Macbook Air M1Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Ming-Chi Kuo says new MacBook Pro models are on the way.
  • They are expected to herald a return of the SD card slot and HDMI connectivity.
  • Both features, along with USB 4.0 will drive a surge in demand.

A new report from Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated that Apple plans to bring back both the SD card slot and the HDMI port to its MacBook Pro later this year.

In a new research note seen by iMore, Kuo says Apple plans to launch two new MacBook Pro models in the second half of 2021, both with an all-new design and increased connectivity. Kuo states Apple will bring back the SD card slot and HDMI interface, echoing previous reports. The report also states the new Macs will have USB-C as well as high-speed USB 4.0 upgrades.

Other changes include the return of the MagSafe charger, the end of the Touch Bar, a new generation of Apple silicon processors, and conversely, no Intel CPU option. This will also reportedly be the year Apple introduces Mini LED displays to its MacBook range.

Kuo says the practical changes to the SD slot and HDMI connectivity will significantly boost demand for the new MacBooks, and that MacBook shipments will grow by 25-30% as a result compared to last year, driven by the new specs and design changes, not just working from home needs.

Apple is rumored to be releasing two new MacBook Pro models, a 16-inch model and a new 14-inch size, which could well replace the 13-inch model. Previous reports from Kuo and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman indicate very similar expectations from separate sources, meaning you can consider these rumors pretty much certain.