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Apple cuts MacBook Pro dongles' price

After criticisms of the new Macbook Pro ports, Apple slashes prices of its USB-C adapters

Apple has launched two new MacBook Pros, a 13in and 15in, which are on sale in the UK now. The big new feature is the touchbar, which has replaced the function buttons, but battery life and graphics capabilities have also been increased, as has memory capacity.

Here we round up everything you need to know about the new MacBook Pro 2016.

MacBook Pro 2016 at a glance

    • New MacBook Pro is on sale in the UK now
    • Three options, 13in MacBook Pro, 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
    • Intel core i7 processor on 15in version, core i5 on 13in
    • 15in MacBook Pro has up to 2TB storage, 13in MacBook Pro has up to 1TB storage
    • 13in Touch Bar MacBook Pro UK price from 1,749
    • 15in Touch Bar MacBook Pro UK price from 2,349

Apple MacBook Pro 2016 news

07/11/2016: Apple released its new MacBook Pro earlier this month, with some changes in its basic design and the introduction of a USB-C port.

The company faced criticisms due to this latter new feature, particularly due to the need for most users to buy adapters and carry them around, as the new port is not yet widely used.

While the previous MacBook Pro had a variety of ports, such as USB type-A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 2 ports as well as an SD card slot, the new model only offers users the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports, meaning that users will have to buy adapters to use existing peripherals.

This has led to an outcry from disgruntled users and has forced Apple to drop the price of USB-C adapters, to stem the flow of criticisms and encourage customers to purchase the new MacBook Pro.

The prices of adapters have been dropped by up to half price, while third-party peripherals such as the 4K and 5K LG screens introduced last month, have seen a 25% drop, while SanDisk's SD card reader has seen a 40% price cut.

The new ports are not the only complaint relative to the new MacBook, which some users claimed is underpowered and has too little RAM (16GB).

Apple said in a statement: "We recognise that many users, especially pros, rely on legacy connectors to get work done today and they face a transition. We want to help them move to the latest technology and peripherals, as well as accelerate the growth of this new ecosystem. Through the end of the year, we are reducing prices on all USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 peripherals we sell, as well as the prices on Apple's USB-C adapters and cables."

The new MacBook Pro was launched at an Apple event called "Hello Again", which took place on Thursday 27 October.

31/10/2016: The classic Mac startup chime, which has been a feature of both dasktop and laptop Apple Macs for over 30 years, has been removed on the new MacBook Pros.

The chime is an indicator to the user that the computer has finished its initial hardware and software diagnostic tests successfully and is starting up. However, website Pingie first noted that it is missing from the latest MacBook Pros.

But, where one feature dies a new one is born. In this case, the MacBook Pros will start up upon opening the device's lid, whether or not it's connected to a power source. It will also start up when it's connected to a power adaptor either if the lid's open or if it's connected to an external display.

All three MacBook Pros 13in, 13in with Touch Bar and 15in with Touch Bar are available to buy immediately from 1,449.

Apple Hello Again: Live Blog

19:25: Out now!

Cook finishes up by saying that the MacBook Pro is out now!

Apple's releasing three models; a 13in Pro with no Touch Bar, and a 13in and 15in with the Touch Bar.

The non-Touch Bar model is available from Saturday, and the other two ship in three to four weeks, according to Apple's UK site.

Here's the UK pricing: 13in MacBook Pro (without Touch Bar) 1,449; 13in MacBook Pro 1,749; 15in MacBook Pro 2,349

And with that, the event is over. Thanks for following our live blog!

19:16: 10 hours battery life

Both the MacBook Pro 13in and 15in models have up to 10 hours of battery life, according to Phil Schiller. It's also 6.8 million times faster than the original Pro, he points out - it can do a year of the 25-year-old golden oldie's computing in less than five seconds.

18:52: 67% brighter MacBook Pro

The new MacBook Pro is 67% brighter and offers 67% higher contrast ratio than its predecessor, while offering 25% more colours.

Its SSD storage is 50% faster, and holds up to 2TB.

18:40: Apple scraps function keys for OLED Touch Bar

It adapts to the software you're using, for instance, letting you straighten photos, or offering a search bar when you land on a website. 

It also comes up with typing suggestions:

18:40: New MacBook Pro

Here it is: 

It comes in two models - 13in and 15in, and boasts a ForceTouch trackpad that's two times larger than previous generations.

18:30: MacBook 25th anniversary

This week amrks the 25th anniversary of Apple's first notebook - the Power Book.

Wanna have a look? Oh go on then...

18:28: Search Mac files with Siri

On MacOS Sierra, you can search for files with Siri, Cook reminds us.

18:23: Siri voice commands

Siri on Apple TV is getting better, too: it can understand questions like 'what other football games are on?' and will know what show to bring up if you say 'let's watch the Louisville game'.

18:16:  Apple TV

"The future of TV is apps," says Cook, boasting Apple now has 8,000 TV apps.

But even more important is, Cook wants it to be the one place to discover TV shows and watch anything.

To do that, it's announcing a new app caled 'TV' (er, Tim, I think that one's been taken).

In TV's Watch Now, ou can browse by category - TV shows, movies, and more. It looks like Apple wants TV to be the new Netflix.

It lets you download iTunes movies or head to the Store for more content.

18:11: Apple Watch Nike Plus

Cook says the Nike version of the Watch 2 comes out tomorrow, which is great for sporty types (I wouldn't know).

18:05: Updates

Tim Cook starts out by detailing some new updates, beginning with the iPhone.

He says the "customer response has been very strong" to the iPhone 7 - important, considering Apple just experienced its first decline in 15 years.


A new feature on the iPhone 7 will pull out new photos everyday from your collection to remind you of cool memories, says Cook.

iOS 10

Cook says 60% of iPhone users are now on iOS 10, as compared to 1% of Android users on Nougat...

18:04: And here's Tim Cook! He says he spots "a few iPhones out there" in the audience.

17.57: After an accidental leak, Apple rather gave the game away yesterday when it posted images of its new MacBook Pro, all but confirming it will feature an OLED bar above the keyboard that replaces its normal function keys.

It's also very likely to feature Touch ID and will replace the USB port with a USB Type-C. 

But we're about to find out a lot more... stay tuned!

Apple seems to have accidentally leaked pictures of its newest Macbook Pro, confirming that the laptop update will be announced later today.

The images were released on MacRumours and appear to have been inadvertently added to a page about Apple's latest operating system.

The pictures show the new Macbook Pro's keyboard, with an additional panel that seemingly replaces the physical function keys on a standard keyboard.

It would also include a fingerprint sensor - presumably so people can log into the computer without a username and password - and a touchpad that suggests it would use gestures or sweeps as is the case with the touchpad rather than keys to carry out actions such as lightening the screen, turning the volume up and down or controlling music with iTunes.

Although there's some speculation that Apple may have released the pictures on purpose to promote its new line on Macbook Pros, one analyst doubts this is the case with the Macbook Pro.

"The leaks are massively damaging as these companies want to have their 'wow moments' when products are unveiled, and an explosion of media coverage, rather than a more tepid response because the details are known in advance," said Ben Wood from CCS Insight told the BBC.

"But it seems to have become virtually impossible for any large company to keep new tech products under wraps."

24/10/2016: Hello Again: iMac won't launch at Apple Event

Apple' is expected to present its new series of Macbooks at an event on Thursday, 27 October.

Ming-Chi Kuo, of KGI Securities analyst, predicts that at Thursday's "Hello Again" event, Apple will introduce its new MacBook series, but not the new iMac, according to MacRumors.

Kuo's report suggested Apple will present a redesigned MacBook Pro and a 13-inch MacBook, which could be a MacBook Air.

He also believes Apple will place Intel's Skylake processor on Apple's MacBook Pro, as well as an oxide panel that ensures better display quality and energy efficiency.

The new MacBook series should also come with substantial changes in design, including an OLED touch bar, Touch ID sensor and the substitution of a traditional USB port with a USB-C port. According to the analyst, Apple could include a Type-C and MagSafe-like adapter.

Although Thursday could be the time at which Apple releases new MacBook models, iMacs might not be included in the event.

Although Apple is developing iMacs and Cinema Display, their shipping schedule is not imminent, hence Kuo is uncertain whether these products will be introduced this week.

The analyst believes interested users might have to wait until the first half of 2017 for these devices to be announced.

20/10/2016: Apple sends out invites for possible MacBook Pro launch

Apple's colourful invite to the upcoming Cupertino event on 27 October, sent out to press on Wednesday, may suggest something more significant than it first appears.

The word "Hello" has become a significant call sign for Apple since the release of the original Apple II in 1977. The 'hello' program was a feature on Apple DOS 3.1, which would automatically launch on boot and allow for program selection if the disk contained more than one title.

Fast forward to 1984, the cursive "Hello" featured in marketing materials, painted across the black and white screen of the Macintosh 128k. It was not until the release of the iMac that saw the use of 'Hello, (again)' featured once more in marketing campaigns, evoking nostalgia of the original Macintosh.

Importantly, Apple, who is particularly savvy when it comes to marketing, has used the word 'Hello' during significant shifts of company focus. With the recent press invite, users are once again expecting something big at the event in Cupertino.

Rumours are suggesting we will get to see the new MacBook Pro, but it may feature some significant changes, including a shift to USB-C and the scrapping of physical function keys above the keyboard in favour of an OLED touch bar.

Whatever Apple has planned, it is certainly creating some excitment.

19/10/16: Apple may launch a new MacBook Pro at a Cupertino event on 27 October, according to Recode, but another model pegged for release further in the future might not feature a USB port.

The new laptop to be unveiled later this month is rumoured to include an OLED touch bar above its keyboard, replacing the existing physical keys there.

It will be thinner and lighter, with Touch ID support to unlock the laptop with a fingerprint, according to 9To5Mac.

It may also swap traditional USB ports for USB Type-C ports. This is a smaller USB plug that could make the new MacBook thinner and easier to carry.

The OLED bar's functions could change according to what the user is currently using the laptop for, hence making the next MacBook Pro even more user friendly.

These drastic changes would come in the same year in which the company introduced the EarPods, headphones that work with the iPhone 7 by connecting through the Lightning port, removing the traditional headphone jack.

Apple might present a new MacBook Air and iPad Pro at the same event, and if so, it would come one day after an event at which Microsoft is expected to be introducing updated versions of its Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

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