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MacBook Pro 2021 could finally ditch the Touch Bar, predicts analyst

MacBook Pro 2021 no touch bar
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There’s a lot of speculation surrounding the 2021 MacBook Pro models, including the introduction of mini-LED displays and more ports. But there's also been rumors about what's getting scrapped.

Apple has already been rumored to be killing off the Touch Bar. And now analysts at Display Supply Chain Consultants have corroborated this rumor, suggesting that we may have seen the last of the Touch Bar.

According to DSCC’s report, Apple’s TouchBar is the third largest use of OLED displays right now, but that could be about to change. Primarily because the analysts expect Apple to remove the Touch Bar from future MacBook Pros, and also because Apple is expected to add OLED displays to its iPad line-up within the next couple of years.

“Touch Bars continue to be the #3 application with a 18% unit share and 1.2% revenue share in Q1’21”, the report says. “We expect Touch Bars to be exceeded by tablets when Apple starts the adoption of the 10.9” AMOLED iPad. Further, our sources suggest that Apple may cancel the Touch Bar in the future.”

Obviously this isn’t the first time that either of these things has been rumored. Rumors that Touch Bar was being removed are almost as old as rumors for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. We’ve heard that from the likes of Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, both of whom have an excellent track record when it comes to Apple predictions.

Those rumors have also suggested that the TouchBar would be replaced by a physical set of keys, much like you’d find on the MacBook Air M1, or any number of Windows laptops. It’s also rumored that Apple will be adding an HDMI port and SD card slot, as well as a new version MagSafe charging onto the new machines. The new laptops may also be coming with mini-LED displays, following on from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021.

One recent rumor suggests that the 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pros will be powered by a powerful new M1X chip. A separate M2 chip may wind up powering the next MacBook Air, which could land later this year or in 2022. 

As for the iPads, it’s rumored that Apple will start making the switch from LCD to OLED displays next year, with what sounds like the next iPad Air. Both iPad Pro models are set to continue this trend the following year, though it’s not clear what will happen to the mini-LED iPad Pro after this. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.