Apple is expected to launch a minor refresh to the 15-inch MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook laptop PCs at its Worldwide Developer Conference 2017 to be held next week. A report from MacRumors shows that Apple currently lists 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar with free delivery with an estimated delivery date between June 6 and June 8 – right when the conference is underway. That means a MacBook Pro 2017 could be waiting in the wings.
While the upgrade is a minor one, it will bring in the faster Intel seventh generation Kaby Lake processors into the picture, the chipsets that we’re already seeing in several of this year’s laptops and tablets, including the ones Microsoft has recently released.
It’s not clear whether the 13-inch variants of the MacBook Pro are also getting a refresh, but there’s enough evidence to suggest an upgrade on the models with larger screens and Touch Bar feature.
It’s not unusual for Apple to stagger its MacBook Pro releases, which means a 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 model could come now, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 refresh a little later in the year, possibly around the same time of year that the current models were launched.
We’re not counting on that many upgrades other than the processors, although Apple could throw a curve ball with something they’ve managed to keep away from the rumor mills. Microsoft, on the other hand, not only launched a new version of Windows 10, the Windows 10 S variant that comes with Surface Laptop, but also the Surface Pro, which is a significant “experiential change” from the older Surface Pro 5.
Of note is the fact that Microsoft seems to have adopted some of Apple’s ways by dropping the numbering on their new devices. Their new products are simply called Surface Laptop and Surface Pro.
The question we’re asking ourselves now is: will people really invest in a MacBook Pro 2017 with limited feature additions, just because the Kaby Lake processor makes it faster, and possibly gives it a battery life boost?
Mac sales were up in the second quarter over the same period in 2016, but one of the main reasons for that growth is that the last MacBook refresh happened after 527 days of no upgraded models. This time it’s only been 220 days, assuming Apple launches the upgrade at WWDC 2017, says MacRumors.
With nothing other than Kaby Lake to speak of, is it going to be worth the money that a MacBook Pro 2017 release could cost when it’s finally revealed next week? Are they going to be able to show enough of a performance enhancement for buyers to shell out that much cash?