Apple’s forthcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro sets the table for ARM-based MacBooks

Apple's 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models
Apple’s 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models

Jason Snell for Macworld:

A 16-inch MacBook Pro with reduced bezels and possibly a new keyboard design is coming in October… [with] a starting price around an eye-watering $3,000… The message is that at the high end, Apple is the maker of products built for the needs of professionals — and priced accordingly. In the old days, a power user could pretend they were a “pro,” but these days if you fancy yourself a pro you will pay dearly for it.

The shock and outrage (you know there will be outrage) when Apple dares to introduce a $3,000 laptop will die down and Apple will do what it always does. It will roll the improvements introduced in the 16-inch MacBook Pro down to the rest of its product line, slowly making them available at lower prices.

Maybe the future of Mac laptops really is two-fold: A set of pricey MacBook Pros powered by Intel processors, and (ideally) more than one ARM-based laptop that will fit the budget and needs of the general buying public.

MacDailyNews Take: Quite possibly, the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be to portable macOS machines what the Mac Pro is to desktops.

Of the new Mac Pro, every Mac user should be proud.

The Mac Pro is sort of like why you fund a space program, if you’re smart. Yes, there are pressing needs elsewhere (and, btw, there always will be; it’s a bad excuse for not investing in exploration), but if you’re not pushing, you’re stagnating. Nothing unexpected can be discovered, no new solutions uncovered when no new challenges are ventured. It’s why smart car companies make esoteric supercars of which only a few will ever be sold and on which the investment will never be recouped. As with supercars, lessons learned from the Mac Pro, the Mac flagship, will percolate throughout and improve all of Apple’s product lines. Yes, Apple worst-selling Mac is their most important.

May the Mac Pro never be dead-ended, abandoned, and ignored again!

Think about what you thought of Apple’s Mac lineup when it had a half-decade-old, neglected, dead-end design as its flagship. The entire Mac lineup was diminished. Apple’s management who allowed this to happen were diminished, too. People could only see the flaws – in the machines and the people. Now, with the new Mac Pro proudly raising the flag high atop the mountain, all Macs, and everyone responsible for making Macs, are lifted up along with it. — MacDailyNews, June 6, 2019


  1. “These days?” You know nothing Jon Snow. We had Silicon Graphics workstations for 3D animation 20 years ago, and those cost $120,000. Your iPhone is far more capable.

    1. You can still go out and buy $100,000 USD workstations these days if you want/need to do so. That segment is more of a niche today than 20-30 years ago, but it has not disappeared. And those workstations of today are much, much more capable than most of us even dreamed about 30 years ago.

      What we’re talking about with this article is not anything that has high end, specialized workstation type power. I know of no one who expects to have the equivalent capability to one of today’s specialized workstations in a laptop. Well, no one who lives in the real world anyway.

  2. A base 15” MacBook Pro with Touchbar is currently (24 July 19) AUD$3499. In the US, the same laptop is US$2399.
    No doubt the new 16” MacBook Pro will be around AUD$5000!!!!

  3. What? I don’t hear anyone suggesting Apple is raising the prices on 13″ or 15″ Macbook Pros. A NEW laptop with a larger screen may be released that will cost more??? Ok so how are we injured by this? I don’t understand the issue.

  4. Re MDN’s take that: “Quite possibly, the 16-inch MacBook Pro will be to portable macOS machines what the Mac Pro is to desktops.” I would think – unless there’s going to be extensive (and expensive) ongoing customization available, that a more apt comparison would be to the iMac Pro.

    And thanks for stimulating that analogy, because I think it’s a good one.

    If in fact there will $15,000 and up variants I’d withdraw my re-characterization and say you’re right on point.

  5. So, Mr. Snell (and apparently MDN too), if I’m a power user but not a photography, video, or audio centric user, I’m not a pro? I never knew for all these years dating back to the 70s of using the Cybers, Crays, and such that I was just a power user pretending to be a pro.

    I currently run visualizations from some of my simulations when on the road using multiple networked MacBook Pros. A single MacBook Pro, no matter how maxed out,just does not cut it. The simulations are generated in a large cluster with specialized hardware and playing them back still takes multiple MacBook Pros just to show them on the road. But, by Mr. Snell’s definition I’m not a pro. I’m “just” a power user.

    Then, by Mr. Snell’s definition, I shouldn’t be complaining about the upcoming large price jump for the postulated MacBook Pros supposedly due in the fourth calendar quarter of this year simply because I don’t deserve to have them as I’m not a true pro. Additionally, if I were a true pro by his definition I would not complain simply because my work would more than justify any price Apple wants to charge.

    Every MacBook (or PowerBook) I’ve purchased has been nearly or completely maxed out. For what I do, I don’t ever buy the bottom of the line. I’ve spent over $5,000 USD for some of them.

    Mr. Snell be damned. If Apple jumps the base price by 25% or more, does that mean Apple will expect me to pay $6,500 USD or more for a nearly maxed out model — and then thank Apple for the privilege of being allowed to buy such a machine?

    Price gouging is just that. No matter what Mr. Snell (and MDN and others) say, there really is no excuse for it.

  6. If this new $3k machine is the only laptop with a decent (non-butterfly) keyboard, people are going to be pissed that they have to shell out an extra $1k to $1.5k just for the keyboard. Sure, you’ll get lots of other stuff along the way, but many/most users would value the keyboard more than the other stuff that would be included. For some, the larger screen would actually be a minus, since it’s less portable.

    The only way for Apple to avoid blowback (articles titled: Want a Mac Laptop With a Functioning Keyboard? That’ll Be $3,000) will be to roll out the keyboard into at least some of their other laptops immediately. Of course, that will be upsetting to people who buy one of the newly-refreshed laptops this summer, on the assumption that they won’t be refreshed again soon…

  7. Again, Apple debuted the WORLD FIRST 17-inch Pro laptop in 2003. For no good reason they killed it. Now they are shaving off an inch under the beancounter CEO and on a leash, Sir Jony. 17-inch PC Pro laptops are widely available, guessing less expensive and more powerful.

    Why not an 18-inch model to retake the
    lead you relinquished…

    1. Yes, still have one, it still works, even the dvd drive still works. I paid $3299 for a base model and upgraded the RAM and HD – more than once by now – but back then, my total was close to $4K, in 2003 dollars. This new MacBook Pro costs about the same – seems like a bargain. No dvd drive though, thats a showstopper for me! /s

  8. Comrade, good to hear from you. 👍🏻

    I bought the fully loaded model on Day One in 1993. I did not upgrade anything, probably a big mistake, but it was a trusty friend and lasted 15 years until May 2018 the day the disk died. REMARKABLE LONGEVITY!

    The keyboard is just as sharp as the day I bought it. A Mac shop that checked it out said it can be upgraded and live again. It was running OS Panther native and externally OS Tiger. I would need to know more before making the fiscal plunge for sentimental reasons only, obviously.

    Damn, I’m envious you are STILL enjoying the 17PRO. In a good way… 🤠

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