New Apple MacBook Pro models shipping Thursday?

Apple could be about to unleash new updates for its MacBook Pro range, for those in the market for a new laptop, as early as this Thursday according to chatter on the Internet.

New MacBook Pro models have been rumoured for some time, however a number of bits of information have surfaced over the weekend that many believe means new models could appear in days not weeks.

The major clue, according to some, is that the US Apple store is now listing all MacBook Pro models (13- to 17-inches) as shipping within 3-5 days.

That means if you bought one today in the US then Apple would be able to send you a new model out when they launch, rather than you having to worry about taking it back and getting a refund.

That works for the US store, but that’s not the case for the UK Apple store, with all the MacBook Pro models except the 13-inch 2.66GHz model still shipping within 24 hours both on the company's website and through its telephone ordering line. 

But why let that ruin a good rumour? Conspiracy fans can cite a number of other pointers to help them collaborate their story. A leaked picture last week of what looked like a black MacBook Pro in an advert for Intel's new Sandy Bridge Core i5 processor is just one of them.

As is an AppleInsider article last week that claimed to have "a person familiar with the matter", who stated at the time that the new lineup should go live within 2 weeks.

That also ties in with a 2-week estimate from MacRumours stated last week, when it touted a launch date of 1 March and also the same date was mentioned on a Danish Apple blog too.

So that’s the date, what about what’s in the device?

Well, the good money is on the inclusion of Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processor, which will make the new models considerably faster than any previous MacBook.

The processor was launched at the start of the year promising a new wave of features and speed improvements before being hit with a product recall, something that could have delayed the release of the MacBook Pro until now.

Apple is also said to be possibly adding a new technology called Light Peak to the upcoming range. 

The new tech, created by Intel, is a proprietary optical cable interface designed to connect devices with very fast transfer speeds (greater than USB 3.0). 

The company’s current range was last updated in April 2010. At the time Apple upgraded all the relevant specs to keep the new models in the game, as well as adding new processor speeds and a new multi-touch trackpad that adds inertial scrolling. 

What is certain is that if you were thinking of buying a MacBook Pro this week, our advice would be to hold off just a couple more days to avoid being disappointed.