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Apple Plans MacBook Pro Laptops’ Overhaul

Apple Inc is preparing the first significant over haul of its Macbook-ProMacBook Pro laptop line in over four years, according to people familiar with the matter, using one of its older products to help reverse two quarters of sliding sales.

The new computers have been in advanced testing within Apple since earlier this year, said one of the people, who didn’t want to be identified discussing products before their release. The MacBook Pros aren’t likely to debut at an event currently scheduled for September 7 to introduce next-generation versions of the iPhone, according to one of the people. Apple spokesman Bill Evans declined to comment.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs heralded tablets as possible laptop replacements by calling the iPad a “post-PC” device after it launched in 2010, but products like the MacBook Pro have shown surprising resilience. Sales of Macs, including the Pro line, rose 6% to $25.5 billion in the last fiscal year, while iPad sales fell 23% to $23.2 billion.This year’s MacBook Pro overhaul is aimed at increasing notebook sales at a time when consumers are taking longer to buy or replace iPads. Apple research suggests customers upgrade iPads roughly every three years, while they buy new iPhones every 18 to 24 months, according to a person familiar with Apple’s strategy , which helps explain why iPad sales numbers have fallen from a peak in 2013.

Apple will also release a new version of its Mac operating system named Sierra this fall that brings Siri, new messaging and photo-management features, deeper iCloud integration, and more efficient file storage to Apple’s desktops and laptops, the company said in June. Apple’s shares have begun to recover after tumbling to as low as $90.34 in May amid concerns of slowing iPhone sales. They are up 3.4% now for the year to $108.81.

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