Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Apple's Next MacBook Pro Might Ditch a Wildly Popular Feature
Apple’s next high-end notebook might not have a feature one would expect to see in a computer.
The tech giant will shake up the ports on its next MacBook Pro and only offer Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C, according to a report from Japan-based Apple-tracking site Macotakara. Traditional USB ports—as well as Apple’s MagSafe connector for charging the notebook—are being tossed out, the report claims, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple’s plans.
In the computing market over the last several years, customers have largely only needed to worry about how many USB ports a computer comes with—not if it’ll have a USB port at all. However, component technology is slowly shifting away from traditional USB (known as USB-A) and toward a newer connector known as USB Type-C. The port is flexible, allowing users to transfer data, connect displays, and charge the computer all from the same port. It’s quickly become the next major innovation in ports.
Apple’s decision to eliminate older USB technology might not be so far-fetched. For one, Apple has already shown an interest in USB Type-C by selling its MacBook without any other ports. The company’s inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 in the MacBook Pro would allow existing Mac owners to continue using products like Apple’s monitor or third-party external hard drives.
Moreover, Apple hasn’t shied away from removing technologies it deems obsolete or no longer useful. The company was one of the first major hardware makers to remove the disc drive and floppy disk in its computers. More recently, Apple decided to eliminate the headphone jack in the iPhone 7, a move that was met with some skepticism but hasn’t actually slowed down the smartphone’s adoption.
Although it’s wildly popular around the world, traditional USB is slowly but surely seeing its usage erode at the hands of USB Type-C. Apple’s possible decision to remove USB ports, then, shouldn’t come as a shock.
But that might not be the only move Apple has planned. Reports over the last several months have said that Apple will deliver an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touchbar above the keyboard. The touchbar would allow users to see notifications, control certain functions within the operating system, among other features. There are also reports Apple could bundle its Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the device.
The next MacBook Pro is widely rumored to be unveiled at a press event on October 27. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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