2016 has certainly been an intriguing year for Mac users.
Anticipation of new products was constantly met with disappointment until late October when the new MacBook Pro finally arrived.
So what will Apple bring in 2017? Here are our thoughts and wishes for next year!
There is only one place to start and that has to be the Mac Pro. Since its launch in 2013, the workstation Mac has been left untouched. Various Intel processor upgrades have been and gone and Mac Pro users are starting to question whether Apple has forgotten them. Gradually, over the past 12 months, rumours around a revised Mac Pro have moved from optimistic to just plain ‘don’t know’. It would appear that only the inner circle of Apple know now what the future of the Mac Pro is, and at the moment they are keeping that to themselves.
The popular iMac hasn’t received an upgrade throughout 2016 but it remains a crowd favourite. It’s easy to suggest that a speed bump improvement in terms of processing and graphics capability could be coming. If you had hopes for a touchscreen iMac, they were recently dashed as Apple announced that they weren’t going to go down the touchscreen route for Macs. Therefore, at most it would be a chassis redesign for the iMac.
A customer recently commented to us that they would like to see the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar move over to the wireless magic keyboard. We think that would be a really nice feature and would sit well with the anti-touchscreen stance.
As we enter December, we are just starting to fulfil orders for those customers who opted for the new MacBook Pro. With such a new product it is unlikely that there will be any major changes. At best, expect a speed bump improvement in the performance elements towards the end of next year.
October also witnessed the 11” MacBook Air disappearing from the scene.
The 13” model didn’t get an upgrade, and with the impressive new 13” MacBook Pro with Function Keys being readily available, we reckon that 2017 will mark the end of the MacBook Air. It will be a sad day as the Air did revolutionise the laptop market and has led to the whole Ultrabook market that we witness today.
The Mac mini is another product that was rumoured to be upgraded throughout 2016 and yet went untouched. We have to admit that we do not lease an awful lot of Mac minis. This is largely because they are relatively cheap to buy and therefore the cash flow benefits of leasing are not as easily applied. However, from talking to mini users, it’s clear that it has a loyal fan base and most importantly that they are a very reliable and easy way to get the Mac experience. We hope that Apple gives the little box the upgrade it deserves.
The MacBook did get a processor improvement in the spring of 2016 but it is still a relatively new product so we don’t expect major changes here. We could envisage it getting the latest butterfly keyboard that is now on the MacBook Pro, and maybe its USB-C ports will be upgraded to Thunderbolt 3.
Lastly, that brings us onto the iPad range. As with its other Air sibling, we believe that 2017 will mark the end of the iPad Air range. Instead, we expect to see the iPad Pro range extended with a 10.5” version. The existing 9.7” version will fill the void left from the Air range as the cheapest iPad.
If we take Apple at their word – in that the Mac line up will not be touchscreen based – that means that the iPad Pro and iOS are the mechanisms for Apple to take the fight to Microsoft and their touchscreen devices. The popular view is that Apple could be focusing on the iPad in the spring, so it could be exciting times.