Earlier this week Apple introduced a new 4-inch iPhone SE, a smaller iPad Pro, and all new Apple Watch bands at its ‘Let us loop you in’ March event. Just as we expected, news about any update in the MacBook line wasn’t announced. But thanks to a tipster, we’re now discovering references to an ‘early 2016’ 12-inch MacBook with Retina display, which is presumably a follow up to the first generation hardware released last April.

Though the news around the 12-inch MacBook update has been quiet, Digitimes recently reported that Apple is preparing a new 13- and 15-inch MacBook for July. Today’s discovery gives us further expectations that a 12-inch MacBook update may be seen in the near future.

Evidence of the 2016 12-inch MacBook is seen within Apple’s own System Image Utility on the Mac, which is where the reference was discovered, and the OS X Server application available in the Mac App Store.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 1.34.37 PM

Using the System Image Utility tool, a user can create a Mac OS X image to then install onto other systems. This speeds up system administrators work when having to install and configure multiple computers. One of the options given within the tool is the ability to limit the configured install image to only select Mac models. In this model filtering list, we see the 12” MacBook (Early 2016) as a possible option to select.

OS X Server 2016 12-inch MacBook reference

A similar Mac model filtering system is seen in the OS X Server application under the NetInstall section. Under here, an administrator could configure an OS X Server to allow networked clients to receive and install OS X images over the local network. (This was a method used at Apple Retail Stores a few years ago to update customer computers.)

An update to the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display would make sense for the near future. Nearly all the MacBooks are approaching their one year mark since their last release or update. As Mark Gurman previously reported, faster MacBooks are expected to debut at this year’s WWDC, with new MacBook Pros coming in the later half of the year.

The 12-inch MacBook is currently available on Amazon with a $100 discount or on Best Buy’s site with a $300 discount. Be sure to keep an eye out on 9to5Toys where deeper discounts are discovered.

Thanks Matt!

You can follow iPhoneFirmware.com on Twitter or join our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Apple and the Web.