Apple’s latest iPhone event is scheduled for September 7th, but the company may have a much grander hardware refresh on the horizon. According to Bloomberg, the company plans on announcing new versions of its iMac desktop, its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, and a new 5K standalone monitor in a collaboration with LG. Some of the devices may even arrive later this year, the report states, citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans.
The company is likely to skip over next week’s iPhone unveiling and save any Mac-related announcements for a hardware event in October, when it typically announces new iPads. Bloomberg says Apple is not planning to update the iPad lineup this fall, choosing instead to focus on software features to make its new iPad Pro more appealing to professional users. These changes include being able to annotate inside apps across the operating system with the Apple Pencil stylus. The software features may arrive in an update early next year or packaged in with the next version of iOS, due out in the fall of 2017.
The new MacBook Pro could contain a keyboard display with dynamic function buttons
As far as Mac upgrades go, Apple is slated to release a more up-to-date version of the MacBook Air with a USB-C port, similar to the standard MacBook released last year, while the new iMac is also said to getting a graphics boost. There is little else in terms of hardware details on what other changes the desktop and laptop lines may receive. The 5K monitor with LG, on the other hand, would replace the now-discontinued Thunderbolt display.
The biggest changes appear reserved for the MacBook Pro, which will reportedly be slimmed down to contain a flatter keyboard. The keyboard is also said to contain what Apple calls a "Dynamic Function Row," which replaces the top row of keys with a touchscreen OLED display that will alter the keys and their icons to match the current application. News of the keyboard change was reported by KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo in May, and later confirmed by Bloomberg and others.