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Rumor: Apple will have a MacBook Pro variant with up to 32GB RAM this year

By Bryan Chan & Marcus Wong - on 18 Jan 2017, 9:12am

Rumor: Apple will have a MacBook Pro variant with up to 32GB RAM this year

AppleInsider obtained a note to investors by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which says that he expects Apple to refresh their lineup this year with a platform-wide adoption of Intel’s latest Kaby Lake architecture.

Perhaps of the most interest to Pros would be Kuo’s prediction that Apple will start to manufacture a new 15-inch MacBook Pro with up to 32GB of RAM in the fourth quarter, double of what the latest batch of MacBook Pros are able to take.

Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing for Apple has defended the decision to limit RAM allotments following the release of the latest Macbook Pros, saying that the decision was made to best balance computing power with battery needs.

While there are Intel Skylake CPUs capable of addressing more than 16GB of memory, those rely on less efficient DDR4 RAM and are usually deployed in desktops with access to power. Apple's MacBook Pro currently uses up to 16GB of the faster LPDDR3 RAM at 2133MHz, but we may see a shift to LPDDR4 or DDR4L if they release later this year, allowing them to achieve higher memory allotments while keeping unplugged battery life performance up to par.

Besides the high-end 15-inch model, Kuo expects new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros in the third quarter of the year, and next generation versions of the 12-inch MacBook. What isn’t mentioned though, are any of Apple’s desktop based solutions like the iMacs or the Mac Pro.

According to Kuo, Apple has rectified the supply chain bottlenecks, and is on track to return the Mac to growth in 2017. That’s largely on the back of larger-than-expected replacement demand for the 15-inch MacBook Pros.

Sources: AppleInsider, 9to5Mac.com