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Though new MacBooks aren't expected to launch until later this year, a new supply chain report claims that one key component supplier is sending parts to Apple as the company gears up for a completely revamped notebook design.
Notebook hinge manufacturer Jarllytec allegedly began shipping metal injection molding hinges for new 13-inch MacBooks to Apple last month, according to China's Commercial Times. Sales for the month of May were said to have increased 107.2 percent year over year thanks to Apple's apparent preparations.
Jarllytec is also said to be preparing to ship metal injection molding hinges for a new 15-inch MacBook Pro in the third quarter of calendar 2016, which runs from July through September.
Hinges are, of course, a crucial component in terms of the durability of notebooks, connecting the keyboard and processing components of a MacBook to the Retina display in a clamshell design that allows for portability. Apple is said to have redesigned the hinge on its 2016 notebooks, allowing for continued durability with thinner form factors.
Thus far, rumors have pegged Apple's revamped MacBook Pro lineup for a late 2016 launch, in time for the holiday shopping season. That would suggest that shipments from Jarllytec are not meant to be taken as a sign that a new notebook launch is imminent.
Notably, Apple is set to host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week, but the event is expected to focus on software, while hardware upgrades are likely to wait until later this year.
According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple's MacBook Pro models are set to be redesigned with a touch-sensitive OLED display that will replace the row of function keys on current MacBook designs. The notebook overhaul is also expected to bring Touch ID secure fingerprint logins to the Mac for the first time.