Apple won’t be making any major changes to its MacBook range of laptops this year, at least according to the notebook rumor mill – although that doesn’t rule out minor refinements to the machines.
It’s worth stressing from the outset that this is chatter from the supply chain, as highlighted by DigiTimes, and part of a report which observes that Apple is apparently shifting a large amount of MacBook orders to Foxconn (away from Quanta, which currently manufactures the vast majority of the notebooks).
DigiTimes reckons that: “Since Apple has not had a major upgrade to its MacBook product line since the releases of its new MacBook Pro devices at the end of 2016 and has no plan for one in 2018, the US-based vendor is planning to shift orders for models that are already in mass production to Foxconn to save costs and reduce risks.”
Note the crucial snippet that there’s no plan for any ‘major upgrade’ to the MacBook range in 2018.
In other words, all of Apple’s laptops will stay pretty much the same in terms of their chassis and overall design, with nothing big happening, although minor refreshes could well still occur.
Tuned to please?
So we could see some further tuning of the keyboard, perhaps (as some users are still complaining about this), and the usual bump in the hardware spec – which will likely include upping the maximum amount of system RAM available in the MacBook Pro to 32GB (something which has been rumored to be happening for a long time now, and was expected last year).
Indeed, some comments from Apple executives made in 2017 reinforce this line of thinking to a point. Jony Ive, Apple’s head of design, made it very clear the company was listening to users’ “feelings and feedback” on the MacBook, and concluded about complaints: “We hear – boy, do we hear.”
In other words, 2018 could be all about tweaking the machines somewhat to make them more appealing based on constructive feedback from the user base.
Ultimately, though, this is all guesswork.
As for Apple’s apparent shift on the MacBook production lines, DigiTimes reckons that the company will now roughly split production between Foxconn and Quanta 50-50, as opposed to Quanta having the 80% lion’s share of the work. Apple spreading its eggs more evenly across two baskets theoretically reduces risks of supply shortages if things were to go badly with one manufacturer.
Naturally enough, Foxconn has more than likely made it very much worth Apple’s while in terms of supplying competitive prices for the assembly work, too.
Despite some blips throughout last year, overall sales of Macs were riding high at the close of 2017, and there’s no reason to expect a much different picture this year.