Update April 9 12:01 pm ET - A new 9to5Mac article states that Kuo was indeed mistranslated by earlier articles, and that the 2020/21 date was referring to future MacBooks and iPods, not the 16-inch MacBook. Our original article is below.
While Apple fans were excited for the release of the rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro with an "all-new design," it looks as if they’re in for a longer wait than we expected.
According to a new memo by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (from MacRumors via The Verge), the new 16/16.5-inch MacBook will only appear in 2020 or 2021. This is a revision of Kuo’s earlier estimate in a previous memo that the new model would appear this year.
While Kuo does tend to relay the state of affairs at Apple with high accuracy, it’s worth pointing out that this latest note is only available in Chinese, so due to the impreciseness of machine translation, we're unsure as to which year Kuo was referring.
The unusually strong interest in the next version of the MacBook Pro comes down to a couple of key hardware problems found across the current MacBook Pro line, specifically with its keyboard and display.
The butterfly keyboard on the MacBook Pro has been widely criticized for its very shallow travel and for key presses not registering, which could be caused by debris getting stuck underneath the keys. Some have also complained that the space bar on the latest MacBooks works inconsistently. The situation has been so bad that Apple has been sued over these keyboards.
Another issue affecting MacBook Pros from 2016 and later has been dubbed "Flexgate." The problem is that some MacBook Pro models have uneven backlighting, which is reportedly caused by the flex cable being too delicate.
There’s still some new tech coming from Apple coming this year. According to Kuo, a 31.6-inch Apple Display is due for release in Q2/3, plus a new iPhone by the end of 2019. In the longer term, we can look forward to a 32GB RAM 13-inch MacBook Pro, and revisions of the iPad, Apple Watch and iPod Touch.