Rumor | The 16-inch MacBook Pro will not be what we expect from Apple
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Leaks about upcoming Apple products often turn out to be accurate, although some details are either off or do not make it to the final product. The most recent example of this is that Apple had planned to release several colours of the AirPods Pro. While the leaked designs were accurate, Apple only brought white versions to market. Subsequently, an image from macOS Catalina surfaced that demonstrated a Macbook Pro with a redesigned Touch ID bar. Again, this is a rumor but one that has come from Apple's OS, so it is not another fan concept. The device in question is rumored to be the mythical 16-inch MacBook Pro.
This is where expectations and realities of the device diverge, though. When news about the 16-inch MacBook Pro appeared, people ran with the idea that Apple would fit a 16-inch display in the existing 15-inch chassis, as the fan render above demonstrates. We touched upon this earlier this month, with other icons of the 16-inch MacBook found in macOS Catalina being hard to distinguish from the current 15-inch MacBook Pro. The image of the new Touch Bar reinforces this too. As the GIF that MacRumors tweeted highlights, the 16-inch MacBook Pro will not have the same chassis as its 15-inch counterpart. Instead, it will sport a new and wider form factor. A wider chassis will mean a wider display lid, which makes it unlikely that the 16-inch MacBook Pro will have a substantially higher screen-to-body ratio than the 15-inch model.
There have been rumors that Apple would equip the 16-inch MacBook Pro with a new "scissor" keyboard mechanism, but this looks ever more unlikely too. Ming-Chi Kuo has been credited as the originator of this rumor, and while he initially claimed that the new keyboard mechanism would arrive in Q4, he has since revised this to mid-2020. However, the 16-inch MacBook Pro looks set to arrive sooner than that revised timeline, as Apple is reportedly receiving 16-inch MacBook Pro shipments this quarter. A six-month or so delay between Apple receiving units and releasing them seems improbable. So, if the 16-inch MacBook Pro will have "scissor" keyboard keys, either DigiTimes is wrong again, as proved the case with its claim that the device would arrive last month, or Kuo is incorrect. If both are correct, then the 16-inch MacBook Pro will arrive sooner than scissor keyboards do. Correspondingly, the device will feature a different keyboard, so we would not rule out the 16-inch MacBook Pro having a butterfly keyboard.
All this leaves us with a MacBook Pro that falls well short of expectations, even if these were built on misinformation. The larger chassis should give Apple additional space to include more powerful components, like the Radeon RX 5500M perhaps. This would not make the 16-inch MacBook Pro the design revolution for which people had hoped, though.
Leaked 16-inch MacBook Pro vs current 15-inch MacBook Pro image. Touch Bar and size differences pic.twitter.com/b1qJvuo2hM— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) October 31, 2019