keyboard design. With the 2015 Pro gone and the TouchBar being pushed even though it has never become a killer feature, Apple may find these these expensive new MacBook Pros to be a tough sell.
Our Favorite Inside Man is Back!
Our old friend Ming-Chi Kuo is back! There were rumors that he wouldn’t be covering Apple much anymore in his new position at TF International Securities, but here we are with lots of good news from a couple of days ago. He has lent his support to the many reports that there will be three new iPhones. Nothing new here. However, the news that Apple is planning on refreshing both the iMac, and especially the long-languishing Mac Mini, well be very welcomed by Mac fans. Many thought the Mac Mini was destined for the chopping block, but this is good evidence to the contrary. He also mentions that the new lower priced MacBook we’ve been hearing about for months may not carry the Air name? Might this be the end of the road for the Air moniker?
Kuo also gives us some confirmation that there will be two new iPad Pros. The 12.9″ refresh is no surprise, but the 11″ size he mentions is interesting. Is Apple planing on using the space recaptured from removing bezels to make its smaller iPad Pro larger? I’m more interested to know if Apple will also enlarge the 12.9″ model’s screen real estate, which would be amazing.
Lastly, Kuo states that there will be two new Apple Watches, and that the AirPower will finally grace us with its presence, along with updated AirPods. The new Watches will have 1.57″ and 1.78″ screens, and will come with “advanced heart rate detection.” None of that is front page news, but it interesting in light of rumors that Apple may be putting edge to edge screens on this year’s Watches.
Where Have You Registered?
If we are talking Apple, they have recently registered their new MacBooks and a couple of coming iPads with the Eurasian Economic Commission. This body covers devices sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, and filings here have proven to be a pretty good indicator of coming hardware.
There were five tablet models registered back in July, with two more being introduced yesterday. It is thought that these models represent various versions of the new iPad Pros. The filings also include five new laptops, two of which are likely the MacBook Pros released yesterday. There were also 11 different iOS 12 smartphones registered, two of which are curiously labeled as the iPhone SE and iPhone X. That is interesting because the fate of those two phones continuing on after this Fall is very much in doubt. Maybe they will still be sold elsewhere in the world.
It is hard to gain specifics beyond the fact that new hardware is almost certainly right around the corner. It’s been a light year for Apple so far, with only the HomePod, the iMac Pro, the new iPad, and the MacBooks released yesterday to keep us busy. None of these pack the punch that this coming Fall and Winter lineup will bring.