Notebookcheck

Upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to sport scissor switch keyboards, ARM-powered MacBooks and redesigns coming in 2021

Future MacBooks could feature scissor switches and be powered by Apple processors. (Image Source: Apple)
Future MacBooks could feature scissor switches and be powered by Apple processors. (Image Source: Apple)
Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air line to be fitted with scissor switch keyboards owing to the good feedback received from users of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Kuo also predicts that Apple will start using its own custom SoCs in MacBooks to be released in late 2020 or early 2021 along with a complete redesign of the MacBook lineup in late 2021.

The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro was welcomed by many largely due to improved thermals and the return of the traditional scissor switch keyboard. Now, it looks like Apple will be implementing this in upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models slated to launch in Q2, according to famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo notes that the reception of the 16-inch MacBook Pro was "better than expected". Although he doesn't go into the details of the specifics of the upcoming MacBook models, we do expect Apple to launch a 14-inch MacBook Pro to replace the 13-inch variant. Kuo also notes that the upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models will have "various cost optimizations", but nothing that users will immediately notice. Apple suppliers should be able to ramp-up operations for mass production of the upcoming MacBooks in late March owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a related development, Kuo also believes that Apple will launch MacBooks with its own custom processors sometime in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021. Apple is also likely to introduce MacBooks with a complete redesign sometime in Q2 or Q3 2021. Again, there is no indication as to which models will sport these chips or redesigns. It could be the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air, or both. 

There have been indications of Apple's eventual transition to ARM for quite some time now. In the initial phase, Apple is likely to test the waters with a new MacBook Air powered by a custom Apple A-series chip. If all goes well, a possible architecture shift across the entire Mac lineup in the coming years is not off the cards. 

On the PC side of things, Windows 10 on ARM has proven to offer quite the mobility advantage (in terms of battery life) and new SoCs such as the Microsoft SQ1 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx offer much better multi-tasking and x86 emulation performance than before. The Apple A13 Bionic already edges out even the Snapdragon 865 so, future Apple SoCs catering to more demanding workflows shouldn't be improbable. 

Source(s)

MacRumors (1) and (2)

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 03 > Upcoming MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to sport scissor switch keyboards, ARM-powered MacBooks and redesigns coming in 2021
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-03-12 (Update: 2020-03-12)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.