Apple’s Events For Next iPhones, MacBook Pros and More
This year, Apple has already released several new products, including new iPads, the 24-inch iMac, the new Apple TV, and of course, AirTags. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, the list of 2021 Apple products will grow even longer as Apple prepares to reveal the next iPhones, MacBook Pros, and more.
There has been an avalanche of rumors about this year's fall season and what Apple has planned for the remainder of 2021. The cloud of product rumors can make it hard to stay updated with what new devices to expect and when. To help, we've created this guide for MacRumors' readers that outlines what events we could see and what we should expect.
Due to the global health crisis, both 2021 and all events of 2020 have been held virtually online. Under normal circumstances, Apple would have held standalone events at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, with a live audience consisting of Apple employees, members of the media, special guests, and others. While some may have hoped that the 2021 iPhone event would be held in person following five virtual online events, that's highly unlikely to be the case.
September 14 or 15: iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7
Apple almost always unveils the new iPhones and Apple Watch (or Watches—Apple released two in 2020) during an event in September. Specifically, this event almost always takes place on a Tuesday or Wednesday in the second full week of September. For 2021, that would place it on either September 14 or 15.
In 2020, thanks to the pandemic, this event was broken in two. In September, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 6, and a couple new iPads. Then the iPhone 12 line was announced at an event in October. We expect Apple to go back to a single event this year, likely in September, though it will probably be a virtual event once again—the world is not yet ready to pack the Steve Jobs Theater.
We’re expecting to see four new iPhone 13 models (roughly similar to the four iPhone 12 models) and an Apple Watch Series 7 with a new flat-edged design. Apple’s also apparently working on new AirPods with a fresh new design, and this would be an excellent time to announce them.
|Photo Tech Times|
|Although the event may be all virtual, we're expecting to see four versions of the new phone: the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 Mini, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. |
Apple's first event of 2021 happened in April, where we saw new iPads, colorful iMacs, a purple iPhone 12 and AirTags trackers. Then came WWDC in June, where we caught a first glimpse of iOS 15. And there was no word from Apple on the iPhone 13 at either event.
But no one was expecting the iPhone 13 to be announced this early. So when can we expect Apple to unveil its next flagship phones? Apple has yet to hint at any iPhone 13 event date. Based on Apple's history, however, we can typically predict when the company's iPhone events will happen and make an educated guess on a release date based on that.
|iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max: Expect significant new camera features, more advanced displays, improved performance, battery life, and smaller hardware changes. |
Apple Watch Series 7: May include a complete redesign featuring smaller display bezels and flat edges, more advanced health tracking capabilities, and bolstered internals.
Third-Generation AirPods: The next generation of the standard AirPods could feature a design more in-line with the AirPods Pro with silicone ear tips, a redesigned charging case, and improved connectivity. The new AirPods have been rumored for some time, with recent reporting suggesting a launch alongside the new iPhone 13.
Apple Silicon Mac Event
Apple is likely to follow a similar path this year, separating its iPhone and Apple Watch announcements from these new MacBook Pros. All credible reports suggest a launch before the end of the year. While it's harder to pinpoint a specific date for this event compared to the September iPhone event, there is a relative timeframe we can look into.
An account that goes by the name of "Dylan," which has shared accurate information in the past regarding Apple's plan, including details about the 24-inch iMac weeks before its launch, has stated the new MacBook Pros are set to launch in late October to early November. Here are the possibilities for when we could see an Apple silicon Mac event this year, based on that information:
Tuesday, October 19
Tuesday, October 26
Tuesday, November 9
An unlikely possibility is that Apple releases the new MacBook Pros through a press release on its website, similar to how it released the AirPods Pro in 2019 and updated iPad Pro in 2020. That, however, is highly unlikely as Apple will likely want to tout in an elegant way the new MacBook Pros, their design, and their powerful performance aimed at high-end professional users.
October MacBook Pro?
|Photo Surface Pro|
Apple sometimes hosts an event in October to round out the year with a few last-minute product releases. These are often new iPads or Macs, but there’s no reason Apple couldn’t announce something crazy like AR glasses at its own event later in the year. (We don’t expect Apple to announce AR glasses this year, but you never know.)
In 2020, the “October” event was virtual and delayed a month to November, just as the “September” event was. It introduced the wonderful M1-based Macs. It’s too early to know whether Apple will have an event in October this year, but with so many products on the way, it seems likely. Our best guess is that Apple will hold an event in October or November where it will introduce the new MacBook Pro with the M1X or M2 processor, a new design, and several new features.
READ MORE: How to Take Screenshots on MacBook?
In 2020, Apple held three separate events in the fall, with one focusing entirely on the redesigned iPad Air, 10.8-inch iPad, and Apple Watch. This year, Apple is working on a less significant round of updates to its iPad family. Rather than update two iPad models, Apple is expected to release only an updated iPad mini this fall.
Given this, it's unlikely Apple will hold an entire event dedicated to just a single iPad model. Instead, it may decide to include the iPad mini at its Apple silicon or iPhone event or none and release it via a press release.
With new iPhones, Apple Watches, MacBook Pros, and AirPods all possibly awaiting a launch this fall, is there anything else? In short, probably not. While Apple is continuing to work on several other products, such as a larger Apple silicon iMac, they're not expected to be released until early 2022. Apple is also working on a redesigned Mac mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Air, all expecting a release next year.
|AirPods 3 |
Apple's AirPods could be getting an update sometime this year, according to an earlier report from Bloomberg. Rumors suggest the AirPods 3 will have similar features to the AirPods Pro like spatial audio support, a shorter stem, interchangeable tips and a smaller charging case.
iPad Mini 6
Other Apple tablets, including the iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro have already seen updates this year, so that just leaves the iPad Mini. According to Gurman, a redesign for the iPad Mini "should be a go" for fall 2021.
New MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, Mac Mini, iMac and Apple Display
Last year, Apple announced that it would be producing its own chip, known as the M1, to power its Mac. Since then, there has been speculation that Apple may soon announce a new version of their processor for the new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro.
Apple also previously announced a new iMac powered by the M1 processor, but it was only the smaller 24-inch model. Bloomberg has reported that Apple is working on processor updates for both the Mac Mini and 27-inch iMac.
Apple may also be working on a more affordable version of its Pro Display XDR that was originally released in 2019. Bloomberg reported in January that Apple was in "early development" of a cheaper monitor.
Echo Show competitor, soundbar with Apple TV and AR/VR headset
We could see some brand-new devices from Apple this year. This includes the possibility of an Apple competitor to the Amazon Echo Show that would fuse an entry-level iPad with a speaker, a soundbar equipped with built-in Apple TV similar to Roku's soundbar, and an Apple augmented- or virtual-reality headset.
Until Apple sends its official fall event invitations, all we can do is speculate. But we'll update this story as new hints and rumors come to light. In the meantime, here's how the iPhone 13 could compare to the iPhone 12, whether it's still worth it to buy an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11, and everything coming in iOS 15. Plus, why isn't iPhone SE 3 on this list?
Throughout the year, Apple holds online virtual developer events meant to help developers make the best use of Apple’s products, software, and ecosystem. Examples from early in the year include “Building Great Widget Experiences,” “Bring Your iPad App to Mac,” and “Building Great App Clip Experiences.”
Apple doesn’t announce products (hardware nor software) at these events, and there’s no need to focus on them if you’re not a registered Apple developer producing software for Apple products. It’s always interesting to see what areas Apple feels it needs to bolster, however. In this case, it seems the company doesn’t see as much use of Widgets, App Clips, and Catalyst as it would like.
Awards and Honors
Apple has given out app awards for years, but 2019 was the first time there was an actual ceremony for such. The Best of 2019 app awards were held at small event in New York, with mostly the nominated developers and some press in attendance. It was not streamed online.
Also for the first time in 2019, Apple held an awards ceremony for Apple Music. There was a live-streamed performance by Artist of the Year Billie Elish as part of it, the event as a whole was kept mostly to the music industry.
In 2020, these events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards were still given, but there was no event. This year, Apple will certainly honor app developers and musicians with awards, but it’s too early to know if there will be an event around it or not.
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