At least two MacBook Pro models rumored to debut in the second half of 2021 will come equipped with an SD card reader and HDMI port, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Adding detail to previous predictions, Kuo in a note to investors on Tuesday said the additions will arrive with a major design change that includes more options for external device connectivity. Apple over the past decade pared down MacBook’s I/O choices to rely solely on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. The strategy shift will be a welcome one for those averse to dongles.

Genesys Logic appears to be the exclusive controller supplier for the SD card reader and could play a larger role in Apple’s product line moving forward, Kuo says. The firm could be on tap to fill orders for an expected hardware upgrade to the USB 4.0 protocol.

In a report last month, Kuo said he expects Apple to launch MacBook Pro variants boasting 14- and 16-inch displays, both of which will sport a new “flat-edged” look that is more in line with the company’s modern design language. The first of those angular devices was the 2018 iPad Pro, with last year’s iPhone 12 series closely following suit.

The next-generation MacBook Pro models are anticipated to resurrect MagSafe for Mac and ditch the much-maligned OLED Touch Bar in favor of physical function buttons, according to the analyst. Some users laud the Touch Bar’s flexibility, but the component’s utility has not been fully realized as only a handful of developers incorporate dynamic controls in their respective apps.



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