Apple will launch a new 15-inch MacBook Pro later this year powered by Intel’s next-generation Kaby Lake processors and 32GB of desktop-class RAM, according to a reliable analyst.
The latest models feature Skylake chips and up to 16GB of RAM, but many professionals have complained this just isn’t enough for a high-end notebook.
That Skylake processor is the reason the latest MacBook Pro maxes out at 16GB of RAM. The processors simply don’t support low-power RAM in larger configurations. So, if Apple wanted to offer a 32GB option, it would need to use desktop-class RAM — which eats away at battery life a whole lot faster.
Apple could design its own chips for the MacBook lineup to get around this, but for now, the company seems to be settled with Intel. And rather than wait for Intel to design a mobile chip that supports 32GB of low-power RAM, Apple might give in to fans’ demands.
According to reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has a MacBook Pro refresh planned for later this year that will bring new Kaby Lake CPUs and up to 32GB of desktop-class RAM. It will be “the most significantly redesigned product this year,” Kuo says.
The machine will serve pro users — like video editors — who require more than 16GB and are willing to sacrifice some battery life to get their hands on it. Kaby Lake will also grace the rest of the MacBook Pro lineup — and the 12-inch MacBook, too, Kuo claims.
The upcoming 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the more affordable 15-inch models, will reportedly max out at 16GB of RAM just like they do today. It’s thought there will also be a 16GB RAM option for the 12-inch MacBook, which currently tops out at 8GB.
Kuo expects the new 12-inch MacBook to enter mass production this spring, while the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with up to 16GB of RAM will follow in the third quarter. The high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM will enter mass production in the fourth quarter.
Kuo actually refers to that beefier 15-inch option as a “MacBook,” but given its high-end specifications and larger display, we are assuming it will be part of the MacBook Pro lineup.
Thanks to those more-efficient Kaby Lake processors, Kuo expects MacBook Pro shipments to continue growing at around 10 percent year-over-year. He also believes shipments will come more quickly now that Apple has ironed out early production issues.
Kuo doesn’t mention specific release dates for any of these machines, but he expects the MacBook with 32GB of RAM to arrive sometime during the second half of 2017 — at which point Apple could reduce the price of the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar.