French website Consomac discovered that Apple registered unannounced MacBooks and iPads with the Eurasian Economic Commission. The filings are a requirement for encrypted devices that will be sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Apple listed five MacBook models and five iPad models.
For starters, the five MacBook products list as A1931, A1932, A1988, A1989 and A1990 with MacOS 10.13 as the operating system. The last three numbers may consist of a new 13-inch MacBook Pro (A1988), a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (A1989), and a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (A1990). The first two may refer to a refreshed 12-inch MacBook (A1931) and a MacBook Air replacement (A1932).
Unnamed sources said earlier this year that Apple would introduce an entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, killing off the “Air” brand. Right now, the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar serves as an alternative to the MacBook Air, but the Pro device has a starting price that’s $300 more than the current lightweight Air. Even the 12-inch MacBook can’t match the MacBook Air’s $999 starting price.
But Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International indicated otherwise in June. He expects the entry-level 13-inch MacBook to keep the “Air” brand and sell for an even cheaper starting price than the current $999 model. The series launched in 2008 with a single 13-inch model and experienced yearly hardware updates until 2015. Apple added an 11-inch model in 2011 until 2015 as well. Apple refreshed the 13-inch version in 2017, leading to speculation that perhaps the “Air” family was coming to a close.
As for the five iPad models, they consist of the A1876, A1934, A1979, A2013, and A2014. The models aren’t quite as easy to determine in this case although a guess would put the A1876 as the iPad Mini 5, the A1934 serving as the “vanilla” iPad, the A1979 for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and possibly two 12.9-inch iPad Pro variants. All five are listed with the iOS 11 operating system.
Reports surfaced at the end of 2017 that the iPad Pro models launching by the end of 2018 would incorporate a few designs pulled from the iPhone X. For instance, Apple will supposedly remove the Home button and extend the screen out to the edges in every direction. They will also supposedly support Face ID for unlocking the device, logging into apps, and making payments.
Why Apple lists iOS 11 and MacOS 10.13 with its upcoming devices is unknown, but the company may be required to list a non-beta compatible platform that’s part of the encryption process. MacOS 10.14 and iOS 12 are currently in beta and slated for a release later this year. Apple may wait until both the new software and new hardware are complete to better highlight their union during the expected official reveal slated for the end of 2018.