The redesigned Apple MacBook Pro may not begin shipping until late 2021 at the earliest
Apple is expected to announce new MacBook Pro hardware during WWDC21, as we have previously reported. While the rumour began with Jon Prosser, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives has reiterated it. Ives did not provide any new details beyond what Prosser already revealed. DigiTimes has thrown a spanner in the works regarding these upcoming MacBook Pros, though.
According to the website, Apple plans to release 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models 'in the second half of 2021', which WWDC21 falls under. However, DigiTimes asserts that Apple will not begin 'volume production' of the MacBook Pro 14 until Q4 2021, with the MacBook Pro 16 due in Q1 2022.
MacRumors considers this timeline plausible, for some reason, citing shipping delays with the new iPad Pro. It is worth bearing in mind that Apple does not have three to six-month lead times between a product's announcement and its release, unlike other manufacturers. Specifically, DigiTimes writes:
Apple plans to release two miniLED-backlit MacBook Pro products - a 14-inch and a 16-inch - in the second half of 2021, noted the sources.
Judging from the supply of miniLED backlighting applications, volume production of the 14-inch MacBook Pro is likely to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021, and the 16-inch model will start in the first quarter of 2022, said the sources.
If this proves the case with the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16, then it would represent a change in strategy for Apple. In our opinion, DigiTimes may have conflated the release of the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 this year with a 2022 refresh featuring miniLED displays. This is only speculation on our behalf, but it would seem odd for Apple to announce a new MacBook Pro 16 now with the intention of releasing it in 2022.