Apple is said to be planning to launch a 16in MacBook Pro with a 4K screen. Here are all the rumors on the new MacBook Pro 2020 including its release date, specs, and features.
Not only do rumors suggest that Apple had something much bigger in the pipeline. A 16in MacBook Pro with a 4K display. Maybe it will launch before the end of 2019, and when it does Apple may discontinue the 15in MacBook Pro.
Code in the macOS Catalina 15.1 beta backs up the existence of the new model. With an icon image named MacBookPro16.1.
In this article, we round up all the news and rumors about the 16in MacBook Pro. Including all the info we can get our hands. Info about the giant 16in 4K screen, the specs and features, pricing, and when you’ll be able to buy it.
- 1 MacBook Pro release date
- 2 Specs
MacBook Pro release date
Given that Apple announced new 13in and 15in MacBook Pros just before WWDC 2019 in May 2019. And then updated the entry-level models in July 2019. We weren’t really expecting to see the next generation of MacBook Pro until June 2020.
However, first, a July 2019 report claimed that the new 16in MacBook Pro could launch on October 2019. Then, in August, research firm TrendForce said:
“We see new products hitting shelves, such as Apple’s 16-inch MacBook”
While referencing their third-quarter 2019 outlook, via MacRumors.
TF International analyst also predicted that the 16in MacBook Pro will arrive this autumn.
And a DigiTimes report on 21 October: claimed Quanta Computer has already begun shipments of the new 16in MacBook Pro.
Even the Catalina 10.15.1 beta has been found to include a new icon representing a MacBook Pro with slimmer bezels.
That might look like a promising indication that the 16in MacBook Pro will be here soon. But now it’s looking like we might be waiting until spring 2020. About a week before the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the new MacBook won’t be appearing until the second quarter of 2020.
Kuo had been predicting an autumn launch. But in his latest timeline, he indicates that a new MacBook will appear in the second quarter of 2020. It is possible that this isn’t the 16in MacBook Pro. But another MacBook although the 16in MacBook Pro that Kuo had predicted isn’t mentioned elsewhere in his timeline. You can read an English translation of the report.
Back in February 2019, Kuo suggested that the 16in MacBook Air could arrive in 2019. Kuo is usually quite accurate, hence taking his claims that a 16in MacBook Pro is in the pipeline seriously.
Back then Kuo also predicted a 2020 MacBook Pro which he said would use new micro-LED technology. So maybe 2019 plans have been moved back to 2020 to allow for the use of this new screen technology. Kuo has said that the other 13in and 15in MacBook Pro models won’t be updated until 2020.
Reasons why the new laptop could launch sooner than 2020 is:
One reason why the new laptop could launch sooner than 2020 is:
if Apple is keen to move to the scissor-switch keyboard in its Mac laptops in 2019, something Kuo had previously said that Apple plans to do.
Another reason why we could see another new MacBook Pro during 2019 is out is that:
Intel has revealed that new processors that are likely to be used in the new MacBook Pro will be available soon.
The 2020 MacBook Pro models could offer the following specs:
That extra inch or so should mean that the 16in MacBook Pro can offer more pixels than its predecessor. This is something Mac users have been requesting for years.
Apple’s main competitors in this space offer 4K displays. The lack of a 4K display on the MacBook Pro is a massive disappointment for many.
There are claims that the new screen will offer a 3,072 x 1,920-pixel resolution. That would be less than 4K, which is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.
We hope the new 16in MacBook Pro will offer a 4K display – if it doesn’t, there may be a riot.
In 2019 Apple added new 9th generation Coffee Lake processors to the 15in MacBook Pro and upgraded the 8th generation processors in the 13in models. These new 9th gen processors have the benefit of offering more cores, so there is now an 8-core option for the 15in models.
These 9th generation mobile processors are part of the Coffee Lake Refresh, Aka Coffee Lake-R, as seen in the top of the range 2019 iMac.
Looking towards the next update to the MacBook Pro, if the new machine is to arrive in September or October 2019 it is likely to feature these 9th gen processors, albeit at higher clock speed. IHS Markit analyst Jeff Lin has predicted that the new 16in MacBook Pro will offer a 2.4GHz 8-core Core i9 processor with a Turbo Boost of 5.0GHz, via Macrumors.
The current top-of-the-range 15in MacBook Pro can be configured with the same 2.4GHz 8-core Core i9 processor with a Turbo Boost of 5.0GHz.
Alternatively, Apple will wait for the next generation of Intel processors, the 10th-generation Ice Lake processors. These processors have not yet been announced though. Another possibility, there have been rumors that Apple will make its own processors at some point, moving away from Intel, more on that below.
The next new processor generation is Sunny Cove and Ice Lake (it’s a bit confusing if you are used to Intel referring to the chip with a *Lake because this time around the Lake bit signifies the chip and the Cove bit the core, or you could think of the chip as Sunny Cove, based on Ice Lake).
You might also have thought that Cannon Lake was going to be next, but it seems that after many delays, Intel is pretty much skipping that generation.
The 13in MacBook Pro is likely to maintain its integrated graphics while the 16in model ships with a discrete graphics card.
Unlike the 2019 update, which saw no change to the graphics cards inside compared to the previous generation, we expect that the 2020 models will use new graphics cards.
The good news from the perspective of the 13in model is that the Ice Lake graphics will be much better than what we have today. The current Iris Plus 655 GPU has 48 execution units but the new Ice Lake option will offer 64 execution units (50% more) plus it will also offer efficiency improvements.
As for the 16in models, the 15in models currently offer the Radeon Pro 555X or Radeon Pro 560X, both with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. There is, however, a build-to-order option that allows you to update the MacBook Pro to a Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20. Perhaps in the new models, we will see Vega GPUs as standard.
All the 13in models currently offer 8GB RAM as standard with a build-to-order option for 16GB RAM. As of 2018, the 15in models have added a 32GB RAM build-to-order option.
The RAM in the 13in models is less powerful than that in the 15in MacBook Pro which is 2400MHz DDR4, compared to the slower 2133MHz LPDDR3.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in his February 2019 research note that the 13in MacBook Pro will gain a 32GB RAM option, but this hasn’t happened yet – perhaps it’s something we could see with the next version of the 13in MacBook Pro though. Hopefully, these models will eventually get the faster 2400MHz DDR4 RAM as well.
We could also see the new standard Wi-Fi 6 aka 802.11ax arrive with the next generation of MacBook Pro.
802.11ax should reduce the effects of interference and increase throughput in congested environments. It’s the successor to 802.11ac and is less focused on speed and more on being able to handle multiple devices better.
96W power adapter
A report on Chinese site Chongdiantou (via Weibo) claims that Apple will soon be offering a 96W power adapter with a model identifier of A2166. It is thought that this new power adapter could ship with the rumored 16in MacBook Pro. The 15in MacBook Pro uses an 87W adapter which is a similar size, according to Chongdiantou’s sister title ChargerLAB’s tweet below.
This isn’t the first mention of 96W charging from Apple. The Pro Display XDR, expected to launch soon, will offer 96W host charging, and Macrumours points out that this is “more power than necessary for any portable device that Apple currently ships”.
The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro was the biggest change to the range when it was updated in 2016. It’s a customizable strip-screen that allows for slicker fingertip control in certain software. It supports multi-touch gestures, which is handy when the photo or video editing, to name a couple of examples.
The Touch Bar is customizable. You can click and drag preferred commands/functions into the bar. When the Touch Bar first launched it was limited to Apple applications. You can expect more software to offer Touch Bar support in the future.
For more on this, see How to use the Touch Bar. And if you’d like to get some Touch Bar action on other Macs, have a read of our Apple keyboard with Touch Bar release date rumors and How to get Touch Bar on any Mac.
Some reports have suggested that the Touch Bar is not proving to be particularly popular. Although this may be because those MacBook Pro models with the feature have a higher price. As of July 2019, all MacBook Pro models have the Touch Bar.
This isn’t expected until late 2020 or maybe not until 2021. TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple will eventually be using a mini-LED display for the MacBook Pro.
There are lots of benefits to using mini-LED panels including:
- a wide color gamut
- high contrast ratios
- high dynamic range
- localized dimming
- and no burn-in.
- Panels are also more power-efficient.
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