Teardowns Confirm 2nd-Gen Butterfly Keyboard on New MacBook, New MacBook Pro Designs Largely Unchanged

iFixit has posted its teardowns of Apple's new 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, revealing that apart from the advertised performance boosts the models are largely unchanged from the previous models.

The only really notable change comes in the 12-inch MacBook, which Apple has updated with a second-generation butterfly-mechanism keyboard, as found in the 2016 MacBook Pros, according to iFixit. As some readers will remember, Apple's 12-inch notebook debuted in 2015 with a redesigned keyboard that some users criticized for a lack of travel that they felt made it harder to type on.


Apple used a tweaked version of the same keyboard design in its 2016 MacBook Pros, which most users felt was an improvement with "better give", and the same keyboard now adorns the latest MacBook. According to iFixit:
The keyboard trigger looks like a more classic switch this go-around. The plastic butterfly mechanism appears to have thinned out to accommodate the new switch form factor. The keystroke and travel feel about the same to us, so perhaps the real change is reinforcement for repeated use.
Overall, iFixit gave both of Apple's new notebooks a 1 out of 10 on the repairability scale, owing to their soldered-down RAM, processor, and flash storage, along with glued-down batteries. The scores are in contrast to Apple's new 4K 21.5-inch iMac, which was awarded a surprising 3 out of 10 for repairability, thanks to Apple's use of replaceable memory modules and socketed Kaby Lake CPUs.

The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, improved Intel and AMD graphics options, with the 12-inch laptop also gaining faster SSD storage. The 12-inch MacBook costs $1,299 for the base model, while the base 13-inch Touch Bar Pro costs $1,799. The 15-inch MacBook Pro pricing begins at $2,399.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, MacBook
Tag: iFixit
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now), MacBook (Buy Now)

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New MacBook and iMac Models Now Widely Available at Apple Stores With Pickup

Apple's latest MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models are now widely available at all but a few of its retail stores across the United States, and customers now have the option to reserve a model for in-store pickup on its website.


Apple began accepting online orders for the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models on Monday, but delivery estimates currently range between June 12 and June 22 in the United States, so customers looking to purchase a new Mac earlier than next week may have better luck visiting an Apple Store.

Apple's in-store pickup tool shows the new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac models are also in stock today at select Apple Stores in Canada, but we recommend calling ahead to ensure supplies remain available.

The refreshed MacBook and MacBook Pro models feature Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, improved Intel and AMD graphics options, and faster SSD storage, while the new iMac models received the same treatment plus Thunderbolt 3 ports and brighter Retina displays compared to the previous generation.


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iMac and MacBook Early Reviews: Iterative Updates With Welcome Performance Boosts

At the WWDC keynote on Monday, Apple announced a collection of hardware refreshes for the MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac, which users are already able to order on Apple.com. Across the line of Macs, Apple added faster Kaby Lake processors, faster SSD options, made a Fusion Drive standard in the iMac, introduced more maximum RAM in the iMac, and improved GPUs.

Now, the company has allowed members of the press to test out both the MacBook and iMac refreshes to see how the computers stack up in comparison to the previous generation, as well as to Apple's competition. Below we'll round up opinions on the MacBook, 21.5-inch iMac, and 27-inch iMac. As many sites noted, first impressions and reviews for the all-new iMac Pro aren't expected to arrive until later in the year, ahead of the computer's December launch.

12-inch MacBook


Apple sent reviewers the base 1.2GHz Core m3 model ($1,299) of the new 12-inch MacBook, and CNET came away largely impressed by the slightly beefed up machine. The site noted that the biggest and most welcome addition was found in the new and improved keyboard with a second generation butterfly mechanism, which has been adopted from the same keyboard on the MacBook Pro line from last year.
Now the 12-inch MacBook has adopted that improved second-gen butterfly mechanism from the Pro line. Even using it in just a few initial typing sessions, I can totally tell the difference -- there's a click and spring to the keyboard that was lacking before. As someone who has typed hundreds of thousands of words across both previous generations of the 12-inch MacBook, I'm very pleasantly surprised by how good this keyboard feels.
Otherwise, CNET liked the default Intel Core m3 CPU in the MacBook, which remains fine for activities like web browsing and streaming video but still lacks any sort of power needed for heavy multitasking or high-end video editing. Upgraded configurations of the MacBook are available with 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 ($1,599) and dual-core Core i7 ($1,749), along with available RAM bumps from 8GB to 16GB ($200), but Apple has kept review units focused on the base tier. All versions retain the MacBook's slim 2.03lb body and Retina display.

Image via CNET

Both The Verge and CNET noted that power users will remain disappointed with the MacBook, which still only has one USB-C port. But for everyday tasks and low-power activities, anyone who can get over the port and power limitations should still find a lot of usage out of the 12-inch MacBook in its third generation.

The Verge:
The big question a lot of people are asking is whether the little MacBook is finally over that power hump that’s kept users from switching over to it. I sadly cannot answer that for you, but my hunch is that the basic calculus isn’t going to change. If you need speed, get a MacBook Pro or a Windows PC or maybe even a MacBook Air.
CNET:
The improved keyboard and the faster CPU options feel like a real step forward, although the system is still not quite as updated as we'd like.

You're still stuck with the same not-great 480p webcam, and there's just that single USB-C port for all your power and connectivity needs, which will be a deal-breaker for many. But if you can work with those limitations, this is the best version of the 12-inch MacBook yet.
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Apple Registers New Macs and iPads in Eurasia Ahead of WWDC on June 5

Just five days ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where it is widely expected to announce new Macs, French website Consomac has discovered a new Russian-language regulatory filing, in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, that points towards at least five new models running macOS Sierra launching soon.


The five new Macs, identified only with the model numbers A1289, A1347, A1418, A1419, and A1481, are likely to be new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros alongside a new 12-inch MacBook, with the outside chance of a new upgraded MacBook Air also in the frame. At the same time, it's worth noting that these numbers differ from the AXX prefixes attributed to current MacBook models, so nothing is completely certain until Apple makes its announcements.

As well as spare parts for the Macs, the discovered numbers also include a possible new wireless keyboard (model A1843) and four numbers classified under iOS 10 (A1671, A1709, A1670, and A1701), pointing to the possible launch of a rumored new iPad Pro model.


Earlier this week on Memorial Day, MacRumors reported that MacBook Pro orders placed on Monday on Apple's online store had estimated deliveries of between June 6-8 in the United States, suggesting Apple was in the process of restocking ahead of WWDC, when the new Macs are expected to be announced. The notebooks are expected to thought to be receiving internal improvements only, including an upgrade to Intel's faster Kaby Lake processors.

Apple last refreshed the MacBook Pro in October 2016, after the notebook went 527 days without being updated. In contrast, only 220 days will have passed if Apple launches new MacBook Pro models on June 5, which is below the average timeframe of 320 days between any two MacBook Pro generations.

The new notebooks are likely to be announced at Apple's June 5 WWDC keynote, which is set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Rumors also suggest Apple could use the event to introduce a new Siri smart speaker.

The EEC filing, published today, satisfies Russia's requirement for companies to register all products containing encryption and/or cryptographic tools.


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Intel’s Upcoming Coffee Lake Processors Up to 30% Faster Than Kaby Lake Chips Coming to Mac Notebooks

Intel today said one of its eighth-generation "Coffee Lake" processors delivered more than a 30 percent performance boost over an equivalent seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" processor in recent testing. Both generations of chips are suitable for Apple notebooks, such as the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.


"We will have more to say about the 8th Gen Intel Core processor in the future but it's exciting to share that in the latest testing, we're seeing a performance improvement of more than 30 percent over the 7th Gen Intel Core processor," said Gregory Bryant, a senior executive at Intel.

Using the benchmark tool SYSmark 2014 on Windows, Intel compared an unreleased Core i7 quad-core processor with an unspecified base clock speed, and Turbo Boost up to 4GHz, against its Core i7-7500U dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.7GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz. Both are 15W chips.

Intel aims to make its "Coffee Lake" lineup available to computer makers in the second half of this year, and the eighth-generation processors should provide the usual benefits of faster performance and longer battery life in future Macs.

Apple has yet to update its Mac lineup with Kaby Lake processors in the first place, but the company reportedly plans to announce new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro models equipped with the seventh-generation chips at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

It's still too early to say when we'll see the first Mac with Coffee Lake, but it likely won't be until at least late 2017 or early 2018 given Intel's roadmap.

Earlier this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch a nondescript "15-inch MacBook" with 32GB of desktop-class RAM. He said the notebook will enter mass production in the early September quarter, but it's uncertain if Coffee Lake processors will be readily available by then.

Intel today also unveiled its Core X-series processor family for desktop computers, ranging from quad-core options to the high-end Core i9 Extreme Edition with 18 cores. The processors, codenamed "Basin Falls," are "coming soon." More details and tech specs are listed in this fact sheet and slideshow.


Apple has promised to release a high-end iMac for professional users later this year, and Intel's new Core X-series processors appear to be appropriate for the desktop computer if the company wishes to use them.

Apple's current Mac lineup uses a mix of Intel's fifth-generation Broadwell and sixth-generation Skylake processors.


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Apple Sees Notebook Shipments Increase Year on Year in Q1 2017

Apple's notebook shipments totaled an estimated 3.4 million units in the first quarter of the 2017 calendar year, compared to an estimated 2.9 million in the previous quarter, according to new data published by market research firm TrendForce.

The figure represents a 15.8 percent decline against the last quarter of 2016, reflecting a somewhat similar decline for the overall notebook market over the same period, however the company's Q1 2017 numbers also indicate a year-on-year increase in overall MacBook shipments.


Apple shipped 3.4 million units of MacBook devices this first quarter and claimed fifth place in the ranking. The latest generation of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which was released in last year's fourth quarter, was well-received by consumers and contributed significantly to the overall MacBook shipments. As a result, first-quarter MacBook shipments, while representing a 15.8% decline versus the prior quarter, also showed a year-on-year increase of 15.4%.
HP, Lenovo, Dell, and Asus all suffered marginal market share declines compared to Q4 2016, but Apple's share stayed level over the last two quarters, enabling it to maintain fifth place in the shipment rankings. However sixth-placed Acer gained 0.8 percent ground on Apple over the same period, which TrendForce put down to expanded stocking of notebooks by channel distributors in anticipation of increased device production costs.


TrendForce estimates that MacBook shipments for the second quarter of 2017 will grow by more than 10 percent compared with the first quarter. The firm attributes this projection to suggestions that Apple will update its 12-inch MacBook with a new processor and the possibility of promotional pricing for some older models.

Recent rumors suggest Apple could be planning to announce refreshes for both the MacBook and MacBook Pro at June's Worldwide Developers Conference. The notebooks are expected to be updated with faster Kaby Lake processors, an update from the Skylake processors in the current machines. Apple is also said to be considering updating the MacBook Air with new internals, as sales of Apple's most affordable notebook have remained surprisingly strong.


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Apple to Announce New MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Possibly MacBook Air at WWDC

Apple is planning to announce refreshes for its notebook lineup at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference set to take place in June, reports Bloomberg. New versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro are expected to be announced, and Apple is also considering updating the MacBook Air, its most affordable notebook.

The MacBook Pro, which was just updated in October with a slimmer design and a Touch Bar, will be refreshed with a faster Kaby Lake processor, an update from the Skylake processors in the current machines. It will look the same as the current model, adopting only internal updates.


Apple has been working on a custom-designed ARM chip that could handle low power features in the MacBook Pro, but the chip may not be ready for the June MacBook Pro refresh.

Apple's MacBook, last updated in April of 2016, will gain an updated processor, also likely to be in the Kaby Lake family.

Apple has not updated its MacBook Air since March of 2015 and has been phasing it out in favor of the MacBook and the MacBook Pro, both of which are now thinner than the "Air" model, but Bloomberg suggests Apple is thinking about refreshing it with an updated processor, which would mean the MacBook Air could stick around for at least another few years as a low-cost notebook option. Sales of the MacBook Air "remain surprisingly strong" due to its affordability.

The new notebooks are likely to be announced at Apple's June 5 keynote, which is set to kick off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Rumors also suggest Apple could use the event to introduce both a new Siri speaker and the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is said to feature slimmer bezels for a nearly edge-to-edge design.

Today's report makes no mention of the iMac or Mac mini, two of Apple's desktop machines that have not been updated in some time. It has been more than 580 days since the iMac was last updated in October of 2015, and more than 940 days since the Mac mini was updated in October of 2014.

Apple has said it has updated iMacs in the works, but it is not clear when the machines will debut.


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New 15-Inch MacBook Pro With 32GB of Desktop-Class RAM Coming Later This Year

Apple will release updated Mac notebooks with Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors later this year, according to the latest research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

2016_macbook_pro_lineup
Kuo said a new 12-inch MacBook will enter mass production in the early second quarter, which starts in March, and noted a 16GB of RAM option could be added—presumably as a high-end or built-to-order configuration. The two current 12-inch MacBook configurations include 8GB of RAM.

Likewise, Kuo said new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models will start mass production in the early third quarter, which starts in July.

Interestingly, Kuo also mentions a "15-inch MacBook" that will include 32GB of RAM and enter mass production in the early fourth quarter, which starts in September. He said this model will be "the most significantly redesigned product this year," and he believes it will adopt desktop-class RAM to satisfy high-end users.

Given the high-end specifications, it is likely that this 15-inch MacBook would be part of the MacBook Pro lineup, but Kuo did not specify.

Kuo believes the new Kaby Lake notebooks will be power efficient, which may positive affect shipments. He estimates that Mac notebook shipments will resume year-over-year growth at about 10% on the strength of the new models.

Kuo also expects Apple to discount the 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar this year as it gradually replaces the 13-inch MacBook Air.


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Intel Announces Full Lineup of Kaby Lake Processors for iMac, MacBook Pro, and More

At today's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Intel formally announced its full lineup of 7th-generation Intel Core processors, known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake low-power Y-Series and U-Series processors were announced in late August, but today's unveiling covers notebook and desktop chips that could be destined for many future Apple Macs.

Intel's 7th-generation processors are built on the "14nm+" process, introducing new optimizations compared to previous 14nm Broadwell and Skylake chips.

According to Intel, Kaby Lake will bring "double digit productivity performance increases" of up to 20 percent for gaming notebooks and 25 percent for desktops. With 4K and 360 degree content, customers can expect up to 65 percent faster performance on notebooks. Enhanced security, a new media engine, and improvements in VR and gaming are all advertised features.

kabylake
Of the chips announced today, the 28-watt U-Series chips are appropriate for a future 13-inch MacBook Pro update, and we could see the 7267U/7287U/7567U used in 13-inch MacBook Pro machines this year. Those same chips are likely what Apple would use in a Mac mini update, as the Mac mini and the 13-inch MacBook Pro have traditionally included the same chips.

Intel's 45-watt H-Series chips are appropriate for a future 15-inch MacBook Pro update. The 7700HQ would be ideal for entry-level machines, while a mid-tier machine would use the 7820HQ and the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro would use the 7920HQ.

There are multiple potential upgrade options for the 27-inch iMac, but the S-Series desktop chips (7500/7600/7700K) are the straight upgrade path from the current Skylake chips used in 27-inch machines.

For the 21.5-inch iMac, Apple normally uses chips with higher-end integrated graphics, but Intel has not released Kaby Lake chips that are a clear upgrade for the smaller iMac machines. Apple could choose to use Skylake chips instead of Kaby Lake chips for the 21.5-inch iMac, and in that case, would likely adopt the 6585R, 6685R, and 6785R chips, released six months ago.

With today's announcement, Kaby Lake chips that are clear upgrades for the iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will be available to manufacturers in the near future and will be available for Apple's planned 2017 upgrades. Kaby Lake chips appropriate for future MacBook updates are already available.

Rumors suggest we will see refreshed iMacs in the spring, which is also when we may see new MacBooks, and in the fall, we expect to see Kaby Lake refreshes for the MacBook Pro lineup.


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What to Expect From Apple in 2017: iPhone 8, 10-Inch iPad Pro, Refreshed iMacs, and More

With the launch of the iPhone 7 and MacBook Pro, 2016 has been a mixed year for Apple. The iPhone 7 was released without a headphone jack, an unpopular choice that's now been somewhat ameliorated by the launch of the AirPods, and the MacBook Pro has been plagued by battery issues, graphics problems, and complaints about the high price of the device.

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Apple also saw its first decline in iPhone sales in 2016, but 2017 could potentially turn things around for the company. We're expecting the biggest iPhone revision we've seen since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in 2014, plus we're also expecting major iPad changes, refreshed desktop Macs, and software improvements.

iPhone 8 - September 2017


Rumors about the 2017 iPhone started ramping up before the iPhone 7 was even released, so there's a lot of information out there, and at this point, quite a bit of it conflicts, so it's difficult to get a clear picture of what Apple is planning for the iPhone's 10th anniversary.

If you read all of the rumors and suss out some common themes, there are a few concrete details that hint at what likely to see in the next-generation iPhone. We're assuming it's going to be called the "iPhone 8" due to design changes that are more radical than we'd expect for an "iPhone 7s," but it's entirely possible Apple will go with another name.

It looks like there's going to be at least three iPhone models, and one of those will have an OLED display. It's sounding like we're going to get one premium OLED iPhone somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches, with either a flexible curved display that wraps around the edges like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or an edge-to-edge display more in line with the current design of the iPhone 7.
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