Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity.
A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader
Kuo did not specify which ports might be making a comeback, but Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman today reported that the next MacBook Pro models will feature an SD card reader for transferring photos shot with a digital camera and other files:
The upcoming MacBook Pro is an example of Apple’s renewed focus on Mac loyalists. 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. That feature was removed in 2016, to the consternation of professional photographers and video creators, key segments of the MacBook Pro user base.
The latest MacBook Pro models only have Thunderbolt ports, forcing photographers 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 next 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 also equipped with an HDMI port and USB-A ports, but it would certainly be surprising to see the latter make a comeback given the tech industry’s transition to USB-C.
Kuo expects the new MacBook Pro models to launch in the third quarter, which spans July through September. 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.