First the headphone jack, now the USB port? Rumor has it that Apple may get rid of the USB 3.0 port and the Magsafe port (where the charger plugs in) on the next generation of MacBooks.
Japanese tech site Macotakara, which accurately predicted that Apple would kill the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, now also claims that the USB port is on the way out. The move would be similar to Apple’s latest 12-inch MacBook and its streamlined profile.
There’s also word that Apple may discontinue the 11-inch MacBook Air to focus instead on the 13-inch laptop. Discontinuing the 11-inch MacBook Air would also potentially boost sales on the 12-inch MacBook.
If these rumors are in fact true, then the new MacBooks will have only a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both of these ports are about the size of the part of an iPhone charger that plugs into the phone. But since most laptop accessories still plug in via the USB port, Apple owners might have to use an adaptor, or upgrade their technology. Meanwhile, the new MacBooks would likely be charged through the USB-C port or Thunderbolt 3 port.
Currently, Apple already sells a USB-C dock with other USB and HDMI ports for $79.
The USB-C port uses USB 3.1 Standard, according to PCWorld, which will connect to a wide variety of accessories, such as external hard drives, cameras, and printers. The USB 3.1 can also transfer data between the host computer and the peripheral accessories at a speed of 10 gigabits per second, which is twice as fast as the USB 3.0.
Macotakara also hinted that Apple would reveal the new MacBook Pro later in October, including 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch models. The new MacBook Pro may also have an OLED (organic light-emitting diode, or a lighting panel) touch bar above the keyboard, which could replace the physical function keys and add more flexibility.
However, as Engadget reports, Macotakara had released similar information in June about the OLED touch bar launching in August, and that never happened. The Inquirer reports that the new MacBooks could launch as soon as October 27.
While all these developments are currently just speculations, it will be interesting to watch how Apple products change, and how we’re forced to adapt—literally and figuratively.