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Controversial new MacBook Pro design rumour emerges ahead of Apple event

A photo of a MacBook Pro on a black background.
(Image credit: Arthur Whitehead)

There are only a few hours to go before Apple's 'Unleashed' Event, in which we're expecting to see the biggest revamp of the MacBook since 2016. And as the internet goes into anticipation hyperdrive, the rumours are getting wilder and wilder. And this last-minute leak suggests the Mac could be about to borrow one of the iPhone's most controversial design features.

The new MacBook Pro (expected to be called the MacBook M1X) is rumoured to be gaining a notch at the top of the screen (as will, allegedly, the next MacBook Air). Which is somewhat, er, unexpected. The notch on the iPhone, after all, is broadly hated by an army of Apple fans, who have eagerly campaigned for its demise. Would the company really bring it to the MacBook?

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But let's not forget, aesthetics aside, there's is a functional purpose for the notch on the iPhone: to house the sensor for Face ID. This particular tech isn't rumoured to be hitting the MacBook for a while yet – but could Apple have a surprise up its sleeve tonight?

iPhone 13 front and back

The notch isn't exactly popular  (Image credit: Apple)

But before we get ahead of ourselves, it's worth considering that these supposed "details" come from an unknown Reddit user who reads Chinese and claims to have seen them on unspecified "second-hand or even third-hand" sources, which they were directed to by "someone who claimed to have helped produce [Apple products] from the supply chain." (Tim Cook, perhaps?) But then again, Joe Rossignol of the far more reliable MacRumours has now added fuel to the fire. 

Abstract image of explosion

All will be revealed at Apple's Unleashed event in a few hours (Image credit: Apple)

According to his investigation, the news of a MacBook Pro notch may have been leaked months ago, but no one really noticed at the time. Back in April a ransomware group known as REvil claims to have gained access to data from an Apple supplier in Tawian, including alleged schematics for unreleased MacBook Pro models. And one of these schematics matches up with an image leaked this weekend to suggest the new MacBook will feature a notch. MacRumours, however, has declined to share the visual as it is stolen material. In fact, no one's even had time to come up with a speculative render, because the rumour has been so last-minute.

Time will tell what Apple has up its sleeve – you can watch the event tonight, at 10am Pacific Time (6pm UK time), via YouTube. In the meantime, the release of a new MacBook always means there are great bargains to be had on older models: check out the latest prices below. 

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Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.