Supply chain analysts also expect Apple to kill the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

If you needed another proof that Apple will finally swap the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar feature for a standard function row of keys along with a physical Escape key, here it is…


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • OLED supply chain specialists claim Touch Bar is going away
  • Other credible sources previously acknowledged as much
  • Touch Bar suffers from usability and discoverability problems

A closeup of the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

MacBook Pro to finally lose its Touch Bar?

Display Supply Chain Consultants wrote in their report regarding OLED iPads in 2023 that Apple will remove the much-maligned Touch Bar feature from the next MacBook Pro refresh.

The Touch Bar was added to the MacBook Pro in 2016, but it quickly became evident that the feature suffers from usability and discoverability problems. The Touch Bar is a horizontal OLED strip above the keyboard that renders various app-related shortcuts that change dynamically.

Featured tips and tricks for MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

Removing the Touch Bar should free up space for the return of the function key row along with a dedicated Escape key. The absence of the physical ESC key along with the function row is often cited as one of the biggest failures of the Touch Bar. The function key row has some useful quick controls for adjusting the brightness, volume and more, while the ESC key is especially important to programmers and other pro users.

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing Apple may cancel the Touch Bar.

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Both reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman have predicted the upcoming 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models would nix the Touch Bar. These redesigned machines should also include mini-LED screens and launch this September or October.

The report focuses mainly on Apple’s first iPad with an OLED display, a new iPad Air model featuring a 10.9-inch AMOLED panel that’s expected to hit the market sometime in 2023. On the other hand, prior rumors indicated Apple’s first OLED iPad would drop in 2022. For instance, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March 2021 that the device would launch in the early stages of 2022, with a recent report from The Elec echoing that notion.