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No MacBook Pros at WWDC. Here’s why Apple was quiet on its laptops

The MacBook Pro 14 has to be one of the most hotly anticipated Apple devices in years, yet it keeps getting pushed back. At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 7, it was once again a total no-show.

Perhaps this should not have come as a surprise. WWDC is a developers’ event, which traditionally means most of the focus is on software — new versions of iOS, updates to MacOS, the introduction of all-new systems and services, that kind of thing. Yet, we do usually see hardware announcements as well, so news about a new slate of MacBooks was not outside the realm of possibility.

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Before the show, it felt like more than that — it felt almost like a certainty. Apple leaker Jon Prosser had claimed his sources informed him that Apple was not only going to show off new MacBook Pro devices at the event, but also hold a press briefing on the new devices directly after the show.

Industry analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman had suggested Apple could launch new laptops as early as the summer, which is in line with WWDC’s June 7 date.

Yet doubts began to emerge on the day of the event. Gurman published a roundup of what to expect that completely omitted hardware. Reliable leaker L0vetodream said they did not expect hardware at the show and that people expecting new MacBooks “should not be so fast.”

The absence of MacBook Pros at WWDC falls in line with a March report from Nikkei Asia, which said the production of two MacBook Pro models had been pushed back from May or June until the second half of 2021. That seemed to preclude the devices launching at WWDC, something which has now been proved correct.

The delay might have been caused by the ongoing pandemic, which has squeezed production at chip facilities across the world. This has not just impacted the timelines for components like the Apple system-on-a-chip that now powers its MacBooks, but also components like display drivers. It is also affecting the process of mounting chips onto circuit boards. And as long as the industry is trying to catch up, end products like MacBook Pros are likely to be delayed.

But without another Apple event expected until September at the earliest, it seems the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 updates might be released via a press release if they are to meet the expected summer release date. That would be highly unusual considering the wide-ranging overhaul said to be coming to the smaller model, and the transition to Apple Silicon chips in the larger laptop.

Yet, with no MacBook Pros at WWDC, that might now be the most likely scenario.

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