Apple reveals radical MacBook Pro design change

MacBook Pro 2020 13 inch
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s next 16-inch MacBook Pro is set to be its ‘greenest’ laptop yet as it will use low-carbon aluminum to create a machine that is more environmentally friendly. 

This will be facilitated by Apple’s work with its material suppliers to create the “first-ever direct carbon-free aluminum smelting process”. And this first batch of low carbon aluminum will be used in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, according to an Apple press release.

It’s not clear whether that means a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, potentially with ARM-based Apple Silicon is in the works. Or whether Apple will simply make its largest MacBook Pro model with the new aluminum, yet keep the current design and specs the same. 

It’s been nearly a year since the 16-inch MacBook Pro made its debut. And with new Intel chips on the horizon as well as Apple Silicon chips on their way, there’s definitely scope for Apple to bring out a new or refreshed 16-inch MacBook Pro. 

Such a Mac machine is also likely to be Apple’s most environmentally-friendly computer, which will certainly appeal to people who want to balance out a desire for powerful premium technology with keeping their carbon footprint down. 

Given Apple is aiming to be carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing, and supply chain by 2030, we’re likely to see more Apple devices with greener materials, like this low-carbon aluminum. 

“Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The innovations powering our environmental journey are not only good for the planet — they’ve helped us make our products more energy efficient and bring new sources of clean energy online around the world. Climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change.”

That’s a lofty ambition given how much technology contributes to e-waste and how smartphones often contain precious and rare materials. But Apple has long pursued reducing the environmental impact of its devices, and with its huge financial clout, it’s in a position to invest in greener tech and manufacturing. 

With four iPhone 12 models on the horizon, we’d be curious to see how Apple has approached a green ethos with its next-generation smartphones. The iPhone 12 is expected to ship without a charger to potentially cut down on waste, but it remains to be seen how consumers will react.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.