Archive of Retina MacBook Pro Rumors

Apple plans to introduce a revamped high-end MacBook Pro this year that'll include a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID and a new OLED display touch bar above the keyboard, according to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The new MacBook Pro would come in 13- and 15-inch variations and arrive in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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While long overlooked, the MacBook line is the brightest spot for Apple’s 2016 rollouts. This is particularly true of the two new MacBook Pro models, to be introduced in 4Q16, as they will have a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID, use OLED display touch bar (to replace physical function keys, located above the keyboard) and adopt USB- C / Thunderbolt 3.
Kuo calls the new MacBook Pro updates the "most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple." The new "thin and light" design will be helped by new metal injection mold-made hinges and the butterfly-mechanism keyboards that debuted in the 12-inch MacBook. There has been speculation Apple would introduce Touch ID to MacBooks and, in the meantime, Apple engineers are working on a way users could unlock their Macs with Touch ID on iPhone.

The 12-inch MacBook will also be joined by a 13-inch MacBook, according to Kuo. The analyst believes that Apple will move forward with all three MacBook lines this year, with the MacBook Pro occupying the high-end slot, the MacBook will replace the Air as the medium-level model and the MacBook Air will serve as an entry-level model with comparatively low prices.

In April, it was reported that the new MacBook Pros would see slimmer designs and new hinges. Additionally, speculation indicated the new MacBook Pros could adopt Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C. Today's report confirms both rumors. Apple's refreshed MacBook Pros are also expected to sport faster Skylake processors, with the top-of-the-line MacBook Pros also sporting AMD's new 400-series Polaris graphics chips.
A large number of MacBook Pro owners running OS X El Capitan are reporting widespread system freezes since installing the 10.11.4 update to Apple's Mac OS.

Hundreds of MacRumors forum members have been posting to a dedicated thread to discuss the issue, which spans 20 pages at the time of writing. The problem appears to be concentrated on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros (Early 2015) running 10.11.4. Users report that their system becomes totally unresponsive at seemingly random times, with no way to regain access to their Mac other than to force a hard reboot.

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The issue was initially reported by MacRumors forum member Antonnn on March 25, four days after Apple released what is the third update to the Mac OS. In Antonnn's case, the freezes have been occurring "about once a week", first when browsing in Safari, but then also during the use of other Mac apps, including Adobe Photoshop and several third-party browsers. The freeze seems to affect not only the screen and mouse cursor but also the Mac's Force Touch trackpad, which completely loses feedback.

Many other users have since reported similar freezes after updating to 10.11.4, with some 15-inch MacBook Pro (Mid 2015) owners also experiencing issues. One potential cause has been identified from crash logs as a system framework or an Intel Graphics driver bug. The issue is also being reported after installing Safari Technology Preview Version 1 and OS X 10.11.5 Public Beta 1.

Video by MacRumors forum member appleofmy"i" experiencing the freeze issue.

Apple Support is apparently aware of the issue but have so far offered no concrete solution. Meanwhile, some users have resorted to downgrading their system to 10.11.3 by restoring from a Time Machine backup or performing a clean install.

We'll update this post throughout the day as we learn more.
Following up on its rumor of a major AMD design win reported last October, WCCFtech has confirmed via multiple sources that the customer in question is indeed Apple. The latest design win follows Apple's use of AMD 200/300 series GPUs in the top-end 27-inch Retina iMac and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and is a boon for the chipmaker that has seen its share of the graphics market dwindle over the past several years.

The design wins make mention of two graphics processor families, Polaris 10 and Polaris 11. The former carries a code name "Ellesmere" and is believed to be in the power range that would make it suitable for an upgrade to the iMac. Polaris 11 has the code name "Baffin" and it is believed to be in the power range suitable for an upgrade to the Retina MacBook Pro.

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While Apple has limited discrete graphics chips to the top of its MacBook Pro and iMac lines, there would be suitable chips for all but the smallest form factors of Apple notebooks, should the company choose to embrace discrete graphics on a broader array of models.

As we previously noted, the switch to the new Polaris line of GPUs is set to be a significant performance upgrade over the previous 28nm GPUs. Announced by AMD at Computex, the lower-power AMD GPUs are set to be built on Global Foundries' 14nm process. Through an agreement between multiple foundries, the process is equivalent to Samsung's own second-generation 14nm FinFET process, which is the successor of the process used for the A9 and A9X featured in the latest iPhones and iPads.

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Performance of these new graphics chips from AMD is expected to be double that of their predecessors, measured on a per-watt basis. This is thanks to the large size reduction and performance gains in going from the 28nm node first seen in 2011 for graphics processors to the new 16/14nm FinFET processes. This would certainly be welcome to the Mac lineup due to the increased graphics demands of the high-resolution Retina screens featured in both the iMac and MacBook Pro computers. It is reasonable to expect that Apple would allocate roughly the same power budget as on current models, meaning the 2x performance could be seen by users in some cases.

According to earlier reports, the chips should be ready to ship in consumer products in time for the back-to-school shopping season. It is not unheard of for Apple to receive priority on new chip designs, though WWDC would be the most logical time to expect these new Macs to debut. The future of the Mac Pro is less certain, though there will certainly be suitable high-end chips from AMD manufactured on TSMC's 16nm process this year.
Last November it was reported that Apple was working with suppliers to "fully redesign" many of the MacBook's internal components to achieve a slimmer design. Today, DigiTimes reports one of those redesigns is a move to metal injection mold-made hinges.

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Metal injection molding is a metalworking process that's used to create very small metal pieces that are typically used by Apple for the internals of products like iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple is looking to use the technology for its MacBook hinges to save space and achieve an "ultra-thin" design, according to DigiTimes.

The new hinges will be supplied by Amphenol, who claims to produce some of the thinnest sliding hinges in the world on its website. The company partners with Microsoft to produce the parts for the hinges on the Microsoft Surface 4.

While DigiTimes has a mixed track record reporting Apple's future plans, the report does corroborate an earlier report that Apple was working toward a slimmer MacBook, likely scheduled for release after WWDC 2016. However, it's unclear which MacBook lineup these reports are referring to. Apple's refreshed MacBook is expected to include faster Skylake processors and Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C.
Major graphics processing providers AMD and Nvidia are set to unveil new GPU products this year featuring Global Foundries' 14 nm FinFET and TSMC's 16 nm FinFET Plus processor nodes, respectively, allowing for significant improvements in graphics performance.

AMD's "Polaris" and Nvidia's "Pascal" architectures both utilize the latest FinFET silicon processes and will represent the first GPU process node change since 28 nm GPUs debuted in 2011. Both AMD and Nvidia skipped the intermediate 20 nm node, elongating the typical release cycle of consumer graphics processors.

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While TSMC had traditionally provided multiple process offerings within a node, including one specifically tailored to higher power applications such as GPUs, the company found that the traditional planar geometries of its 20 nm node gave the firm less differentiation with its normal set of tweaks, rendering it a poor candidate for power hungry GPUs.

In a statement released earlier this year, AMD claimed that the new 14 nm Polaris GPUs will offer over double the performance per watt of their 28 nm predecessors. This news also confirmed AMD's use of Global Foundries' 14 nm FinFET process, rather than TSMC's 16 nm process, which Nvidia will use. While AMD confirmed the use of TSMC for its higher power product offerings, any products developed from that process node would be destined for the Mac Pro only, as Apple has traditionally used mobile GPUs for its notebook and iMac product lines.

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The new FinFET process nodes promise a big performance jump for AMD's Polaris architecture

Product launches for these new GPUs are expected to occur around the summer timeframe. While Nvidia introduced its massive new Tesla P100 graphics card just this week, one rumor pegs the broader launch of the company's GeForce Pascal line around the time of Computex, which takes place from May 31 to June 4.

In addition to the new process nodes, both new architectures are expected to utilize a variety of new high-speed memories such as GDDR5x and HBM2, which promise improved memory bandwidth and memory size, in HBM2's case. AMD has already previously successfully launched a product utilizing a new 3DIC memory technology with their debut of the "Fury" line in 2015.

Though GPU rumor cycles tend to focus on desktop products, AMD's CEO stated that both desktops and laptops featuring the new Polaris GPUs are expected to launch before the back to school season. Apple has traditionally alternated between GPU offerings from both AMD and Nvidia when it comes to its product lines, with AMD owning the wins for the latest iterations of both the 27-inch iMac and MacBook Pro lines.

The MacBook Pro in particular is due for an update, and rumors have suggested new models could arrive at WWDC in June, but it is unclear whether Apple would be able to feature the upcoming GPUs within that timeframe. Apple has sometimes been very quick to incorporate the latest technology from its partners, but other times as waited quite some time before upgrading. Updates for the 27-inch iMac are less imminent, as the line was just upgraded to Intel's latest Skylake processors in October.
While some customers were hopeful that Apple would release new Macs at its "Let Us Loop You In" media event yesterday, the product announcements were focused on the new 4-inch iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and additional Apple Watch bands.

But those waiting patiently for a Mac refresh may not have much longer to wait, as DigiTimes today reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the second quarter.

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The second calendar quarter ends on June 30, meaning that new Macs could feasibly be introduced by WWDC 2016, which will likely take place between June 13-17 based on scheduling information available from the Moscone Center.

The new MacBooks will allegedly "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air," which makes it difficult to infer which MacBook lineup the report is referring to.

DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, but its report corroborates a previous rumor claiming Apple is preparing thinner 13" and 15" MacBook Airs with "fully redesigned" internal components. That report said the notebooks would be ready by the third quarter, which corresponds to a July-September timeframe -- possibly shortly after a WWDC announcement.

Apple currently offers the MacBook Air in 11" and 13" sizes, and it has never released a 15" MacBook Air. In fact, many have assumed the MacBook Air will be discontinued at some point as declining costs allow the MacBook to become Apple's mainstream notebook offering. A redesigned MacBook Air, possibly with a long-awaited Retina display, could be considered a bit of a surprise.

The current MacBook Pro perhaps better corresponds with the rumored 13" and 15" sizes, but whether Apple is able to fit pro-level hardware in an "ultra-thin" design similar to the lower-spec 12-inch MacBook remains to be seen. There is also the possibility that the new 13" and 15" notebooks will be MacBooks, but the notion seems questionable unless Apple discontinues the year-old 12" model.

Apple's refreshed Mac lineup is expected to feature Intel's faster Skylake processors and Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C, while the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are also deserving candidates for an overall redesign.

Apple last refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015, while the 15-inch model was updated in May. For this reason, the 13-inch model is classified as Early 2015, and the 15-inch model is Mid 2015. Both notebooks received Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics.

The Early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro is based on Intel's last-generation Broadwell chip architecture, while the 15-inch model still has older Haswell architecture. Over the past year, Intel has announced Skylake chips appropriate for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, and MacBook Airs.
Apple has extended its MacBook Pro Repair Extension Program for Video Issues until December 31, 2016, or four years from its original date of sale, according to a recently updated support document on its website. The program was previously set to expire next week, on February 27, 2016, or three years from the original date of sale.

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Apple launched the repair program exactly one year ago today to address select 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models, sold between February 2011 and February 2013, that have problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts. Customers can look up their MacBook Pro model using Apple's "Check Coverage" online tool.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will continue to repair affected MacBook Pro models at no charge, and customers who already paid for an authorized repair can contact Apple to arrange reimbursement. Customers can bring their MacBook Pro to an Apple Store or AASP, or mail the notebook to a local Apple Repair Center.

MacBook Pro video issues impacted a significant number of customers, prompting a class-action lawsuit against against Apple and an online petition with over 40,000 signatures. Affected MacBook Pro models often have visual banding or malfunctions on the screen, particularly when users are watching HD videos or using CPU-intensive software like the Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro.

The issues stem from defective Nvidia and AMD GPUs that do not function correctly because of lead-free soldering that causes short circuiting and other problems, according to legal documents. Apple has since launched a similar repair program for late 2013 Mac Pro video issues, which are also related to AMD GPUs. The symptoms are nearly identical, including distorted video and system instability.
Apple is expected to refresh its MacBook lineup in 2016 with Intel's faster Skylake processors and Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C, and supply chain sources now indicate the updated notebooks may see a staggered launch throughout the year.

The company's manufacturing partners are expected to start producing new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro models around late March or early April, followed by 15-inch MacBook Pro models in the third quarter, according to the sometimes-reliable Taiwanese website DigiTimes.

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If accurate, new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro models could debut at Apple's rumored March media event, alongside the new 4-inch iPhone, iPad Air 3, and Apple Watch updates, or at WWDC, likely scheduled for mid-June. Smaller updates could also be announced at any time via press release.

The larger 15-inch MacBook Pro may not be launched until after WWDC, however, as the third quarter translates to between July and September. While that seems questionable, Apple may elect to announce a new 15-inch MacBook Pro at WWDC and begin shipping the notebook later in the year.

Last year, Apple refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March, but its 15-inch sibling was not updated until May. For this reason, the 13-inch model is classified as Early 2015, and the 15-inch model is Mid 2015. Both notebooks received Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics.

The Early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro is based on Intel's newer Broadwell chip architecture, while the 15-inch model still has older Haswell architecture. Since then, Intel has announced Skylake chips appropriate for the 13-inch MacBook Pro in September and 15-inch MacBook Pro earlier this week.

Given that Skylake chips have been announced for both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro, there does not appear to be any reason for Apple to stagger the release of its notebooks this year. But, perhaps in line with its 2015 release cycle, Apple may plan to give the current 15-inch MacBook Pro a longer shelf life before replacing it.

Intel also announced Skylake chips appropriate for the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Airs throughout 2015, so it is likely we will see Mac updates across the board over the coming months. The report also claims a new iMac will be released in 2016, but an update is unlikely until later in the year.
As noted by AnandTech, Intel this week quietly released an updated processor price list which includes several new Skylake chips that could be used in an updated 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.

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The direct upgrade path for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro would use the following quad-core chip options: a 2.6 GHz Core i7-6770HQ, a 2.7 GHz Core i7-6870HQ, and a 2.8 GHz Core i7-6970HQ, all coming in at the same price points as the Haswell variants currently used in the MacBook Pro.

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Perhaps a more intriguing but less likely scenario involves a series of new mobile Xeon E3 chips. These chips could offer even better CPU, graphics, and memory performance, although pricing becomes an issue with the highest-performing chip in the family.

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As for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, Intel announced chips appropriate for those machines back in September, although it suggested the chips would not actually be launching until early 2016. Those chips have been included on Intel's price lists for several months, but have been slow to show up in the wild. A claimed benchmark for a 13-inch MacBook Pro running one of these chips last week appears to have been a fake.

Most of Apple's Mac lineup is in need of updates, as Intel's Skylake delays have hampered Apple's ability to launch refreshed models. But with the Skylake logjam finally starting to break, Apple appears set to update its entire notebook lineup over the next several months. Opportunities for major product introductions could come at Apple's rumored March media event or at WWDC likely scheduled for mid-June, although smaller updates could come at any time via press release.
SP715-display_mbp_13A pair of benchmark results uploaded to Geekbench 3 on January 14 purportedly belong to a next-generation Skylake-based 13" Retina MacBook Pro, but they more likely represent a Hackintosh.

The benchmarks report the machine as running an announced but unreleased 3.3GHz Intel Core i7-6567U processor, which would be appropriate for the high-end 13-inch model, and includes integrated Intel Iris Graphics 550 graphics. As a result, the results have generated some excitement among those eagerly awaiting Skylake notebooks from Apple.

Nevertheless, there are some unusual aspects of the benchmarks that suggest the results could belong to a Hackintosh instead.

First, the 15W4314 build number of OS X 10.11.3 shown in the results is an anomaly. Unreleased machines typically have unique build numbers due to customizations needed to support the new machines, but the "15W" prefix on the build number doesn't fit Apple's naming pattern even for custom builds. The build number for any machine running OS X 10.11.3 should begin with "15D", following Apple's naming pattern of "15A" for OS X 10.11.0, "15B" for OS X 10.11.1, "15C" for OS X 10.11.2 and "15D" for OS X 10.11.3.

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The model identifier SKLCRB1,1 also does not line up with any of Apple's other pre-release identifiers. The reported 6GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM is also suspect in both the amount and speed of the memory.

Moreover, the single-score and multi-score scores of around 2,500 and 4,500 respectively are lower than the current high-end 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which has a Broadwell Core i7-5557U chip. The Early 2015 model has single-core and multi-core scores of around 3,099 and 6,477 respectively.

Another sign that may point towards a Hackintosh is a motherboard ID of 50619A408DB004DA, which matches several benchmarks that have MacBookPro8,1 model identifiers but use desktop-class processors. That corresponds to a 13-inch MacBook Pro released in 2011.

Intel has slowly released Skylake processors since late 2015, and Apple will likely update at least part of its Mac notebook lineup with the new chips in the first half of 2016.
With the launch of the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus, the new Apple TV, and the iPad Pro, 2015 was a major year for Apple. The Apple Watch introduced a whole new category, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus saw the debut of 3D Touch, and the iPad Pro brought Apple's largest iOS device yet.

iOS 9, watchOS 2, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan brought refinements to Apple's operating systems, and the fourth-generation Apple TV came with a brand new operating system, tvOS. 2015 saw a huge number of new products and software updates, and 2016 promises to be just as exciting.

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A second-generation Apple Watch is in the works and could launch in early 2016, while new flagship iPhones, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, are coming in late 2016. Those who love smaller devices will be excited to hear a 4-inch iPhone 6c may be coming early in 2016, and Apple's Mac lineup is expected to gain Skylake chip updates.

New software, including iOS 10, OS X 10.12, watchOS 3, and an upgraded version of tvOS are all expected in 2016, and Apple will undoubtedly work on improving services like HomeKit, Apple Pay, and Apple Music.


As we did for 2014 and 2015, we've highlighted Apple's prospective 2016 product plans, outlining what we might see from Apple over the course of the next 12 months based on current rumors, past releases, and logical upgrade choices.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a low-travel keyboard design with Force Touch-like sensors that measure the pressure placed on a key when a user presses or rests a finger on it.

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As summarized by AppleInsider, the exhaustive patent filing details how the keyboard would have a switch-less QWERTY input mechanism, rather than mechanical switches, allowing for less key travel and potentially thinner Mac keyboards.
Apple's current MacBook and Mac accessory lineups employ modified scissor switches, or butterfly switches on the 12-inch Retina MacBook, nestled within hollow key caps. Today's patent mirrors the aesthetic of existing designs, but deviates from established technology by replacing mechanical switches for a stack of sensors, actuators and supporting circuitry.

Theoretically the system operates akin to Apple's Force Touch trackpads, but on a much larger scale; one force sensor package for each keyboard key. Force sensors configured to measure downward pressure are integrated beneath the keyboard's key caps, while integrated actuators — part of the key stack — generate haptic feedback.
The patent filing does not guarantee that Apple will release a Force Touch keyboard, but a pressure-sensitive keyboard is plausible alongside the Magic Trackpad and Force Touch trackpads on MacBooks.

Apple's new Retina MacBook has been criticized by some over its all-new butterfly mechanism keyboard, which has low key travel, so whether Apple implements this new keyboard design into the rest of its MacBook lineup remains to be seen.

Apple was granted U.S. Patent No. 9,178,509, and credits Jeffrey T. Bernstein as its inventor.