What it is: Apple updated the MacBook Pro laptops but desktop updates for the iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro are still unannounced.
In 2016, Apple only updated their laptop lineup and completely ignored their desktop lineup of Macintosh models. The big question is why? Here’s the simple answer. Apple is ignoring the Macintosh because it’s not as profitable as the iPhone. Here’s the more likely answer. Apple created the Touch Bar for laptops and will soon introduce the Touch Bar for a separate keyboard to use with the Macintosh.
That doesn’t excuse Apple for not updating the internal components of their desktop Macs just to provide more modern parts, but Apple likely doesn’t want the hassle of additional models to manufacturer and support when it’s easier just to wait (for much too long) to get the Touch Bar working properly on an external keyboard. Expect Apple to announce the Touch Bar on an external keyboard early next year right after Apple clears out their inventory of older Macs for the holiday season.
Apple touted the Touch Bar as a way to use Apple Pay just by using your fingerprint. In addition, Apple also demonstrated how the Touch Bar can use fingerprints to switch accounts on a single Macintosh. That means the Touch Bar will come to an external keyboard for the Macintosh eventually. When that’s available, that’s when you can expect updates to the desktop Macintosh models.
The Touch Bar will become a part of the Macintosh just like the mouse. Now will third-party keyboard manufactures like Logitech offer their own Touch Bar external keyboards as well? If so, how will those external Touch Bar keyboards work with PCs? Most likely, Microsoft will simply add Touch Bar support to Windows, making the Touch Bar a crucial input device just like the mouse.
If you’re in the market for a new Macintosh, all you can do is wait. Waiting is frustrating but Apple is either totally incompetent or taking longer than expected developing the Touch Bar external keyboards for desktop Macs. The future of the Macintosh is coming soon and it involves the Touch Bar, but a Touch Bar alone can’t explain the long delay in new Macintosh models.
Perhaps Apple is also working on something else that the new Macintosh models will need to incorporate like the Touch Bar. Imagine a Macintosh that uses the ARM processor instead of the Intel processor. As ARM processors get more powerful, they’ll eventually equal or even surpass Intel processors. Perhaps Apple is simply preparing the Macintosh lineup for a drastic processor change once again.
Whatever the reason, expect new desktop Macs in 2017. If they don’t offer some drastic improvements beyond a Touch Bar external keyboard, they’ll likely be a disappointment. If they do offer some drastic improvement, then the wait will have been worth it.