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Two new mystery MacBooks will enter production later this year

Apple is set to begin production on two new MacBooks in the second half of this year, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. The report states that the previous production date had been May or June. It is unclear which MacBook models the report is referring to, but there are a few possibilities.

The tidbit is hidden deep in an article that claims Apple is slashing production of the iPhone 12 Mini by around 20%. We thought the iPhone 12 Mini was a rather good little phone in our review, but there are reports that it has not been selling as well as Apple had hoped.

Regarding the MacBooks, Nikkei Asia explains that they will come with Apple Silicon chips, although the exact model number is not stated. That is unsurprising, as Apple has begun transitioning away from Intel and towards it own custom processors.

The lack of a model number on the Apple Silicon chips in Nikkei Asia’s article makes it difficult to know which MacBooks the report refers. Apple is rumored to be bringing out a totally redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro this year — perhaps as early as this spring — but Apple’s spring event would be too early for these devices if they are only entering production in the second half of 2021.

Of course, it could mean that the 14-inch MacBook Pro will not appear at the spring event and could instead launch in October or November. This has been a more traditional time for Apple to launch new MacBooks in recent years, especially when it comes to big revamps rather than small component tweaks, so it is probably a more likely time frame. That means this could be one of the devices in Nikkei Asia’s report.

Alternatively, these mysterious MacBooks could be new versions of the MacBook Air or later editions of the MacBook Pro — perhaps an update to the MacBook Pro 16, for example. Given that this is Apple’s top-of-the-line laptop, it is expected to come with a beefier chip than the M1 that currently powers the MacBook Pro 13. Apple might still be putting the finishing touches on this chip, hence production of the laptops housing them being pushed back slightly.

The most likely bet is that Nikkei Asia’s report is referring to the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16, as launching them together would allow for the whole MacBook Pro range to be updated at once. As always with Apple, though, anything is possible. All we can do is wait and see what CEO Tim Cook unveils in due course.

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