Apple has yet to introduce a single new MacBook Pro in 2012, so it's not much of a stretch to assume that updated models are on the way, particularly with OS X Mountain Lion already scheduled for this summer.

Thanks to sources in Apple's supply chain, we may have some idea of what to expect.

Numerous reports are circulating about a forthcoming 15-inch model that's not only thinner but also borrows a Retina Display screen from its iOS cousins, with USB 3.0 as the icing on the cake.

Although recent rumors point to an ultra-thin MacBook Pro that could match Apple's wildly successful MacBook Air for size, sources close to the company's supply chain now claim a prototype of the next 15-inch MacBook Pro will indeed be thinner, but not nearly as much as one might hope.

Gone is the optical disc drive, which few portable users need in the age of cloud storage services, with the power button being relocated to the keyboard, taking the place of the unnecessary eject key of previous models.

The new, thinner design will likely have another casualty as well, with rumblings that the notebook will be too narrow for a traditional Ethernet port.

New technologies

On a more positive note, Apple is expected to bring its amazing Retina Display to this same 15-inch MacBook Pro, making the leap from the iPhone 4S and this year's iPad, which is said to feature a "jaw-dropping" high resolution.

Last but not least, Apple could slip USB 3.0 onto this year's Macs, finally bringing the SuperSpeed USB port natively to Mac OS X thanks to Intel's newest Ivy Bridge processors.

There's no word on exactly when a new MacBook Pro might see the light of day, but with OS X Mountain Lion expected this summer, it looks to be sooner than later.

Via TheVerge