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Comment: A 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to be a step towards a 12/14/16 line-up

It was back in February that we first heard of a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the works, and a new report today supports this and adds some details.

The report claims a resolution of 3072 × 1920 up from the 2880 × 1800 panel found in Apple's 15-inch notebooks since the first Retina MacBook Pro 2012 […]

IHS Markit says the new 16-inch notebook has a manufacturing date for September 2019 with a production rate of about 250,000 units per month. The panel would still be LCD (no OLED than previously reported) and probably made by LG.

As we noted this morning, the timing looks a bit …


As a 15-inch MacBook Pro already updated this year, with newer processors and a revised keyboard design, people are waiting for 16-inch to create one new, separate level in Apple's product range.

Having both 15-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in line at the same time would be odd, but it would be almost odd to offer a significant update to the machine in May before being replaced in September.

One possible situation is that Apple felt compelled to replace the problematic keyboard with a new design, and if it did, they also had the latest Intel CPU at the same time.

I think the final game here is to replace the old 11/13 / 15-inch line-up with a 12/14/16-inch one.

The 12-inch switch has already happened naturally. There is no longer an 11-inch MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook now occupies the site of the smallest machine being offered. If we get a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, it would make sense for the 13-inch one supported up to 14 inches.

If Apple might shrink the framing, pull off the same trick as it did with the (wonderful) 12.9-inch iPad Pro: a large screen in a compact case. In a reader survey when the idea was first reported, a massive 60% of you would be tempted by the machine. (Yes, it's an in-depth study considering that people will read such a piece, but it's still very interesting.)

A 16-inch MacBook Pro in a new line-up

I've argued before Apple needs to rationalize its MacBook setup.

Then it all looks:

  • 12-inch MacBook
  • Exec-spec 12-inch MacBook
  • "Good" 14-inch MacBook Pro
  • "Better" 14-inch MacBook Pro (same spec as 16-inch model)
  • "Good" 16-inch MacBook Pro
  • "Better" 16-inch MacBook Pro

This would halve the range from 12 models to 6, lose those embarrassing models Apple shouldn't offer today – and still offers custom buildings for those who want "best" rather than "better".

Things have changed a bit since then with the complication of the new 13-inch MacBook Air, which is currently still occupying the "most affordable MacBook" site despite being a better machine than the 12-in-Mac MacBook in most respects. Right now, it is still meaningful to think of the air as something of an outlier, to act as a gateway drug for the rest of the range.

But for the rest, it seems likely that I get My wish – at least in terms of sizes.

Do you agree? Do you think Apple is working towards a 12/14/16-inch line-up? Or will the 16-inch one be an add-on, the rest remain as-is? Please take our survey and share your thoughts in the comments.

  macbook leather case

Photo: Viktor Kádár

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