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Here’s why a redesigned MacBook Pro likely won’t be launched in 2019

For months now, the tech world has been aflutter with rumors of a brand-new, totally redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro. But with each passing day it seems less and less likely it’ll show its face in 2019. As the final days of October are upon us, the window for Apple to launch a new product in time for the holiday shopping season has closed.

But there’s more reasoning to believe it’s been delayed than just speculation. The lack of a 2019 release is now backed up by a report from the pre-eminent Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo.

macbook pro 15 (2019)
Riley Young/Digital Trends

The report, seen by MacRumors, states that Apple is working on a MacBook device with a scissor switch keyboard to replace the troubled butterfly mechanism. According to Kuo, this MacBook will launch in either the second or third quarter of 2020, potentially giving it slot during the WWDC keynote. If that fails to materialize, it could instead launch via a press release in July 2020.

Kuo never explicitly claims that this device is the 16-inch MacBook — and it may well be a different device. However, there is at least a clue in the report that we’ll have to wait until 2020 for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

That clue lies with the touted scissor switch keyboard. We already know that the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been rumored to be coming with this all-new keyboard design, which will supposedly return the MacBook to the pre-2016 days of extended key travel and more reliable switch designs. Apple has spent much of the past few years attempting to salvage the butterfly mechanism, with varying degrees of success, and its last attempt was earlier in 2019.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

That means it’s only been a few months since Apple was still trying to save the butterfly keyboard. It’s unlikely the company would have made these efforts if it already knew it was going to release a completely different switch design the same year. That alone suggested that a redesigned MacBook Pro would be unlikely.

That idea is further backed up by an earlier report from Kuo that came out in mid-October 2019. Here, the prediction mogul said he expected the 16-inch device wouldn’t make an appearance until the first quarter of 2020. That potentially lines it up for a March special event, which Apple has held during four of the past five years. It’s an unorthodox time for Apple to launch a MacBook Pro, but a device as radical as this one will likely get a flashy on-stage demo from Apple.

A 2020 release would also allow Apple to implement some of Intel’s upcoming Comet Lake H processors, which would provide an extra boost of power. If Apple had launched the 16-inch MacBook Pro this year, it would feature the exact same internals as the 15-inch MacBook Pro. That’s no fun.

This tale of delays and setbacks stands in stark contrast to the all-new Mac Pro, which looks set to make its debut any day now. Just today it received FCC approval, suggesting an imminent launch.

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