Apple is Finally Updating its Macbook Pro — Here’s What to Expect

Image of Apple laptopApple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning the first major update in four years to its Macbook Pro laptop line, according to a Bloomberg report.

The company’s Macbook Pros have remained unchanged in terms of design and footprint since their launch back in 2012. But big changes are on the horizon, according to several people familiar with the matter.

From Bloomberg:

The updated notebooks will be thinner, include a touch screen strip for function keys, and will be offered with more powerful and efficient graphics processors for expert users such as video gamers, said the people, who asked not to be named.

The new computers have been in advanced testing within Apple since earlier this year, said one of the people, who didn’t want to be identified discussing products before their release. The MacBook Pros aren’t likely to debut at an event currently scheduled for Sept. 7 to introduce next-generation versions of the iPhone, according to one of the people. Apple spokesman Bill Evans declined to comment.

So while the new line probably won’t even be announced — let alone hit shelves — this fall, it’s possible we could see them in Q1 or Q2 of next year. With such a large gap in between major updates, the company likely expects millions of users to take the plunge and upgrade to the newer models. Along with faster components, the laptops will reportedly also feature a second screen with touch capabilities.

Back to Bloomberg:

The most significant addition to the new MacBook Pro is a secondary display above the keyboard that replaces the standard function key row. Instead of physical keys, a strip-like screen will present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application. The smaller display will use Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, a thinner, lighter and sharper screen technology, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier this year.

We wrote recently that Apple’s laptops were in dire need of an upgrade, and now we’ve gotten some solid confirmation that major updates are in fact coming soon. A tell-tale sign that an announcement is imminent will be when Apple cuts the prices of its existing laptops, which it typically does in conjunction with a new product launch.

With iPhone sales lagging, Apple is looking for other areas like services and Macbooks to pick up the slack. And speaking of iPhone, an update to that flagship device is expected to be announced on September 7.

Apple shares, which have risen 3.37% since the start of 2016, were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday.

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