Hardware

Apple may be addressing biggest problem with new MacBook Pro

A new report from KGI Securities said that Apple may be dropping prices on its new MacBook Pro line and adding a 32GB RAM option in late 2017.

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Image: CNET

When Apple unveiled its latest MacBook Pro line in late October, there was one glaring problem with the listed specifications—the RAM tops out at 16GB. For an average user, that should be more than enough, but for power users (the target market for the machine), it may fall short.

However, according to a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that was obtained by AppleInsider, this may only be a temporary problem. In the report, Kuo predicted that the second half of 2017 will see a refreshed MacBook Pro line that will include price cuts and a 32GB RAM option.

The memory option is dependent on the release of Intel's Cannonlake processors, Kuo said. If the Cannonlake processors don't ship in time, Apple would likely have to use the Intel Coffee Lake processors and would still be limited to a 16GB option, AppleInsider reported.

SEE: Apple MacBook Pro 2016: The smart person's guide

Kuo's report notes that the switch to USB-C and the limited memory options seem to be a disappointment to users, and he predicted that older MacBook demand would remain steady through mid-2017. However, in late 2017, when he predicted the prices will fall and the memory options will expand, he said he expects the demand to increase. This will also fit in with the growth of the market for accessories that leverage USB-C technology.

All of these factors have combined to influence what Kuo called "tepid" demand for the new machines. However, this seems to contrast with Apple's supply numbers, as the company sold out of its launch day inventory one day after the new machines were announced.

The question on many users' minds is why Apple didn't include the 32GB option in the first place. Apple's Phil Schiller said that any additional memory above 16GB "wouldn't be efficient enough for a notebook." Additional reports seemed to corroborate that claim.

Another point of contention raised by some users was Apple's decision to go with the Touch Bar instead of a full touch screen. The Touch Bar itself utilizes a separate ARM processor and a version of watchOS to perform its tasks.

The new MacBook Pro marks a departure from the existing line, but Apple is known for making bets on features (or lack of them). Once the device begins shipping, the market will likely see a clearer response to Apple's direction in the space.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Apple's new MacBook Pro may be getting price cuts and a 32GB RAM option in 2017, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  2. The device was criticized for its high price and lack of memory options, but the company has already sold out of its launch day inventory.
  3. The new MacBook Pro is a departure from past models in many ways, especially regarding the Touch Bar implementation and port choices.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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