A rumor from late yesterday suggested that the MacBook Pro would undergo a dramatic design change in the next iteration which is expected to be released at some point in 2012. The rumor, initiated by iLounge in February and yesterday confirmed by a reliable source speaking to MacRumors, suggests that the new case design will be ‘milestone’ release and that the latest improvement to the MacBook Pro line was the last incremental update before the new versions are released next year.
The MacBook Pro was recently refreshed and incorporated the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors as well as the the new Thunderbolt interface, but retained the aluminum unibody design which has been the standard for the past few releases since late 2008. With a new case design now being rumored, is it possible that the company would be looking to move back to a black carbon-based design similar to the one shown in the Intel advertisement above which, at the time, prompted a huge amount of speculation on the future of the MacBook Pro design.
While the Intel advertisement clearly shows a generic mockup laptop, it may not be so far from the truth. It is known that Apple recently recruited an expert in carbon composite materials and may be looking to move the MacBook Pro from aluminum construction to a tougher, lighter carbon fiber based material. This would be a groundbreaking change and would certainly reduce the weight of the device whilst still retaining durability and toughness.
Given the approach that Apple has been taking with the new MacBook Air, it is likely that the ‘milestone’ update to the MacBook Pro will also include more of a shift to ‘instant on’ and SSD capabilities and perhaps integrated 4G chipsets to allow wireless on the go without the need for tethering to a mobile device. This could also be one of the reasons that the company may choose to slow-play 4G implementation in the iPhone.