The 2020 MacBook Air on the left versus the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro on the right.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
TFI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the top Apple analysts, said in a note Friday that Apple will launch two new MacBook Pro models this year with 14- and 16-inch screens, a new design and the return of MagSafe charging ports.
MagSafe charging used to appear in MacBook designs before Apple moved to USB-C charging in recent years. People like it because the cord pops in and pulls out easily, preventing the risk of damage to the laptop if someone pulls the cord. Apple recently revived the MagSafe branding with the latest iPhone 12 models, which charge with a magnetic puck that attaches to the back of the phones.
“The MacBook Pro has not changed the form factor design for five years,” Kuo said. “We believe that the launch of two all-new design MacBook Pro models in 3Q21 will attract consumers’ attention and boost the replacement demand.”
Apple Mac revenue was up 28% year over year, when the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter 2020 earnings in October. There’s been a clear boost in demand as people work from home due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19. Apple also released the first computers with its new M1 chip in late 2020. But, the computers look the same as earlier models and the MacBook Pro is long overdue for a design change.
Kuo said Apple plans to get rid of the curved edges and will adopt sharper lines, making the edges look a bit more like the angled edges of the iPhone 12, the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. Kuo said Apple will remove the Touch Bar, which lets people tap shortcuts on a touch screen at the top of their keyboard.
“Benefited from the replacement demand of new models, we predict that the total MacBook shipments will significantly grow by 25-30% YoY to 20 mn units in 2021,” Kuo said in the note.