MacBook Pro could be made irrelevant by Apple Silicon

MacBook Pro 2020
(Image credit: Apple)

When we compare the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, we've noticed that they're becoming more similar than different. But how will the MacBook change when Apple Silicon shakes up the Intel processors under the hood of each of these laptops?

Well, J. Glenn Künzler of tech news site SonnyDickson has a new report that shows how Apple might be about to rethink its entire laptop line. And it starts by killing off the MacBook Pro and Air brands. 

He notes that his entire post should be seen as informed speculation, not based on any knowledge of Apple's plans.

Will we meet the new MacBook?

In this post, Künzler theorizes that Apple will consolidate all of its MacBooks under the MacBook name. 

This way, you'd just be picking between different sized MacBooks. Künzler notes this would streamline the buying decision, because the power-saving and performance boosts of Apple Silicon/ARM chips will mean that it "makes a lot less sense for Apple to sell two distinct 13-inch notebooks." 

Oh, and he also mentions the rumor of the 13-inch MacBook design going away in favor of the 14-inch MacBook, as the Apple Silicon will allow for such a design change. 

Citing that argument and "what we've heard," Künzler predicts that "Apple, going forward, will offer only a single line of notebooks, which will simply be called 'The New MacBook,' or just 'MacBook.'" 

Since the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the first laptop we expect to see with Apple Silicon,  the "New MacBook" rebranding could happen as soon as then.

Will the Pro power go to the 16-inch MacBook?

Künzler notes that the Apple Silicon processors "will be chain-able," meaning you could simply use multiple A-series chips to speed up a MacBook. This might not sound important, but he also notes that Apple is expected to not make multiple versions of the new processors, but instead use multiple when a chassis permits.

Herein lies the explanation for where Apple will tell users to go for more power. Künzler notes that while a standard "New MacBook" could use a single chip, "a 16-inch MacBook with a larger battery could use multiple chips that work in parallel to achieve faster processing speeds and additional power"

Were this to all come true, I'm sure many would likely think of the 16-inch MacBook as the "Pro" model, even if it loses the moniker. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.