Waiting for the 2020 MBP

afir93

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2018
730
907
To be fair, it‘s not out of question that we do get that supposed 16“ MacBook Pro this year. We had
- Both the iPhone XS and XR last year (different iPhones with different sizes directed at different target audiences),
- Two (!) updates at completely different times of year to the MacBook Pro last year,
- both an iMac refresh and a separate release of the iMac Pro in 2017 (again, different devices with mostly different target audiences),
- The iPad 3 and iPad 4 in the same year,
And probably more that I can‘t think of right now. Point being, another MBP this year is definitely possible.

If anything, the release of these 13“ and 15“ MBPs makes me think that the 16“ one is going to be a new separate top-tier line above the current 13“ and 15“ sizes, and will not replace the current 15“ line by reducing the bezels like so many people speculated.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
6,146
9,133
The main problem I have with waiting at this point is that the very fact that they engineered a fourth generation butterfly keyboard with new materials tells me that they’re not getting rid of that keyboard garbage anytime soon.
 

Dulcimer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2012
785
236
The main problem I have with waiting at this point is that the very fact that they engineered a fourth generation butterfly keyboard with new materials tells me that they’re not getting rid of that keyboard garbage anytime soon.
The way I see it, these keyboard issues won’t be resolved until they move past the current butterfly mechanism, which is probably something that happens with a re-design (e.g., new chassis). Current keyboard repairs require replacing the ENTIRE top case. So I’m more hopeful that 2020 will be a re-design that also changes the keyboard.
 

theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2018
588
659
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I told y'all we wouldn't be seeing a redesign until 2020. Mostly because of the four year cycle Apple is on, but also due to the fact we still do not have 10nm processors available from intel for Macs. I will be looking forward to see what the MBP will look like in 2020-hopefully it will have a bezel-less display. We will see......
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,655
5,174
To be fair, it‘s not out of question that we do get that supposed 16“ MacBook Pro this year.
What kind of hardware would you expect from in this MacBook Pro? Surely you don't think that they would release a new chassis with otherwise identical internal specs? The reason why I am asking is because for the foreseeable future, there won't be any new hardware that the MBP could be updated with (maybe AMD Navi in early autumn, who knows).

The main problem I have with waiting at this point is that the very fact that they engineered a fourth generation butterfly keyboard with new materials tells me that they’re not getting rid of that keyboard garbage anytime soon.
The way I see it, these keyboard issues won’t be resolved until they move past the current butterfly mechanism, which is probably something that happens with a re-design (e.g., new chassis)
You guys will be waiting for this for a while. Apple's commitment to butterfly is obvious. A next-gen MBP will most likely use some sort of variation on the butterfly switch. So if you deeply dislike the feel of this type of keyboard, might as well jump the ship now. If you are instead worried about reliability, it's just an engineering issue that will be solved earlier or later. Might have even been solved with today's update. Who knows.

P.S. The thing is: many people have heard the 16" laptop rumours and they are picturing this large workstation machine in their minds, with some sort of mechanical keyboard, a 150W GPU and all the ports in the recorded history, but this is Apple we are talking about. They were never interested in the "pure" workstation market (too small for them), they want to make general-purpose premium adaptible laptop that caters to wider audience. I am almost certain that we will get a thin and light USB-C only laptop with similar volume (maybe even slightly smaller) as the current 15", a 50Watt GPU, a 16" zero-bezel display and a low-travel keyboard.
 
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afir93

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2018
730
907
What kind of hardware would you expect from in this MacBook Pro? Surely you don't think that they would release a new chassis with otherwise identical internal specs? The reason why I am asking is because for the foreseeable future, there won't be any new hardware that the MBP could be updated with (maybe AMD Navi in early autumn, who knows).
TBH I'm not sure, but I also don't think that it's out of question it has the same CPU/GPU specs as the current 15" model. A lot of people are fine with the specs on offer, they just want changes in other areas (a new design, a 4K screen or at least a screen with a full 2:1 conversion ratio for the resolution, 120Hz, a new keyboard, thinner bezels, Face ID, more T3 ports, the next successor of the T2 chip that takes up even more functions, the new USB-C MagSafe connector patent that we saw floating around a while ago, ...).

Now I don't expect all of those, but if Ming-Chi Kuo is right about the 16" inch still coming this year, these type of changes could be enough for many people to consider an upgrade. For a large part of the user base, the overall design, the features you get and the user experience you have matter a lot more these days than raw specs and speeds, and whereas the current refresh was focused on bringing the specs up-to-date, a redesign could focus on these other things. I don't think a redesign would necessarily need to have new CPUs and GPUs inside in order to be compelling, not in a time where many people care a lot more about other stuff than raw performance.

Besides, having the same CPUs/GPUs inside doesn't necessarily mean it will perform the same. Many people were already dissatisfied with the i9 option on the 2018 MBPs because the thermal envelope barely gave them any room to breathe under heavily workloads, let alone to reach and maintain their full turbo clock speeds, and with the 8-core option on the new MBPs I don't expect this to be much better. If the rumored 16" MBP does have a larger chassis and overall footprint, then it may very well have a larger thermal envelope that allows these same chips to perform a lot better than in the current 15".

All that said, I'm not so sure we will get the rumored 16" this year. I'd say both could happen. The only solid hint we have is Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction, and while he seemed very confident about it, he doesn't have the best track-record lately either, so I wouldn't be surprised if he got it wrong or if the information he originally picked up is outdated and the 16" was slated back to 2020 in favor of another spec bump this year.
 
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Dulcimer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 20, 2012
785
236
You guys will be waiting for this for a while. Apple's commitment to butterfly is obvious. A next-gen MBP will most likely use some sort of variation on the butterfly switch. So if you deeply dislike the feel of this type of keyboard, might as well jump the ship now. If you are instead worried about reliability, it's just an engineering issue that will be solved earlier or later. Might have even been solved with today's update.
I’m definitely someone who likes the feel of the keys but am worried about reliability. It’s possible that the 2019 model fixed the issues once and for all, but I’m skeptical after they’ve released *three* versions of it without any success.

It does seem like a major change in the key mechanism is required (including the possibility of reverting the previous design). We’ll have to wait and see with these 2019 MBPs.
 
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leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,655
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It does seem like a major change in the key mechanism is required (including the possibility of reverting the previous design). We’ll have to wait and see with these 2019 MBPs.
But thats the thing, there is just no reliable info to go with. Aside anecdotal reports we still don't know how often the keyboard actually fails. Apple sells millions and millions of these laptops per year, there will be keyboard failures no matter what. There is simply no way to know whether it's "fixed".
 
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MengkeMary

macrumors member
Apr 16, 2019
83
41
Minneapolis
Now I suddenly feel regret returning a 2018 MBP 15" with 700 discount. Seems like even with a 2018 model, I will finally get the new keyboard anyway whenever a repair is needed.

I'm not very thrilled about the CPU updates as the 2018 is more than enough. So basically the same machine but much lower price...
 
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Aquamite

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2014
377
172
To be fair, it‘s not out of question that we do get that supposed 16“ MacBook Pro this year
I would think a new 16” MBP is indeed out of question for 2019 because there are no new CPU models suitable for a 16” laptop this year except for the ones already used on the new 2019 MBP. With a 15” model having the i9-9980HK I don’t see Apple releasing a re-designed higher end laptop that carries the same CPU as the 15” MBP with the older design.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
But thats the thing, there is just no reliable info to go with. Aside anecdotal reports we still don't know how often the keyboard actually fails. Apple sells millions and millions of these laptops per year, there will be keyboard failures no matter what. There is simply no way to know whether it's "fixed".
Agreed, however if the new keyboard is as reliable as the pre 2016 Mac's the anecdotal reports will dissipate. The butterfly keyboard will remain divisive due to the very shallow throw, so some traffic is to be expected, time will tell for the reliability.

One suspects Apple added the 2019 models in to the extended repair program by default to boost consumer confidence as it's hardly known for it's altruism. Overall I remain cautious as Apple's stance on this has been poor at best, being simply far too slow to react.

Q-6
 
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Lerten

macrumors newbie
Jul 9, 2012
28
23
I would think a new 16” MBP is indeed out of question for 2019 because there are no new CPU models suitable for a 16” laptop this year except for the ones already used on the new 2019 MBP. With a 15” model having the i9-9980HK I don’t see Apple releasing a re-designed higher end laptop that carries the same CPU as the 15” MBP with the older design.
I think thats exactly what happened in the summer of 2012 - we got the updated non-retina unibody MacBook Pro and a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which shared the CPU with the 15-inch non-retina version.
So - it is possible (I’m perfectly happy with my maxed out 13-inch, 2018, but considering how many people are waiting for the rumoured 16, WWDC doesn’t seem like a stretch)
 

cubbie5150

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2007
577
110
I'm all about the 2020, version 5 butterfly keyboard they'll be sending out. LMAO.

I appreciate Apple making my hardware purchase decisions easy.
 
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x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,771
2,583
only way they are releasing a 16" this year is if its with the same keyboard in the 2019 models just released. They wouldn't update a keyboard on one new size and nothing else. nope nope nope
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,552
5,023
I still wouldn't be completely surprised if we see the 16" redesign later this year as an ultra high end machine (though does now look somewhat less likely) maybe alongside the Mac Pro. Apple aren't adverse to adding new product categories at higher starting price points (iPhone X; iPad pros). It's a way of helping recoup the R&D costs before rolling the design out fully across the lineup. Navi GPUs would be a good excuse to debut it, particularly as they've left the 555X in the base Pro (I was somewhat expecting the lower stock model to get the 560X and the upper sock model to get the Vega 16).
 

afir93

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2018
730
907
I would think a new 16” MBP is indeed out of question for 2019 because there are no new CPU models suitable for a 16” laptop this year except for the ones already used on the new 2019 MBP. With a 15” model having the i9-9980HK I don’t see Apple releasing a re-designed higher end laptop that carries the same CPU as the 15” MBP with the older design.
As I've argued in a comment slightly above yours, I don't think it's impossible that the rumored 16" could release with the same internal specs as the current 15", because these are not what a redesign is about. There will always be people who want the best specs and highest performance they can get, and the current 2019 refresh is for them – it's for bringing the newest CPUs in the hands of buyers as soon as possible. But an overwhelming (and steadily increasing) part of the user base just doesn't care that much about raw speeds and performance anymore, as we live in a time where even the lower end CPUs are sufficiently fast for an overwhelming amount of use-cases and applications, and where throwing more performance at it doesn't make a noticeable difference in their user experience for them. If a CPU is fast enough for you, it's fast enough for you, it's as simple as that.

What these people care about instead is the experience they have with a machine and all the features it has. They want a good-looking design, a great display with a resolution, color space and refreshrate all being as high as possible, a keyboard that's reliable and feels good to type on, and many more. So if there's a redesigned MBP with more features and a better overall experience, then most of these people don't care that the specs are the same as another MBP that's already available. A bigger, higher-DPI screen alone could make a bigger difference to many people than clock speeds. If they are upgrading from a machine from a few years ago, then the speed difference to the current CPUs/GPUs is still massive anyway, so it's not like they are not getting an improvement in this regard, but that is not what's driving them to upgrade anymore.

@Lerten listed a great example above of a redesigned MBP releasing with the exact same CPU/GPU as its' predecessor, and from what I remember, the first Retina MBP was wildly successful at that time. The Retina screen, the new design and everything else was a big enough change that the chips inside staying the same was utterly irrelevant to many people. If we look at a broader scale, I think the iPhone X is another great example: it released 1-2 months after the iPhone 8/8+ and with the exact same CPU/GPU, yet it was incredibly popular. By your logic, both of these shouldn't have happened, or at least shouldn't have been successful. But the general user base oftentimes wants a strong new design with many new features much more than new chips that will make their apps open 0.05 seconds faster.

All of that said, there's no guarantee obviously that we'll see a new MBP this year. The only evidence we have is Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction, and his track record has been hit-and-miss – many of his predictions were exactly on-point, others were off-track by a huge margin. I'm sure Apple is working on a redesigned MacBook Pro, but whether we'll get it this year or next remains to be seen. But I do think that these redesigns are not coupled as much to Intel's release cycles anymore as they once were. If they coincide with Intel's new releases – great. If not, then I don't see Apple postponing an already finished design for 8 months just to have some new CPUs inside that are maybe 10% faster.
 
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MrGunnyPT

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2017
986
587
I still wouldn't be completely surprised if we see the 16" redesign later this year as an ultra high end machine (though does now look somewhat less likely) maybe alongside the Mac Pro. Apple aren't adverse to adding new product categories at higher starting price points (iPhone X; iPad pros). It's a way of helping recoup the R&D costs before rolling the design out fully across the lineup. Navi GPUs would be a good excuse to debut it, particularly as they've left the 555X in the base Pro (I was somewhat expecting the lower stock model to get the 560X and the upper sock model to get the Vega 16).
Or even Navi?.. I'm waiting for a 15" with a 7nm Navi chip at this point.. Makes absolutely no sense we spend 2k on something with Polaris or Vega at this point.

I wouldn't count on it this year they seem to be pushing every professional product for 2020.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,658
33,496
Boston
Here's what I think we may see in 2020, each one is independent and does rely on the other predictions ;)

  • 16" form factor, its quite clear that the current design is too thin and temps reach almost 100c almost immediately, where as other PC designs easily run at 70c - 80c when pushed
  • ARM based MBPs, I think Apple wants more control and given the issues that Intel has had, they're moving to ARM
  • T3 chip will be used to further offload CPU work and lock the Mac down even more.
  • butterfly keyboard gen 4a or gen 5. Apple is seemingly deeply committed this keyboard design, even though it has few fans and has a bad reputation for reliability.
 
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