MacBook LineupSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A report suggests that Apple plans to upgrade the keyboard of its 13-inch MacBook Pro.
  • DigiTimes claims that the new 13-inch model will feature the same Magic Keyboard found in the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.
  • A launch is tipped for the first half of 2020.

A report from Digitimes via Macworld suggests that Apple is planning to upgrade its 13-inch MacBook Pro with the same Magic Keyboard found in its new 16-inch MacBook Pro.

According to the report:

DigiTimes reports that a new 13-inch MacBook Pro will be available in the first half of 2020. It'll be equipped with a Magic Keyboard, which uses a scissor-based mechanism similar to that found in the Magic Keyboard for the iMac. The report does not say if the 13-inch model will also get dedicated Escape and Touch ID keys, or the inverted-T arrow key layout, but they probably will.

Whilst DigiTimes isn't a failsafe source when it comes to new product information, this purported upgrade would make a lot of sense. Apple has revamped the Macbook keyboard with the launch of its 16-inch MacBook Pro because of a swathe of user feedback over problems with the previous butterfly mechanism keyboard. Because of the minimal travel time of the butterfly keys, any kind of dirt or debris that found its way into your keyboard could have potentially spelled disaster.

If Apple has done enough research to satisfy itself that a return to the scissor mechanism is the right way to proceed, then it makes no sense that Apple would leave the butterfly mechanism in its other MacBooks.

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The report suggests that the updated 13-inch MacBook Pro is due to arrive in the first half of 2020. Given that the previous 13-inch model was released in May of this year, that would give it a lifespan of roughly one year.

According to the report, the screen size of the 13-inch MacBook Pro will remain the same. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that if Apple has found a way to include a 16-inch screen inside the same chassis that housed its previous 15-inch display, then it could pull off some similar trickery with its smaller version. Apparently, however, this is not the case. The 13-inch MacBook remains a popular form factor, and Apple could be keen to maintain a greater distinction between the two variants by not increasing the size of the current 13-inch model.

If a launch early next year is indeed around the corner, it seems we don't have too long to wait before Apple starts making its new Magic Keyboard for MacBook uniform across its lineup.