HDMI port and SD card reader supposedly will return to MacBook Pro this year

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MacBook Pro is getting a big redesign this year.
Photo: Apple

From the sound of things, Apple is going back to the past for its next-gen MacBook Pro — and, depending on who you ask, that could be a very good thing.

The next MacBook Pro is already rumored to bring back the MagSafe charger and kill off the LED Touch Bar in favor of a row of physical keys.

Now, in a new note to clients, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says this year’s pro laptop will come with a built-in SD card reader and an HDMI port. These have been MIA since 2016, when Apple went all in on USB-C — and started ditching MacBook ports like they were going out of style.

In Kuo’s note, seen by Cult of Mac, the reliable Apple analyst writes:

“We predict that Apple’s two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have several significant design and specification changes. Some of the practical changes for users are equipping with the SD card reader and HDMI port. We are optimistic about the new MacBook Pro shipment momentum and forecast overall MacBook shipment to grow 25–30% YoY to 20 million units in 2021.”

What’s old is new, what’s new is new

From the sound of things, the 2021 MacBook Pro could be a mixture of new and old. Kuo says Apple will launch a pair of MacBook Pro models in the second half of the year. On the new front, these will include “all-new designs,” new Apple Silicon chips (with no Intel CPU options) and a mini-LED display. On the old front, we should see throwback innovations like reviving MagSafe and ditching the LED Touch Bar.

It’s definitely a compelling-sounding product. Apple made a few missteps with the MacBook over the past few years, including the hated butterfly keyboard. But lately, the company seems intent on removing the misses and doubling down on what people like about the Mac. With former Apple design chief Jony Ive gone, we’re getting a better look at what the post-Ive Mac era will look like. And the indicators so far are certainly intriguing.

What would you think about the return of the SD card slot and HDMI port? Is it a step forward or backward for Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.