Apple plans to update its aging MacBook Pro line of laptops later this year, hoping to reverse sliding sales.
The new laptops will mark the first significant overhaul in more than four years, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources. The new laptops will be slimmer than current models, include more powerful graphics chips, and feature upgraded ports. The laptops will be introduced later this year, most likely after Apple introduces new iPhones in September, Bloomberg reported.
Apple’s computer sales have been sinking in recent quarters along with declining sales of iPhones and iPads. In the second quarter, Apple’s Mac sales dropped 11% to 4.3 million computers. Revenue from Macs dropped 13% to $5.2 billion, part of the reason Apple posted its second consecutive drop in overall revenue.
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While the Cupertino computer maker routinely outsold Windows PC makers in recent years, it trailed that segment in the second quarter and lost market share. Apple’s market share dropped to 7.1% from 7.4% a year earlier, market tracker IDC said, attributing the decline to an increasingly competitive market with customers waiting for a refreshed lineup.
Apple (AAPL) hasn’t upgraded its MacBook Pro lineup, which have high-resolution, or retina, screens since May 2015. That 449-day lag is well above the average gap between new versions of 268 days since the laptop was introduced, according to the website Macrumors.com. The cheaper MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March last year, and the 520 days since exceeds Apple’s average delay in upgrading that computer of 350 days.
Some other products in Apple’s Mac lineup have waited even longer. The low-priced Mac Mini has not been updated in almost two years and the high-end Mac Pro has been adrift for almost three.
The upcoming MacBook Pro models will also feature a touch screen above the keyboard, replacing dedicated function buttons, and will be compatible with USB-C, Bloomberg said. The faster graphics processor will be supplied by AMD (AMD).
Last year’s MacBook Pro update didn’t include many significant changes. Apple added somewhat faster processors, faster Wi-Fi, and its force-touch trackpad. But the main body and screen were the same as earlier versions. The last significant overhaul came in 2012, when Apple introduced the retina display.