The new MacBook Pro: Why did Apple backtrack on everything?


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Apple’s new models of MacBook Pro have detoured away from the trend of becoming lighter and more minimal, and toward being thicker, heavier, and packed with more connection options. Why did Apple change course?

The latest MacBook Pro models have reversed many of the decisions Apple made with the design and functionality of the 2016 version, much to the delight of its users.

Gone is the Touch Bar, replaced by a row of full-sized function keys and a dedicated Touch ID button on the right-hand side.

Apple’s decision to pare down the ports to a selection of Thunderbolt connections has also been partially reversed, with the inclusion of a full-sized HDMI port and an updated version of MagSafe. There’s even an SD card slot, saving users from needing to carry around a separate card reader.

The designers didn’t stop there, either. The new design is slightly thicker and heavier than in previous iterations. Those are two designs strategies that, in days gone by, would be seen as the antithesis of all for which Apple stands.

The new ports on the MacBook Pro include HDMI and an SD card slot.

The new ports on the MacBook Pro include HDMI and an SD card slot.

So, why has Apple seemingly backtracked on pretty much everything?

Goodbye, Sir Jony

It’s hard to ignore the impact Jony Ive had on Apple’s return to fortune. Arguably, Steve Jobs couldn’t have brought his company back from the brink of bankruptcy without Ive’s influence.

He gave us the iPhone, iPad, and countless other industrial designs, all of which combine beauty with function and long-lasting durability.

But Ive didn’t always get it right with the numerous design decisions needed to produce each and every Apple product.

Former Apple design chief Jony Ive (right) with CEO Tim Cook

Former Apple design chief Jony Ive (right) with CEO Tim Cook

There was a relentless desire to make laptops and smartphones as thin as possible. This resulted in ports and headphone jacks being removed, forcing more users into adopting dongles and carrying adapters around…