Apple reportedly releasing a 13-inch MacBook Pro with scissor keyboard Q1 2020

Reports in Taiwan suggest that Apple will release a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard in the early months of 2020. Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, which has something of a mixed reputation, has cited industry sources in making this assertion.
MacBook Pro scissor keyboard
The scissor keyboard has already been announced for the 16-inch MacBook Pro – due for release imminently. Photo: iFixit.

Scissor keyboard release

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with its mooted scissor keyboard would follow hot on the heels of the recently released 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is set to be launched in the coming weeks.

Apple’s MacBook Pro range is highly regarded, but the keyboards included in the recent iterations of the laptop have been criticized, not least for being less durable than previous editions. This has eventually led Apple to act with the 16-inch version of its laptop, and now it appears that changes will be made to the 13-inch model as well.

The report from Digitimes states that Apple will retain the existing display size with the new MacBook Pro release, meaning that it will feature a 13.3-inch screen. Some reports had previously suggested that Apple was considering increasing the size of the display to 14-inches, though, and this possibility definitely shouldn’t be ruled out at this juncture.

MacBook Pro keyboard
The MacBook Pro laptop range was last refreshed in 2018. Photo: Apple.

Manufacturing companies

Digitimes also suggests that Wistron and Global Lighting Technologies will be involved in the manufacturing and supply of the new scissor keyboards for this MacBook Pro release. In designing the scissor keyboard, reports indicate that Apple has taken its lead from the Mac Magic Keyboard, and that the design of the two is virtually identical.

Some keyboard layout changes have already been noted with the larger MacBook Pro release, not least the fact that the machine features a physical Esc key and an inverted-T arrow key layout. While it is not known whether or not the notepad version of the MacBook will follow on from this approach, it seems highly likely that this would be the case.

The report from Digitimes meshes with the predictions of legendary Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has previously predicted that Apple will switch its entire notebook range to scissor switch keyboards in 2020, and that this would include every model of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 Keyboard
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 features the Magic Keyboard. Photo: Apple

Scissor-switch

Scissor keyboards derive their name from a ‘scissor-switch’ included within them. Keys in the keyboard are attached to this via two plastic components that interlock in a scissor-like fashion. They are known to be more expensive than other forms of keyboard, and are also less likely to accumulate dust and other debris; a noted issue with the Butterfly keyboards of previous MacBook releases.

The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro was last updated in July, with the higher-end 13-inch models having been previously refreshed in May. Sales of Mac computers amounted to just over 18 million units in 2018. While this is less than the 20.59 million record that Apple achieved in 2015, unit shipments have remained relatively stable over the last few years.

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