While reports have consistently suggested the new MacBook Pro with Touch ID fingerprint sensor and OLED touch bar will debut this fall, exactly when in the fall has been a lingering question. A new report Wednesday aims to clarify that rather large window, singling out a late October release for the redesigned notebook.
Citing an unnamed source, MacRumors reported on Wednesday that new MacBook Pro models should be ready to ship to consumers "some time in the second half of October." It was said that Apple plans to seed a new beta of macOS 10.12.1 next week, in hopes of finalizing it to ship on new Mac hardware.
The software on the new MacBook Pro will be essential, because Apple is expected to introduce new ways of interacting with the notebook, headlined by an OLED touch-sensitive menu bar that is rumored to replace the current row of physical function keys.
Code in macOS 10.12 Sierra betas released earlier this year has hinted that support for the new feature is already found in the latest Mac operating system. A reference found in code for Apple's Pages word processing software also made mention of a so-called "Function Row," which could be referring to the dynamic display expected to be featured above the keyboard.
Trademark filings made by Apple publicized earlier this month made mention of a never-before-mentioned "Control Strip," potentially revealing the name Apple plans to give the feature.
As for Touch ID, it's been rumored that Apple could integrate it into the power button on new MacBook Pros. Its addition would mark the first time that Touch ID has been featured on an Apple product that is not an iPhone or iPad.
Other expected changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro are a thinner chassis, as well as a switch from full-size USB ports to smaller, reversible USB-C inputs. It's believed the notebooks will come in screen sizes of 13 and 15 inches, just like the current MacBook Pro lineup.