[Updated] Apple Announces a New MacBook Pro Lineup with Touch Bar, Touch ID and USB Type-C Ports (India Pricing)

Apple MacBook Pro 2016

Apple today announced an all new MacBook Pro Lineup in an event at its campus in Cupertino. Poised as the “thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever“, the highlight of the new MacBook Pro is the new multitouch Retina Display that replaces the row of Function keys above the keyboard. Called a Touch Bar, this new interface displays app-specific buttons and options that the user can interact with — allowing app developers to offer custom features via this additional display. Apple demoed apps like the new Final Cut Pro 10.3, Adobe Photoshop, Algoriddim’s djay Pro and said that apps like Microsoft Office, Skype, Sketch, etc. will be adding support for the Touch ID very soon.

Along with the Touch Bar, Apple has also introduced a Touch ID into the new MacBook Pro. Featuring the 2nd generation sensor from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, the new Touch ID allows users to log into their Macs or make payments via Apple Pay with just a simple touch. Additionally, different user accounts on the Mac can be tied to users’ own fingerprints — a feature I’m personally desperately waiting for on the iPads.

The new MacBook Pro all features a stunning new display that Apple says is the “brightest and most colorful Retina display yet“. The new display boasts 500 nits of brightness making it 67 percent brighter than its predecessors and also has 67 percent more contrast. Additionally, the display also features the ability to display a wider color gamut and consumes 30% less power compared to previous generations.

The MacBook Pro lineup also features a much larger Force Touch trackpad, coming in a twice the size of its predecessors. There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports using USB Type-C connectors and each of these connectors can be used for charging, video or data transfers.

Other features added to the MacBook Pro lineup include a new keyboard with second-generation butterfly mechanism and louder speakers with improved bass and twice the dynamic range.

MacBook Pro Specifications and India Pricing:

The new MacBook Pro lineup now consists of three different models with multiple versions:

  1. 13-inch MacBook Pro
  2. 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID
  3. 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

13-inch MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is meant as a minor upgrade to the current generation 13-inch MacBook Air. Although Apple has discontinued the 11-inch MacBook Air model, the 13-inch model stays.

This new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the all-new design and sports a 2GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz), 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage.

India Pricing: ₹1,29,900

13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

This all new 13-inch MacBook Pro sports a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz), 8GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB of flash Storage. You also get Apple’s breakthrough new interface in the form of the Touch Bar, the all new Touch ID and four Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB Type-C connectors.

India Pricing: ₹1,55,900 (256GB model) and ₹1,72,900 (512GB model)

Exact pricing for the 512GB model will be available closer to availability.

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro comes in two models for India — a base model with 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz), 16GB of RAM and 256GB of flash Storage and a higher model with 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz), 16GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage.

The Base model features Radeon Pro 450 Graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory while the higher model features Radeon Pro 455 Graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Both models feature automatic switching between the GPU and onboard Intel HD Graphics 530.

India Pricing: ₹2,05,900 (256GB model) and ₹2,41,900 (512GB model)

Exact pricing for the 512GB model will be available closer to availability.

The new lineup is up for pre-order today in the US and start shipping in 2-3 weeks. The availability in India will probably be somewhere in January 2017.

Update – October 28th, 2016, 12:11PM: Apple India has just sent out another email to media outlets, changing the availability to “Coming Soon” instead of the previously mentioned availability of 2-3 weeks. I suspect the new lineup will be available in India starting not before January 2017.

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MediaNama’s Shashidhar KJ published an article earlier today on the site titled, “How recurring payments are finally working in India”. You’d think the article would shed some light on how this was being made possible, but instead, we only get this:

While performing a recurring billing transaction, the customer has to give a consent before making the payment that they authorize the merchant to charge the card as per the subscription plan. The first transaction that is processed folllows two-factor authentication. The 1st transactions is processed with a 2FA

That’s right, the last two sentences mean the same thing.

Moving on, we get this:

CCAvenue will not store the 3D secure password for future recurring payments, and for subsequent payments, the merchant (Business Standard in this case) will send a request to CCAvenue, which will pass the request to the bank in a batch or API, for processing in the back-end.

followed by:

These payments are processed through standing instructions left with the bank. We were unable to find an RBI circular clarifying this.We have written to CCAvenue and the RBI to clarify this and will update once we hear from them.

So how are recurring payments finally working in India?

— They are processed without 2FA, except for the first one (DUH!)
— The bank processes the transactions after a request from the merchant via the payment gateway. (DUH!)
— MediaNama couldn’t find an RBI circular clarifying this.

OK then…

Federico Viticci from MacStories has published his thoughts about the iPhone 7 after spending two weeks exclusively using the new iPhone 7. It’s interesting that Apple chose to send him the Gold iPhone 7 model for review, considering he’s been using the Plus models for the last 2 years.

I started testing the iPhone 7 thinking that a small phone could no longer fit in my daily life, and I’m still going to upgrade to an iPhone 7 Plus. But using the iPhone 7 also made me appreciate the meaning of changes that will reshape the iPhone platform going forward – something that’s more significant than endlessly debating what we left behind.

The iPhone 7 is a bold step towards a future we can start understanding today.

My journey with the iPhone began with the very first iPhone, after which I jumped to the iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4, followed by iPhone 5, and presently have an iPhone 6. The obvious upgrade would be the iPhone 7, but this year, I’ve been considering going for the Plus model, specifically the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB in Black. Too bad it’s currently out-of-stock at most retailers, online and offline.

Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw in a big scoop for the Financial Times:

Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group, the British supercar engineer and Formula One team owner, about a potential acquisition, in the clearest sign yet that the iPhone maker is seeking to transform the automotive industry.

The California technology group, which has been working on a self-driving electric vehicle for more than two years, is considering a full takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment, according to three people briefed on the negotiations who said talks started several months ago.

This sounds insane. But then again, so did FT’s scoop about Apple buying Beats for $3.2 Billion. Almost everyone I remember went something like, “Why would Apple buy Beats!?”