A recent report suggests that Apple will reveal its highly anticipated refresh to the MacBook Pro during its upcoming iPhone event on September 7th, but the hardware won’t be released until later in the year. Independent blogger Michael Young, writing for The Michael Report, cites a source within Apple that is “intimately involved” with planning for the Sept. 7th event:
Sources within Apple intimately involved with the planning of the September 7th event tells The Michael Report exclusively that Apple will, in fact, release the next-generation of retina MacBook Pros alongside the iPhone 7. The Michael Report has independently verified this information to be highly credible.
Young also references a separate source close to Apple’s supply chain management, that indicates an approximate two-month lead time between the product’s announcement and public availability. Take this report with a grain of salt, however, as well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman squashes hopes that the updated MacBooks might make a cameo at the iPhone event.
Bloomberg’s August 8th report, which reiterated the idea of new MacBook Pros seeing the light of day this year, stated that an appearance of new MacBook Pro hardware during the iPhone event was unlikely:
The MacBook Pros aren’t likely to debut at an event currently scheduled for Sept. 7 to introduce next-generation versions of the iPhone, according to one of the people.
If it’s true that the refreshed MacBook Pro won’t make its debut on Sept. 7th, then when will it be revealed? Considering the significance of the first big MacBook overhaul in over four years, such a product could very well warrant its very own event.
That said, it would make sense for Apple to announce the new MacBook Pro on Sept. 7, which would give developers adequate lead time to implement the necessary changes in their apps to support the new hardware functionality. According to previous reports, the highly-anticipated MacBook Pro refresh will add key new features, such as an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch panel and Touch ID support, among other changes.
The rumored OLED touch panel, for instance, is said to be dynamic, with changing labels and functionality based on the current app being used. Touch ID, along with unlocking your MacBook, could be used to authenticate access to apps, and Apple Pay purchases, similarly to how it’s currently utilized on iOS.
Both of these hardware features, if opened up to third-parties, would require developers to make changes to their apps in order to add support. By announcing the hardware, and providing the necessary developer resources a couple of months in advance, it would ensure that there would be enough third-party support available from day one.
Apple has built a great reputation of releasing both hardware and software products on the day, or within weeks of an announcement, but it doesn’t do that for every new product it releases. For example, the original iPhone, which was announced at MacWorld on January 9, 2007, was released nearly six months later on June 29, 2007. More recently, the 12.9″ iPad Pro was announced on September 9, 2015, but wasn’t released publicly until two months later on November 11, 2015.
The 12.9″ iPad Pro, which launched alongside the Apple Pencil, required developers that wished to support the new input method to make changes to their apps. The iOS 9.1 GM, which was released on the same day of the 12.9″ iPad Pro announcement, included new Apple Pencil APIs for developers to take advantage of. Similarly, one should expect that APIs will be made available to developers to take advantage of the MacBook Pro’s new hardware features in macOS Sierra.
Thus, assuming that the new Mac hardware will be ready to showcase on stage, a Sept. 7th unveiling of the MacBook Pro, alongside the next iPhone, however unlikely, could make sense.