Kuo: expect a radical major Mac notebook chassis redesign in 2021

Following first ARM-based Mac models in late 2020 or early 2021, Apple fans could be in for a real treat next year: the first major redesign of the Mac notebook chassis following the introduction of the unibody aluminum casing industrial design more than a decade ago.

In a Chinese-language research note issued to clients today, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, Kuo briefly mentions his prediction that Apple would introduce MacBook models with an all-new design in the second or third quarter of 2021.

The revered analyst did not precise whether these will be MacBook Pro or MacBook Air models, but one thing is certain — the upcoming redesign will mark the first major departure from the unbid aluminum casing that was introduced at an event held in October 2008.

Watch a quick video snippet embedded right ahead to see Steve Jobs introducing Apple’s then-new notebook lineup, with Jony Ive talking about how Apple designs portable computers and enthusing about “a new way to build notebooks” out of a single slab of aluminum.

The original MacBook debuted with a combination of polycarbonate and fiberglass casing that was modeled after the iBook G4 design. A second industrial design came in October 2008, bringing unibody enclosures. Then came the third iteration of the MacBook chassis, introduced in late 2009 around a polycarbonate unibody casing.

Apple discontinued the MacBook line on July 20, 2011, but continued selling the notebook to educational institutions until February 2012.

As for the other Apple notebooks, the last major redesign of the MacBook Pro was in October 2016. In October 2018, the popular MacBook Air notebook received its own major redesign with a Retina upgrade and more.