Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last month that starting with 2021 models, MacBook Pros would lose the widely criticized Touch Bar functionality. Apple is said to be using extra internal real estate to add more ports. But it seems that Cupertino might not be absolutely loving the Touch Bar.

Patently, Apple has discovered more than 70 patents recently issued to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Among these were two reconfigurations (patent #10,921,854) of the MacBook Pro Touch Bar that engineers could consider. The two redesigns place the Touch Bar closer to the screen than the keyboard. The first one (Fig. 6) shows it approximately in the same position (maybe slightly higher) as the latest Touch Bar versions. However, it incorporates a second monitor in a more prominent position right under the screen.

As well, patents are never promises of potential functionality. Apple may just want to defend itself from rivals coming up with a better understanding of its technology. As a general rule, I prefer to give more validity to Kuo’s predictions of upcoming Apple devices than to Apple’s patents.