Wednesday August 24, 2016 1:17 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Code discovered within the macOS Sierra beta suggests the operating system will include support for second-generation USB 3.1 transfer speeds of up 10Gb/s, hinting at hardware upgrades that will be included in future Macs set to be released later this year.
Found in a localizable text string in macOS Sierra by 9to5Mac, the code points to support for "Super Speed Plus," another name for the faster 10Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 specification. Current Macs (and OS X El Capitan) only support current-generation USB 3.1, capable of reaching transfer speeds of up to 5Gb/s, so the obvious conclusion is that Apple is planning to add USB 3.1 Gen 2 support to its upcoming Mac machines.
Apple's new Macs almost always include support for the latest USB and Thunderbolt specifications to maximize performance, so it should come as no surprise that Apple is planning the same upgrades for Macs to be released in 2016. Rumors have also previously suggested Thunderbolt 3, which includes support for 10Gb/s USB 3.1 and DisplayPort 1.2, will be introduced in Apple's most highly anticipated machine due for a refresh, the MacBook Pro, so the code found today is in line with what we'd expect to see.
There is no word on when Apple plans to debut its new MacBook Pro, and if there are other Mac updates in the works, but it is rumored to be debuting before the end of the year, perhaps at an event set to be held in October or November. The machine is said to feature a thinner, redesigned body with an OLED touch panel and Touch ID support.
Wednesday August 10, 2016 4:50 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple is about to unveil the most significant overhaul of its MacBook Pro lineup in over four years, according to people familiar with the matter (via Bloomberg).
Today's claim appears in the second report from the news outlet this week professing insider information on Apple's upcoming product plans.
Consistent with previous rumors, the article says the updated notebooks are thinner and will include a touchscreen strip along the top of the keyboard, which is expected to present functions on an as-needed basis that fit the current task or application, as well as integrate Touch ID to enable users to quickly log in using their fingerprint.
The new top-of-the-line MacBook Pros will be slightly thinner than the current models but are not tapered like the MacBook Air and latest 12-inch MacBook, one of the people said. The new MacBook Pros have a smaller footprint than current models and the casing has shallower curves around the edges. The pressure-sensitive trackpad is also slightly wider, the person added.
More significantly perhaps, the anonymous source claims the new MacBook Pros will feature more powerful and efficient graphics processors for "expert users such as video gamers".
An option for a version featuring a higher-performance graphics chip from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. will be available, another person familiar with the matter said. It’s unclear which provider Apple will use for the main processor, but Intel Corp. has supplied this in the past.
Apple is using one of AMD's "Polaris" graphics chips because the design offers the power efficiency and thinness necessary to fit inside the slimmer Apple notebook, the person said. The new graphics card is more than 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, AMD said earlier this year. AMD declined to comment, referring inquiries to Apple.
As reported previously, the switch to the new Polaris 11 architecture is expected to be a significant performance upgrade over the previous 28nm chips, with AMD promising "console-class GPU performance for thin and light notebooks" and "extraordinary VR experiences" from the new low-power mobile architecture.
The new design will also include USB-C connectivity that can handle charging, data transfers, and display outputs, according to the source, corroborating earlier rumors. Apple is also reportedly considering whether to offer the notebooks in gray, gold, and silver, although it's unclear if colored MacBook Pros will be available on initial release.
The new computers have been in advanced testing since earlier this year, according to the source, although they aren't likely to debut at an event "currently scheduled for September 7 to introduce next-generation versions of the iPhone".
With Monday, September 5 being Labor Day, previous predictions tagged September 6 as the day of Apple's iPhone 7 event, but Wednesday still roughly lines up with Apple's usual pattern for iPhone releases. Last year, Apple announced the iPhone on September 9, started pre-orders on September 12 and released it on September 25. The company may opt to unveil refreshes for the Mac at a separate event later in the fall, perhaps in October.
Monday August 8, 2016 8:51 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Back in May, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the next-generation MacBook Pro will include an OLED "touch bar" above the keyboard and Touch ID support, with a subsequent part leak of the machine's chassis supporting the idea of this touch bar replacing the current row of function keys.
Kuo did not address exactly how Touch ID would be integrated into the new MacBook Pro, but a new report from 9to5Mac claims the technology will be built into the device's power button. The MacBook Pro's power button currently resides in the row of function keys, so it is a logical place to incorporate a fingerprint sensing power button as part of the new touch bar.
A source who has provided reliable information in the past has informed us that the new MacBook Pro models, expected to be launched in the fall, will feature a Touch ID power button as well as the previously-reported OLED touch-sensitive function keys.
If placed in the power button, the fingerprint sensor would allow users to wake the MacBook Pro and authenticate its security in one touch, similar to waking up an iPhone by pressing the Home button while simultaneously activating Touch ID.
Beyond the Touch ID power button, the OLED touch panel is rumored to be contextual, displaying different controls and user prompts depending on which apps and programs are open on the MacBook Pro. Designer Martin Hajek created a few renders with the OLED panel earlier in the summer, but didn't include what the Touch ID button might look like.
With the announcement of macOS Sierra at WWDC this year, Apple introduced another way for users to gain access to their Macs while still keeping the device secure, called Auto Unlock. The feature works with an Apple Watch to automatically unlock a password-protected Mac when an authenticated and unlocked Apple Watch is nearby, so it would still only be available to those Mac users who also have an Apple Watch.
In addition to Touch ID and the OLED panel, the new MacBook Pro is expected to be slightly thinner than the current generation thanks to new metal injection mold-made hinges, have thinner speakers aligned on the side of the keyboard, and introduce support for USB-C. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new MacBook Pro will be "the most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple."
The state of the current Mac lineup is causing turmoil for users interested in upgrading their machines on the eve of the big refresh this fall, but with no word yet from Apple, even the launch period is somewhat muddled. The new MacBooks could be revealed in September, alongside the iPhone 7 and new Apple Watch models (now believed to be split into twoeditions), but the company could also opt to hold refreshes for the Mac until a separate event later in the fall, perhaps in October.
Apple stock enjoyed its biggest one-day rise since May on Thursday, following a brief dip as investors speculated on the company's prospects in the run-up to its Q3 earnings call and the release of the iPhone 7 later this year.
Shares closed at $98.78, almost hitting their previous high since Apple reported its fiscal Q2 earnings, when the company's stock fell below $100. Shares remain down 26% from its own record high close of $133 set on February 23, 2015.
The rise followed Wednesday's blip after consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel released data showing that Samsung is outselling Apple in U.S. smartphone sales.
In the three months ending in May, Samsung accounted for 37% of all U.S. smartphone purchases, with Apple at 29%. However, a closer look at the figures showed Samsung's Galaxy S7 series accounted for 16% of sales in the same period, while the iPhone 6S series accounted for 14.6%, suggesting a much closer battle when it comes to flagship devices.
Outside the U.S., Kantar data revealed that Apple's iPhone 6s and 5s were the top two best-selling phones in the U.K., followed by the Samsung Galaxy J5 and the iPhone SE.
In Q2 2016, Apple saw its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003 along with its first ever drop in iPhone sales, and that downward trend is expected to continue into the third quarter of the year.
The company's earnings announcement for the third fiscal quarter (second calendar quarter) of 2016 will take place on Tuesday, July 26.
Last week, industry research revealed that Mac sales experienced a slight year-over-year decline in the second quarter, dropping to 4.4 million from 4.8 million during the year-ago period. Apple fell behind ASUS to finish as the fifth-largest PC vendor by shipments worldwide.
Apple has not updated the MacBook Pro in over 400 days, with a refresh for its entire MacBook Pro line-up expected in the fourth quarter. The company is expected to unveil its new iPhones in the fall.
The latest numbers from market research firm IDC reveal that Mac sales experienced a slight year-over-year decline in the second quarter, dropping to 4.4 million from 4.8 million during the year-ago period.
Apple fell behind ASUS to finish as the fifth-largest PC vendor by shipments worldwide, with 7.1 percent market share through late June. Apple had 7.4 percent share in the second quarter of 2015 comparatively, according to IDC's data.
The decline can as typical be attributed partially to seasonal fluctuations and increased competition, but many prospective buyers are patiently impatiently waiting for Apple to release its next-generation MacBook Pro and other refreshed Macs.
Overall PC sales totaled an estimated 62.4 million worldwide in the second quarter, a year-over-year decline of 4.5 percent, as the PC market continues to decline. Nevertheless, North American PC shipments increased for the first time in five quarters, reflecting the strength of the U.S. dollar and "relative market stability."
Gartner has also released similar worldwide PC shipment data for the second quarter.
Thursday June 16, 2016 6:22 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
In the weeks leading up to WWDC 2016, multiple reliable sources indicated the opening keynote would be a no-hardware affair. And as it turned out, the focus of the event was unsurprisingly on software, including iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. So, when can we expect new Apple hardware?
Many products were at some point rumored to have a possible connection with WWDC 2016, including the next-generation Apple Watch, MacBook Pro, and Thunderbolt Display. Those that have been following rumors consistently, however, will know that the most of the products are actually expected in the second half of 2016.
The following roundup serves as a refresher of rumors we have heard up until this point.
Apple last updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015, followed by the 15-inch model in May 2015, with Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics. As our Mac Buyer's Guide indicates, that was around 400 days ago, leading many to believe that a refresh is overdue.
Prospective buyers were hopeful that Apple would surprise with a new MacBook Pro at WWDC 2016, despite the keynote being billed as a no-hardware affair, but the comapny delivered upon expectations and focused on software announcements only. So, when will the 2016 MacBook Pro be released? ➜ Click here to read rest of article...
Following rumors suggesting the next-generation MacBook Pro will feature an OLED touch panel that replaces the function keys, designer Martin Hajek has created some renderings imagining what such a MacBook Pro might look like.
Hajek's design incorporates some recent information indicating the touch panel on the MacBook Pro could be contextual, with icons and imagery that changes based on the app that's in use. Hajek imagines music controls when Spotify is open, which morph into a download monitor when using Transmission.
Also included in the images is an example of Siri on the Mac, with the colorful Siri waveform depicted on the touch panel. Siri for Mac is rumored to be one of the main features coming in OS X 10.12, set to debut on Monday. Not pictured is a Touch ID button, a feature also expected to be included on or alongside the panel.
In addition to an OLED touch panel, Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro, which will come in 13 and 15-inch sizes, is expected to be thinner, incorporating metal injection mold-made hinges, thin speakers at the sides of the machine, and USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support.
As has been seen in a leaked chassis image, the OLED panel will be located at the top of the keyboard, where the function keys would normally be positioned. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the upcoming MacBook Pro will feature "the most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple."
We don't yet know when the new MacBook Pro will launch, but Kuo has said he expects it to debut in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Wednesday June 8, 2016 9:03 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to announce new MacBook Air models within the month of June, and begin shipping the notebooks to retailers in August, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara. The conflicting report also claims that Apple will announce a refresh to its entire MacBook Pro series this month, although it did not specify when shipments of those models would begin.
The report, citing "a reliable Chinese supplier," mentions earlier rumors that Apple will discontinue the smaller 11-inch MacBook Air to focus on 13-inch and all-new 15-inch models, although it is unclear if Mac Otakara's source is independently corroborating them. All of the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models are expected to be equipped with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, while USB-A, MagSafe 2, and Thunderbolt 2 ports found on existing models will allegedly be removed.
Mac Otakara said it is unclear whether Apple plans to announce the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models at WWDC 2016, but multiple reliable sources have indicated that it will effectively be a no-hardware event. Apple could still make a non-WWDC announcement in June by way of press release, as was the case with the new 12-inch MacBook in April, possibly indicating only minor updates.
Today's report is mostly in line with Taiwan's hit-or-miss Economic Daily News, which reported that Apple will announce slimmer 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models with "fully redesigned" internal components at WWDC 2016, followed by a launch in the July-September quarter. That report is from November 2015, however, so Apple's exact product roadmap may have changed over the past eight months.
Taiwanese website DigiTimes also reported that Apple will begin shipping new "ultra-thin" 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks at the end of the June quarter. The report said the new MacBooks will "share a design similar to the existing 12-inch MacBook" and be "thinner than [the] existing MacBook Air," which makes it difficult to infer whether the report is referring to the MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro lineup.
In a recent research note, however, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple will not introduce new MacBook models until the second half of 2016, including a thin and light 13-inch MacBook in the third quarter, and two thinner and lighter 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter. Other reliable sources have also suggested new Macs will be released later in the year.
In terms of the new MacBook Pro, Kuo said the 2016 model will feature a thinner and lighter form factor, Touch ID, and a new OLED touch bar positioned above the keyboard. Leaked photos of what appears to be the notebook's unibody revealed space for the OLED touch panel and four USB-C ports. The new MacBook Pro is also expected to adopt metal injection mold-made hinges, which are reportedly already shipping.
Other improvements to the 2016 MacBook Pro should include faster Skylake processors across the lineup, while the top-of-the-line models may sport AMD's new 400-series Polaris graphics chips. Apple last refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in March 2015, followed by the 15-inch model in May 2015, with Force Touch trackpads, faster flash storage, longer battery life, and improved graphics.
Meanwhile, Apple has not fully refreshed the MacBook Air since March 2015, when both the 11- and 13-inch models were upgraded with faster Broadwell processors, Thunderbolt 2, and Intel HD Graphics 6000. The 13-inch MacBook Air also received up to two times faster flash storage. The only minor update to the lineup since then was in April, when Apple bumped the stock 13-inch MacBook Air to 8GB of RAM, up from 4GB.
Apple not updating the 11-inch MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM as well lends credence to rumors claiming the ultra-portable model will be discontinued.
While it is widely believed that Apple may eventually discontinue the entire MacBook Air, which currently sits awkwardly between the Retina MacBook and MacBook Pro, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said the notebook will remain part of Apple's lineup for now, repositioned as its lower-priced offering.
We expect new MacBook Pro models to be thinner and lighter with better hardware specifications. As such, it will retain its high-end position in the line. MacBook will replace MacBook Air to become the medium-/ high-end model. As both MacBook Pro and MacBook have a thin and light form factor, there is no need to keep MacBook Air. For this reason, we predict no significant upgrade for MacBook Air going forward. Rather, it will serve as an entry-level model sold at low prices.
Apple's suppliers have already begun providing it with parts for an upcoming 13-inch "MacBook" update, according to a paywalled report from China's Commercial Times summarized by DigiTimes.
Notebook hinge maker Jarllytec reportedly started shipping metal injection mold-made (MiM) hinges to Apple in May, said to be destined for a 13-inch MacBook. The MacBook in question is likely to be a future revamped 13-inch MacBook Pro, which past rumors suggest will use MiM hinges.
Metal injection molding is a technique used to create small, intricate metal parts. Apple is rumored to be using hinges crafted this way to save space, as the next-generation MacBook Pro models are said to be ultra-thin.
The same report suggests Jarllytec will begin shipping hinges for 15-inch MacBook models in the third quarter of 2016, raising the possibility that Apple will stagger the releases of the redesigned MacBook Pro, first introducing a 13-inch model and following it up later with a 15-inch model. If Apple already has hinges in hand for a 13-inch MacBook Pro, it would perhaps be ready to debut in the next couple of months. We've already seen a chassis said to be for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, supporting the notion that it is perhaps already in production.
We are not expecting to see MacBook Pro announcements at WWDC, but rumors have suggested Apple will debut its next-generation MacBook Pro machines during the fourth quarter of 2016. Should Apple be planning to stagger the releases, a 13-inch model could come in September and a 15-inch model could follow in October or November should it not be ready to launch at the same time.
Predicting Apple's plans for the 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro is difficult because there are a lot of confusing rumors about the two machines. Many of the rumors about the devices have referred to them as simply "MacBooks," and that ambiguous naming is further confused by a report from Ming-Chi Kuo suggesting Apple is also working on a 13-inch MacBook that would be sold alongside the 12-inch MacBook.
Distilling the rumors down, it's clear there are new MacBook Pro machines in the works, but figuring out a more concrete release date won't be possible until we have more information to work with.
In addition to being ultra thin with a MacBook-style design, Apple's next-generation MacBook Pros are expected to include an OLED touch panel that will replace the function keys on the existing MacBook Pro. Touch ID may be included, and rumors suggest the bar will be dynamic, changing the available keys based on the app in use. This touch panel will need to be deeply integrated into OS X, so additional hints on the upcoming MacBook Pro may be found in OS X 10.12, releasing to developers next week.
Photos have leaked depicting alleged components destined for the rumored redesigned MacBook Pro, giving us a look at the thin body of the device, the space where a rumored OLED touch panel will be positioned, and its possible ports.
Shared by Cult of Mac, the photos came from an anonymous source who claimed to work for Apple's manufacturing partner in China.
The images feature the body of what appears to be a MacBook Pro, which, based on size, seems to be the 13-inch model. The trackpad and the keys have not yet been put in place, but noticeably absent is a function row at the top of the keyboard, which rumors say will be replaced with an OLED touch panel.
Size wise, the MacBook model in the photos appears to be slightly thinner than existing MacBook Pros, and in pictures of the sides of the device, a total of four USB-C ports are available, with two on the left side and two on the right side. A headphone jack is also included, as are thin speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard.
Rumors have suggested Apple is working on completely revamped 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with a thinner and lighter form factor and a dedicated OLED display touch bar that replaces physical function keys. A dedicated Touch ID button is expected to be built into the bar, as is support for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new MacBook Pros will feature the "most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple," with the machines set to be released during the fourth quarter of 2016. Many were hoping for a WWDC launch, which early rumors hinted at, but if Kuo's information is accurate, we will need to wait until the fall months to see the launch of the new devices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MacRumors attracts a broad audience
of both consumers and professionals interested in
the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on
purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.