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Next MacBook Pro said to include OLED ‘touch bar’ to replace some keys

With no significant update made to the MacBook Pro in three years, you could be forgiven for thinking that Apple has actually forgotten that it still sells the machine.

But before you give up all hope of the tech titan ever rolling out a new design, listen up. It sounds like Jony and his team have been not only brainstorming a few ideas for the laptop, but also tinkering about in the workshop to see how they look.

So what exactly does it have up its sleeve? Well, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – a guy noted for his reliability when it comes to forecasting the Cupertino company’s product plans – Apple is looking to launch lighter and slimmer 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros, made possible by new metal injection mold-made hinges and the inclusion of an ultra-shallow keyboard similar to that seen on the 12-inch MacBook, the company’s thinnest computer which launched in 2015.

OK, we heard something about those hinges last month, but what we hadn’t heard about until now is Kuo’s intriguing claim that the redesigned Pro will include an “OLED display touch bar” to replace the function keys along the top row of the keyboard. Although it may initially sound like a gimmicky feature and therefore unnecessary, it could allow the user plenty of configuration options that make better use of the space occupied by the existing keys.

In line with oft-repeated rumors, the redesign is also expected to feature a Touch ID scanner, while the company is said to be considering an option that would let owners unlock the Apple laptop using Touch ID on an iPhone. Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C support are also expected to feature.

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Kuo describes the forthcoming MacBook Pro revamp as the “most significant upgrade ever undertaken by Apple,” MacRumors reports.

The company is also expected to rollout a revamped Air, and, more significantly, a 13-inch MacBook, though Kuo couldn’t offer any information on what new features they might include.

The analyst said he expects the refreshed laptops to land before the end of the year, probably in the final quarter in time for the potentially lucrative holiday shopping season.

And if a new MacBook Pro hasn’t landed by December 31, then yes, it’s safe to assume Apple has forgotten it still makes it.