2016 MacBook Pro Release Date, Features, Specs & Rumors

The 2016 MacBook Pro release date is something that many consumers are eagerly waiting for. The current Retina MacBook Pro models are a year old and aren’t much different from previous generations. Expect a faster MacBook Pro with exciting features.

Apple did not announce the new MacBook Pro at the iPhone 7 event, leaving us to look to October. Leaks and an analyst report suggest Apple plans to deliver a new MacBook Pro release date in October 2016.

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This is a collection of the important 2016 MacBook Pro rumors that will help you understand what is coming in 2016, and possibly when you can buy it.

The biggest news is that the 2016 MacBook Pro will likely include a big processor boost, plenty of USB C ports and an OLED control row above the keyboard. We are hearing rumblings about Touch ID support and Apple is exploring how much people use the MacBook Pro headphone jack.

We expect that the 2016 MacBook Pro release date is drawing closer, but it did not come in September as many hoped.

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What buyers can expect from the 2016 MacBook Pro release, specs and features.

What buyers can expect from the 2016 MacBook Pro release, specs and features.

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The potential shake up to the MacBook line up as Apple may remove the MacBook Air and reposition the 2016 MacBook and 2016 MacBook Pro adds more intrigue to what Apple will offer, and in some cases may push more users to wait for the 2016 MacBook Pro.

While there is some question over a 2016 MacBook Air, there is no doubt in our mind that we will see a 2016 MacBook Pro release that delivers more power and new features. We may also see a new 2016 MacBook Pro design, but the sizes will likely be the same.

2016 MacBook Pro Release Date

The 2016 MacBook Pro release date is coming in the fourth quarter according to a report from the man who accurately predicted multiple Apple release dates over the last several years.

In the report Ming Chi Kuo calls this the “most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple.”

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In a new report Mark Gurman outlines the possibility of an October Apple event or an October 2016 MacBook Pro release date. We could also see a MacBook Air with USB C and a new iMac with an AMD graphics chip.

Rhoda Alexander, Director Tablet and Notebook PCs at IHS Markit Technology tells Forbes that they expect to see the 2016 MacBook Pro release date arrive in October.

The 2016 MacBook Pro release date may arrive as early as August. Concept from Martin Hajek

The 2016 MacBook Pro release date may arrive as early as August. Concept from Martin Hajek

A once easy to predict MacBook Pro release schedule is not as easy to estimate due to Intel’s processors coming in later than expected. Apple relies on Intel’s chips to power the MacBook Pro and other MacBooks and Apple has less control over when these come out than they do for the Apple A-series processors in the iPhone and iPad.

The processor may not hold up a 2016 MacBook Pro release date, but a new design, an OLED display touch bar and Touch ID could be part of the reason for a later release.

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2016 MacBook Pro Design

What will the 2016 MacBook Pro look like? If you are a fan of thin and light notebooks, but you need the power of the MacBook Pro, this could be the most exciting 2016 MacBook Pro rumor.

This leaked photo sent to Cult of Mac shows room for a touch panel above the keyboard.

This leaked photo sent to Cult of Mac shows room for a touch panel above the keyboard.

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We’ve heard that the 2016 MacBook Pro design will share more in common with the MacBook than with the current MacBook Pro.

A leak shared by Cult of Mac shows us a new design with keyboard that uses the newer layout found on the MacBook and the Apple Magic keyboard, but with an opening at the top that will likely include an OLED touch panel to control some functions. The touchpad looks bigger than the current model and the photos also show what looks like a thinner body.

This also gives us a look at the connectivity changes that will accompany the new design with four USB Type C ports and a headphone jack. There is no SD card reader or MagSafe 2 charging connection shown.

The finished looking images on this page are concepts from Martin Hajek, showing what the 2016 MacBook Pro might look like, but this is not a leak or a final design. Expect to see the 2016 MacBook Pro colors match the MacBook with gold, rose gold, space gray and silver.

This lines up with an additional report from Jack March who shares that a source inside Apple tells him the new Apple laptops will include a thinner MacBook Pro instead of a 2016 MacBook Air.

What a 2016 Macbook Pro with OLED display might look like courtesy Martin Hajek. What a 2016 Macbook Pro with OLED display might look like courtesy Martin Hajek.

What a 2016 Macbook Pro with OLED display might look like courtesy Martin Hajek.

Expect to see a new OLED touch display above the keyboard according to Kuo. This is not a first, as Lenovo did this on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but ended up going back to physical keys. The video above shows off an adaptive keyboard row, which is likely what Apple could use a touch screen row for.

New code spotted in macOS Sierra point to support of an OLED touch screen that could sit at the top of the 13-inch MacBook 2016 model. Another snippet of code includes Touch ID references, suggesting another options.

In the report we learn that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro design may deliver a notebook that is thinner at the thickest point than the current MacBook Air, and lighter than those models too.

Bloomberg’s latest report indicates that the 2016 Macbook Pro models will be slimmer, but not tapered like the MacBook Air. The new models will also be smaller overall than the current MacBook Pro and feature a larger trackpad that uses Force Touch technology.

Keep in mind that these rumors may not all come together into this specific model. We often see a rumored feature appear later in the life of a device.

2016 MacBook Pro Features

Aside from being thin and light, the biggest 2016 MacBook Pro features will likely come from the Kaby Lake processors and the new GPU options. We could see Apple add in new features with a complete design refresh, but rumors are still sparse.

The 2016 MacBook Pro will likely arrive with USB-C as an all-in-one connection solution, but with something extra. In the macOS Sierra beta code there are hints at support for 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 according to 9to5Mac. Apple does not offer any devices with this support currently, so this is a good sign that it is coming to the 2016 MacBook Pro.

With this new tech the 2016 MacBook Pro could theoretically power dual 4K displays over a USB C cable or a single 5K display. While Apple does not sell a 4K or 5K monitor yet, it is on the wishlist for many Mac users and the Thunderbolt Display is no longer sold.

The 2016 MacBook Pro features will likely include an upgraded USB Type C port. Concept by Martin Hajek.

The 2016 MacBook Pro features will likely include an upgraded USB Type C port. Concept by Martin Hajek.

The report from Ming-Chi Kuo outlines the likely addition of Touch ID to the Mac. This would allow users to login and authenticate purchases as well as secure passwords and notes.

A new report from 9to5Mac claims that the 2016 MacBook Pro will include a Touch ID power button. This would integrate the unlock option similar to how the home button works on the iPhone. The report also mentions the OLED Touch panel. Mark Gurman states that Touch ID is coming to the Mac this year.

Apple holds a patent for Touch ID on a Mac, and with the wide adoption on iPhone and iPad this makes sense. The macOS Sierra update includes mentions of Touch ID in code and macOS 10.12 includes support for Apple Pay.

With Apple Pay on the Web, users can authenticate an Apple Pay purchase that they start on the Mac by using Touch ID on the iPhone or Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. The next logical step is Touch ID on Mac to authenticate locally.

WatchOS 3 now allows users to unlock the Mac without typing in a passcode, so that could eliminate the need for Touch ID on a Mac at this stage.

2016 MacBook Pro Specs

There are a lot of moving parts still, so these are just the basics of the rumored 2016 MacBook Pro specs that take into account the Intel Kaby Lake chips, RAM and storage options.

  • Intel Kaby Lake Processors
  • Potential GPU Upgrade for 15-inch MacBook Pro 2016
  • 8GB and 16GB RAM Options – Non User Replaceable
  • Four USB Type C Ports, Potentially USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD Options

Bloomberg states that the 2016 MacBook Pro GPU will likely be from AMD if users opt for a higher end model.

Alexander tells Forbes, “given the timing of the start of production, inclusion of [Intel’s] Kaby Lake chip appears unlikely,” leaving the exact processor up for debate.

While it would be great to see a higher capacity starting storage option on the 2016 MacBook Pro, it seems unlikely. If Apple is cutting out the MacBook Air as some rumors suggest, Apple may position an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro at a more appealing price.

2016 MacBook Pro Battery Life

Rumors suggesting Apple will kill off the MacBook Air line and efficiency gains from the processors that will likely appear in the 2016 MacBook Pro are the key reasons to expect better battery life.

The current MacBook Pro battery life is rated around 10 hours of wireless web use for the 13-inch and 9 hours wireless web use on the 15-inch. For comparison the 13-inch MacBook Air is rated for 12 hours of wireless web use.

We expect longer 2016 MacBook Pro battery life than on the current models. Concept by Martin Hajek

We expect longer 2016 MacBook Pro battery life than on the current models. Concept by Martin Hajek

Intel Kaby Lake processors offer better performance, battery life and media handling than Broadwell chips. Intel confirmed that they are shipping the chips to OEMs already, so it makes sense to see one in the 2016 MacBook Pro instead of an Intel Skylake processor.

We would be happy with the 12-hour rating of the 13-inch MacBook Air on the 2016 MacBook Pro, which would likely translate into at least 10 hours of actual use.

2016 MacBook Pro Release: 5 Reasons to Wait, 4 Not to

Wait for a New MacBook Pro 2016 Design

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Wait for a New MacBook Pro 2016 Design

One of the biggest reasons to wait for the 2016 MacBook Pro is that all signs point to a completely new design.

Think of a 12-inch MacBook style design with a bigger screen and more powerful internals. Now imagine your favorite Apple inspired color to match your iPad and iPhone.

We are hearing that the new 2016 MacBook Pro design will make this notebook thinner at the thickest point than the MacBook Air. That's a dramatic change in overall design and thickness. Rumors also suggest that this will be a very light notebook as well.

At this stage we aren't expecting a touch screen or a detachable tablet like device. Apple already goes after part of that market with the iPad Pro. We could see a new OLED touch screen above the keyboard and Touch ID, if all the rumors come true.

The video above shows what a small touch panel above the keyboard could look like and how Apple might integrate features into it.

A new report from 9to5Mac cites a source who says that Touch ID security will be built into the power button on the new MacBook Pro. 

The latest report from Bloomberg suggests the MacBook Pro will be slimmer and not as wide or deep as the current models. This will make it more portable. 

Waiting for the 2016 MacBook Pro before buying a new Apple notebook isn't about making sure you have the newest looking computer -- it's about getting a thinner, lighter device that is easier to take wherever you go.

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