Following the return of flat edges and the introduction of MagSafe in 2020’s iPhones, it looks like the MacBook is next on the docket to receive some big changes. Notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with a slate of predictions about the MacBooks he expects Apple to release this year, and some of the changes are huge. For starters, Kuo expects Apple to drop the Touch Bar and return to physical function keys with the next MacBook models, which would be newsworthy even if it were the only prediction Kuo made today in a note to investors.
According to MacRumors, which obtained a copy of this note, that wasn’t the only prediction Kuo made. According to Kuo’s predictions, Apple is currently developing two new MacBooks with 14 and 16-inch displays. Both will have similar feature sets, meaning that Kuo expects both to ditch the Touch Bar in favor of traditional function keys.
Kuo also expects the design of these new MacBooks to align more closely with the iPhone 12, meaning that we could see flat instead of rounded edges on the chassis. Kuo believes that Apple will bring back MagSafe charging in these new MacBooks as well, though as MacRumors points out, it’s hard to envision how that will work considering that Apple has already migrated to USB-C for charging. It’s worth noting that Bloomberg claims Apple will move away from USB-C charging entirely, though USB-C ports will still be present on new MacBooks.
Kuo also believes that Apple will offer more I/O options in 2021’s MacBooks and, in what is perhaps the safest prediction he laid out in his notes, expects both models to use Apple’s silicon instead of Intel CPUs. Apple launched an in-house CPU last year, so the idea that future MacBooks will use that silicon is pretty much a given at this point.
Assuming all of these predictions turn out to be true, then the MacBooks Apple has lined up for 2021 should represent a fairly big change over their predecessors. Because of this, Kuo expects MacBook sales to spike, saying that Apple could sell as many as 20 million units. He also predicts that these new MacBooks will be released in the third quarter of 2021 and, as a bit of a bonus prediction, he also thinks that 2022’s iPhones will use vapor chamber cooling.
At the end of everything, if Kuo is correct with his predictions, then the MacBook is in for a huge redesign. As always, you should take any rumors and predictions you hear with a grain of salt, but we’ll definitely put a pin in this for now and see if Kuo’s predictions pan out later this year.