Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations last week for new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models, including the return of the beloved MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the infamous Touch Bar, a new flat-edged physical design, and the return of additional ports built into the chassis for expanded connectivity.
Kuo didn’t specify which ports (if any) might be making a comeback, but Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reported that the next MacBook Pro models will feature an SD card reader for those looking to transfer photo and video files from a camera or similar device.
“The upcoming MacBook Pro is an example of Apple’s renewed focus on listening to their most loyal users. The company is planning to bring back an SD card slot for the next MacBook Pros so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras.”
The latest MacBook Pro models only have 2 or 4 Thunderbolt ports (depending on which model you choose), forcing content creators to use an adapter or dock to gain access to an SD card reader.
In his research note last week, Kuo mentioned that “most users may not need to purchase additional dongles” for the upcoming new redesign of the MacBook Pro, so it is possible that an SD card reader will not be the only port that returns. As recently as 2015, the MacBook Pro was equipped with USB-A ports and a HDMI port, however many would be surprised if the tech giant returned to “older” style connections such as these with a redesign.
Kuo expects the new MacBook Pro models to launch in the third quarter of 2021. They would replace the higher-end 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models released in May 2020 and November 2019, respectively. The base model 13-inch MacBook Pro was already updated with Apple’s custom M1 chip a few months ago.