Right now there are a ton of rumors circulating about the MacBook Pro getting a product refresh. This isn't unusual for Apple, as they tend to update their line of computers on a regular basis. Usually it's just some minor processor upgrades, nothing too major. Still, every once in a while, Apple will update the product line, and reinvent their machines. These updates are often more exciting, because you get to see a new design. It seems that this update may end up being that.
Let's take a look at the evidence and rumors piling up that make a MacBook Pro product refresh likely within the next week or so.
1) Apple Prepping for Major Product Launch
Some insiders have revealed that Apple is preparing a major product launch. According to the report from website AppleInsider, this product update could come as early as this week, but may even happen early March. The website says that the new laptops will be loaded with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, and will not be affected by the design flaw that has been associated with the chip. The chassis is also rumored to be getting a slight redesign, but there isn't as much evidence to support that.
2) Best Buy lists 5 New MBP SKUs
Another recent happening, as discovered by Engadget, was that Best Buy listed five new SKUs related to the MacBook Pro as "Coming Soon." The price-points are ranging from $1,199 to $2,499. That's one less SKU than Apple currently sells in their MBP line and is an increase in $200 to their highest-priced model.
An Image of the sealed boxes that shores received before a PowerMac refresh for April 2005.
3) Apple Shipping Sealed Boxes to Retailers
Apple has told some retail partners to expect sealed packages early this week. Evidence had already been mounting at this point, and the fact that Apple doesn't want anyone to remove the seals from the boxes. They are likely to be covered in a black plastic with Apple's "Confidential" tape until the new laptops are officially announced. This same thing was done with Mac Pros back in 2005, reports AppleInsider.
4) Shipments Times Bumped Back
If you go to Apple.com right now, you will see that all MacBook Pro shipments have been pushed over to 3-5 business days. Why the delay in shipping times? Chances are they are preparing for the product refresh. This was shortly after those sealed pallet shipments were reported on. This is also normal for Apple just ahead of a product update.
5) Apple Wants To Help Standardize a New Kind of Connector
Other rumors say that Apple is planning to update their computers with a new kind of high-speed connections. According to reports, this new connector would be introduced with the new MacBook Pro line. They say that it's likely that Apple will use Intel's Light Peak optical cable technology rebranded under a different name by Apple, and supports a bandwidth of 10Gps.
6) New Connector May be a MagSafe Optical
Last week, an Apple patent awarded Tuesday showed a some sort of optical capability in their MagSafe power connectors. It's likely that this is where the new connector is headed. This new connector would be able to handle various functions, such as supplying power to the computer and transferring data back and forth between devices through some sort of fiber optic cable.
Keeping Up With Technology
On a personal note. One thing we learned early on was that technology is always changing. We remember feeling a slight bit of disappointment when we saved up for our first PowerBook G4 and within months a product refresh came and our once powerful awesome MacBook was now wimpier than the iBook, which had been updated with a G4 processor. Lesson learned was that technology is always evolving, and you can't let it bother you, otherwise you will end up unhappy no matter which product buy.