In a note to investors by famed KGI analyst and Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo, he said that he expects Apple to release a 15-inch MacBook Pro in the fourth quarter of this year that will come with RAM of up to 32 GB.
A MacBook Pro with 32 GB of RAM has never been released, as the current top-of-the-line models max out at 16 GB of RAM. However, Kuo believes that Apple will be pushed to boost the RAM of its MacBook Pro models due to the restrictions presented by current memory system designs.
MacBook Pro With 32 GB Of RAM
Kuo has previously speculated that Apple will be launching a MacBook Pro version with 32 GB of RAM this year, a move that would attract more core users to the laptop.
Intel has unwrapped its latest Kaby Lake processors early this month, and Kuo expects that the integration of Intel's Kaby Lake architecture into MacBook models will be the primary focus of Apple for the 2017 line of the laptop.
Kuo believes that the upcoming 12-inch MacBook update will be among the first computers to be powered by Kaby Lake, with mass production for the new laptop to begin in the second quarter. The new 12-inch MacBook will come with options of up to 16 GB of RAM, which is double the maximum option for the current 12-inch MacBook of only 8 GB of RAM.
The integration of Kaby Lake into MacBooks will then continue with the updated 13-inch and 15-inch versions of the MacBook Pro, production for which are expected to start in the third quarter.
Why Did Apple Limit RAM To 16 GB In 2016 MacBook Pro?
When Apple released the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models, it received criticism for offering a maximum of 16 GB of RAM for the laptops. This is because the RAM is seen as too low for video and imaging professionals who have previously touted the MacBook Pro as their machine of choice for their work.
Apple worldwide marketing senior VP Phil Schiller defended the move of Apple by stating that, if RAM would be offered as high as 32 GB of RAM, a different design for the logic board of the MacBook Pro would have been needed.
Schiller said that, for the 2016 MacBook Pro to support 32 GB of RAM, it would also need to use DDR memory, which is not a low-power specification. In addition to a different logic board that would reduce the space for the laptop's battery, the battery life of the MacBook Pro would have been reduced.
Consumer Reports Recommendation For 2016 MacBook Pro
In addition to the lack of a 32 GB of RAM option, the 2016 MacBook Pro also received criticism for being the first MacBook to not acquire a recommendation from Consumer Reports.
Apple, however, was able to pinpoint the reasons for the failed recommendation from the publication. After Consumer Reports repeated testing for the 2016 MacBook Pro, the laptop was finally given the recommendation that Apple wanted for it.