Some interesting photos have surfaced this morning showing a supposedly updated keyboard layout for the unibody MacBook Pro. The main difference, though subtle, is the inclusion of dedicated home and end keys near the arrow keys.
The images were reportedly snatched off of Apple’s servers, and have since disappeared – but not before they were downloaded and spread across the internet!
While I can’t say anything about the authenticity of the images, they do appear to be legit, as the light angles and pixels are different on each of the new buttons. Furthermore, the addition of home and end keys could serve as a convenient feature for many users.
While some may use these images to base speculation that the next MacBook Pro will use the same unibody chasis, I content that it’s equally plausible that Apple is simply testing the new keyboard out in an existing (though slightly modified) unibody enclosure.
Apple could certainly still redesign the new MacBook Pros before a future launch – rumors from earlier this year have suggested that next year’s model could feature a thorough redesign, possibly taking notes from the MacBook Air. It’s also possible that this could be a non-functioning mock-up made by Apple to see how it would look.
According to the tipster, the file names of the images may also possibly hint at a release date for new models:
The file names also hint at a release date. They both ended with ‘20120631’. 31st of June, maybe? Possibly a placeholder for the end of second quarter…”
To be clear, this is all purely speculative, but fake or not, these images are at the very least very interesting, and don’t clearly seem to have been faked.