Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Say Hello Again to New Macs

In case you haven’t heard, Apple will have a media event next week, 27th October, where they are expected to announce new Macs. With so much attention on iPhones, iPads, and Watches of late, Macs have become severely neglected. Apple fans are eagerly anticipating new Mac products, and in particular, the next generation MacBook Pro.

The last major revision to Apple’s MacBook Pro line was the Retina versions introduced in 2012. Yes, 2012, some four years ago! In the fast moving world of technology, where people upgrade their iPhones every year, four years is an eternity. It’s a really long time! The current style of the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro was launched in mid-2012, while the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro was launched a little later the same year.

Since then, we have had the basically the same Retina MacBook Pro. Sure, there has been spec bumps along the way, but they was nothing truly significant. The Intel processors were of Ivy Bridge type initially, then updated to Haswell, then finally Broadwell, though the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro remains still on Haswell. Most of the other changes are relatively minor.

In fact, the last time that anything had changed at all for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro was in early 2015, and mid 2015 for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. That last, minor, change is over 500 days ago, which is way, way, longer than the average of 268 days between updates.

It’s the same story with the MacBook Air. It’s now almost 600 days since the last update to the MacBook Air, way past the average 350 days between updates.

The really, really, sad Mac Mini has gone well past 700 days since its last update. The Mac Pro that was so fascinating when launched in Dec 2013 is now over 1000 days old!

But you know what, it’s the old non-Retina MacBook Pro, which shockingly Apple still sells, that has gone almost 1600 days since it was last updated in 2012!

You can tell that there’s going to be much excitement and anticipation building up towards 27th October. All the Macs, except perhaps the new 12-inch MacBook (which only got one small update since its original launch in mid 2015), are in serious need of a major refresh.

Indeed, as the rumours have it, there will be lots to expect. The spotlight will be on the MacBook Pros. It will be thinner and lighter, have an OLED display touch bar replacing the function keys on the keyboard, and will have Touch ID integrated into the power button. We can also expect to get Intel Skylake processors. USB Type-C will arrive, likely with sufficient numbers of ports, as the dedicated power port is likely to be history. There will be Thunderbolt 3 support, which will physically use USB Type-C ports. That means, unfortunately, the Mini DisplayPort is also going to be a thing of the past.

As Apple’s “hello again” event unfolds at their Cupertino headquarters on 27th October, here in Singapore we can wake up on Friday 28th October to a deluge of Mac news. The “hello again” tagline for the event is a reference to the original Mac’s unveiling in 1984, where it was introduced with the word “hello”. Now, I wonder if Apple’s trying to tell us that the upcoming Mac will be something as big as it was in 1984?

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