WSJ: Apple to Debut New MacBook w/ E-Ink Dynamic Keyboards in 2018

Posted in Apple, Mac, Rumor on 19/10/2016 by Chris Hauk

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It looks as if Apple will finally announce new Macs next week, so we guess it’s time to start looking ahead to 2018(?) A new article from The Wall Street Journal claims Apple will use futuristic keyboard technology it will license from Sonder Design to offer new a new MacBook lineup with E-Ink keyboards in 2018.

WSJ: Apple to Debut New MacBook w/ E-Ink Dynamic Keyboards in 2018

A mockup of the OLED function keys row likely to appear on the next MacBook Pro models.

9to5Mac:

… The keys can automatically adjust to show emojis, international characters, special command functions, as well as the standard QWERTY layout.

Apple is expected to take a tentative step in this direction next week, when it is expected to debut a new MacBook Pro that features an an OLED touch panel that replaces the usual row of physical function keys at the top of the keyboard.

WSJ says Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the plans with both Sonder and major Apple assembly partner Foxconn during a meeting in China on October 11. The keys on the new keyboard would each boast an E-Ink display, which can automatically update as needed in relation to the app or task currently on the screen.

The keys would be particularly useful to multilingual users, as they could switch language characters on the fly as needed. The keys could also display special characters, dynamic shortcuts, and more on the fly. Such shortcut keys could be of great use to users who make use of Photoshop, or other image or video editing applications.

The WSJ report indicates the E-Ink keyboard would be a “standard feature” of the MacBook lineups, from the lowest priced model up to the top of the line models. Such a move would have makers of the special-purpose keyboard covers and stickers that are currently available searching for a new income stream.

As always, this is merely a rumor, and no confirmations from Apple or the other involved parties have been made. We’ll keep you posted.


Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.