Apple is believed to be working on a version of the MacBook Pro with a second, touch-sensitive screen that sits above the keyboard — and it might launch as soon as next month.
Apple blog MacRumors is reporting that Apple is aiming to have the new high-end laptop ready to ship to customers “in the second half of October.”
The Cupertino technology company is apparently finalising the macOS operating system software (formerly known as OS X) to go with the hardware. Barring any problems, it should be ready to go within a month or so, ahead of the holiday season.
In 2015, Apple significantly overhauled its MacBook line — slimming the devices down, creating new metal casing, and drastically removing ports — but it hasn’t made any huge changes to its premium MacBook Pro line in years beyond internal upgrades.
A succession of rumours, reports, and leaked photos suggest that the newest device will be a major break from tradition, however. It is expected to replace the function keys at the top of the keyboard with a new touch-sensitive screen. It will be capable of fulfilling similar functions to the physical keys it replaces — and may also be customisable with shortcuts apps and features.
Apple is once again expected to release two sizes, a 13-inch and more expensive 15-inch model. Both will be thinner than current-generation MacBook Pros. And like the new MacBook, rumour has it that it will use a USB-C port for charging instead of a magnetic MagSafe connection currently employed. Also reportedly coming to the laptop: TouchID, letting users unlock it with their fingerprint.
Don’t expect Apple to confirm or deny any of this speculation, however. The company almost never discusses unannounced products before they are ready to launch.
By Rob Price