HDMI port and SD card reader will make return to MacBook Pro this year

MacBook Pro is getting a big redesign this year.
Photo: Apple

From the sound of things, Apple is going back to the past for its next-gen MacBook Pro — and, depending on who you ask, that could be a very good thing.

The next MacBook Pro is already rumored to include the end of the LED Touch Bar in place of a row of regular physical keys, and the return of the MagSafe charger.

Now, in a new note to clients, reliable Apple analyst TF International Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo says that it will also feature the return of a built-in SD card reader and HDMI port. These have been MIA since 2016 when Apple started ditching MacBook ports like they were going out of style.

In his note, seen by Cult of Mac, Kuo writes that:

“We predict that Apple’s two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have several significant design and specification changes. Some of the practical changes for users are equipping with the SD card reader and HDMI port. We are optimistic about the new MacBook Pro shipment momentum and forecast overall MacBook shipment to grow 25–30% YoY to 20 million units in 2021.”

What’s old is new, what’s new is new

From the sound of things, the new MacBook Pro could be a mixture of new and old. Kuo notes that Apple will launch of pair of MacBook Pro models in the second half of the year. On the new front, these will include “all-new designs,” the new Apple Silicon chips with no Intel CPU adoption, and a mini-LED display. On the old front will be the reports of innovations like MagSafe and ditching the LED Touch Bar.

It’s definitely a compelling sounding product. Apple has made a few missteps with the MacBook over the past few years, including the hated butterfly keyboard. It has now started removing the misses and doubling down on what people like about the Mac. With Jony Ive gone, it’s now starting to emerge what the post-Ive Mac era at Apple could look like. And the indicators so far are certainly intriguing.

What would you think about the return of the SD card slot and HDMI port? Is it a step forward or backwards for Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.