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Apple Could Be Planning 16-inch MacBook, New 6K Display for 2019

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A bevy of Apple rumors has dropped courtesy of longtime Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The company has been rocked in recent months by iPhone sales drops and weakening Chinese markets and there are definitely new products on the way. Whether they represent a fundamental reset for the company or a modest step forward appears to depend largely on the product segment in question.

There’s supposedly a new “6K” display on the way — 9to5Mac abbreviates this as a 6K3K panel. There are two resolutions that Apple could plausibly be targeting: 5760×3240 and 6400×3600. Objectively, the latter would be the larger gain — a 6400×3600 panel would be a 23MP beast, compared with “just” 14.75 MP for Apple’s current 5K panel. Of course, at the expected monitor size of 31.5 inches, this kind of resolution is absurdist overkill at any rate.

Apple-2019-Predictions

Image by 9to5 Mac

Apple is also supposedly working on a new MacBook Pro in a 16 or 16.5-inch screen size (no word on other features), and a modular, upgradeable Mac Pro expected to hit the professional market this year. This new system would replace the garbage — excuse me, that’s garbage can Mac Pro that Apple launched in 2013 and promptly ignored ever since. Quick-thinking buyers can still shuck out $ 4,000 for a pair of AMD GCN 1.0 GPUs and a bottom-end Xeon E5-1680V2 based on Ivy Bridge with a 3.0GHz clock speed. The fact that it’s now been six years since Apple updated its Mac Pro is hard to square with the idea that the company is still seriously engaged with the professional market. In 2016, I remarked that the company’s failure to upgrade its hardware in the professional space largely reflected Intel’s failure to update its CPU divisions. The launch of Ryzen and the two years that followed have made that position harder to hold.

Other various improvements include a 32GB RAM option for 13-inch MacBooks, AirPods 2 with wireless charging and improved Bluetooth support, and new bilateral wireless charging capabilities on the iPhone. Bilateral wireless charging is a fancy of saying that your iPhone is capable of using a lossy, inefficient charging standard to provide power to a peripheral you probably need to power less than you need to conserve your smartphone battery.

There’s no mention of any material improvements Apple might be making to address its broken keyboards, bending iPads, or material product defects that would actually improve the company’s position in 2019, nor any mention of actual innovations or interesting developments that would materially excite anyone about the company’s upcoming iPhones. Supposedly the new models in 2019 will have frosted glass casings, bilateral charging, upgraded biometric features like FaceID with a higher flood illuminator that I’ll never recommend using due to the security issues inherent to biometric authentication and the lack of legal protection surrounding it, and a triple camera design (though that may be reserved to whatever product replaces the iPhone XS Max).

In other words: Yawn. The improvements the company actually should make would require it to acknowledge that it’s been shipping defective hardware in the first place. The improvements it actually intends to make seem unlikely to spark any kind of rejuvenated performance apart from whatever remains of its professional product market.

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