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Apple just registered seven new MacBooks, but what are they? Let’s speculate

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Apple has just registered a total of seven new devices with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), suggesting new products are on the way. The devices bear the model numbers A2141, A2147, A2158, A2159, A2179, A2182, and A2251, according to MacRumors.

Other than being designated ‘portable’ devices — most likely MacBooks of some form — there are few clues as to the identity of the devices. But with several different MacBook ranges flying around, plus rumors galore of unreleased models, that doesn’t narrow it down a whole lot.

So, let’s speculate a bit, shall we?

The return of the MacBook?

Apple MacBook-review-kybrd1
Bill Roberson/DIgital Trends

The first possibility is that these are mostly new MacBook Pro models. The Pro currently only comes in two colors — space gray and silver — so it’s possible that Apple could add a gold colorway to bring the Pro in line with the MacBook Air’s color options. Add in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes in those three colors and you have six of the seven model numbers.

The problem with this theory is that Apple has only just refreshed the MacBook Pro. When Apple registers devices with the EEC, it almost invariably means a release date is just a few weeks away. If Apple were to release updated MacBook Pro models so soon after the last refresh, that’d make a whole lot of people very angry. With the 9th-gen Core i9 already being used, it’s hard to imagine how Apple could push any further in terms of performance.

So, we can discount that idea. What about a new 12-inch MacBook? This hasn’t been updated since 2017 and, even worse, its chassis remains exactly the same as when it debuted in 2015. There’s no Touch ID button, the first-generation Butterfly keyboard is showing its age, and there’s only one USB-C port. It’s beyond time we got a refresh.

This theory isn’t without its problems, though. There are seven spaces to fill in this mystery lineup. Three of those could be taken up by 12-inch MacBooks (in space gray, silver and gold), but that leaves four spots to fill, and we can’t think of anything that’d fit that.

The other possibility is that Apple will add a new (probably larger) size of MacBook, but doing that would defeat the point of this machine, which is meant to be small and light. Apple has already eliminated the 11-inch MacBook Air, so we can’t see it adding a model even smaller than the 12-inch MacBook.

Ice Lake MacBook Air?

Macbook Air (2018) Review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

What we think is a more likely candidate is the MacBook Air. It was completely redesigned last year, so one year later would be a good time to tweak the specs a little. With Intel’s Ice Lake chips due out later this year, we could see some of them make it into a new batch of MacBook Airs. That would take up six of the seven spots: Two base configurations in three colors each.

So, what about the remaining model number? We have a sneaking suspicion it could be the 16-inch MacBook device that’s been doing the rounds in the rumor mill. Reliable analyst Ming Chi-Kuo predicted a 31.6-inch 6K display and 16-inch MacBook Pro for 2019; he’s already got one right and has an excellent track record, so don’t be surprised if he nails it again. Only time will tell, of course, but when Ming Chi-Kuo predicts something, people take notice. A workstation-class MacBook Pro would be a nice follow-up to the Mac Pro, though it would have to stand separate from the rest of the Pro line to distinguish itself.

Regardless of what they update, if any assortment of these MacBooks are planned for later this year, 2019 just might end up being one of the biggest years for the Mac in recent memory.

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