Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who has very good sources when it comes to Apple products, has shared a few details of what he thinks we might see on Thursday, 27th of October.
It comes as a surprise that the new late-2016 Macs will use Skylake and not the Kaby Lake generation of processors. Apple has never chased the latest and greatest hardware as its master plan is always to charge customers as much as humanly possible for its new machines. Intel's Kaby lake does bring improved video encoding, decoding and editing but overall it only brings a mild-performance and power saving compared to Skylake processors.
The 12-inch MacBook with its 0.9 KG was an impressive but very expensive piece of hardware but we might see a 13-inch version in this thin-and-light lineup.
Two new redesigned MacBook Pro might get an OLED touch bar with a fingerprint sensor, abd a keyboard with butterfly mechanism keys, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. It is about time to see a fingerprint sensor back on notebooks as almost every higher end phone shipped today has one.
This might be a big win for Synaptics, the leader in touch screen market, but then again Apple has a lot of in house development for its touch pad and fingerprint technologies too. Apple might well be working on a new Thunderbolt Display but these will likely get introduced in the first half of 2017. Kuo is quite sure that we won't see any new iPads at this event.
Kuo estimates that MacBook shipments between 3.8 million to 4 million units in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2016. This is up 20 to 30 percent quarter on quarter but down five to 10 percent year over year. The level of innovation slowed down in the PC market and end users simply take time to upgrade as there are no killer features to make them upgrade faster.
The new MacBook line up is expected to account for 40 to 45 percent of overall shipments during the coming quarter, as we are living the Q4 2016, or the holiday season in the western hemisphere where end users are programmed to waste their money for presents that no one really needs.
Apple is facing some competition as Dell and HP recently launched their models with Kaby Lake that might end up having better performance and battery life. Still, Apple users are pretty single-minded and most Mac users will simply want a Mac, almost like automatic car drivers, who stick to the easier choice.