Upcoming Apple Event: Date and Time, What to Expect
|Apple. Photo: The Jakarta Post|
Apple Upcoming Event: Date and Time
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers.
Apple Upcoming Event: What to Expect
Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com." The event will likely be a pre-recorded affair without media in attendance and should be live-streamed on Apple's website and YouTube channel.
Siri is not providing the information in all instances and will in some cases simply refer you to Apple's website for information on events, but multiple MacRumors editors and readers have seen the premature information across Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod.
Apple typically sends out press invitations for its digital events around a week before the actual event, so it seems likely that Apple will confirm the event later today. Bloomberg has reported that Apple plans to showcase a brand new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with new mini-LED display technology in the middle of this month, according to Macrumors.
New Products and Software Coming in April, 2021
Apple is working on a new version of the iMac with "iPad Pro design language" and thinner bezels similar to the bezels on the Pro Display XDR, which could come in late 2020 or early 2021. This iMac is also expected to have an Apple Silicon chip and an Apple-designed GPU. There are two versions in the works, and one will be 23 to 24 inches in size.
Apple is working on a new version of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro that will feature a mini-LED display, camera improvements, an A14X chip, Thunderbolt connectivity and perhaps a 5G chip. Most of the iPad Pro rumors have focused on a 12.9-inch model, but there is an 11-inch model coming too. The mini-LED display will be limited to the 12.9-inch model, which could be constrained at launch. There will be no design changes to the iPad Pro models.
Apple is developing a ninth-generation version of the low-cost iPad with a 10.2-inch display and a thinner build (6.3mm) that's similar to the now-discontinued third-generation iPad Air.
There's a new version of the iPad mini coming in 2021, and there have been rumors that it could feature an 8.5 to 9-inch display, but recently leaked dummy models have not featured design changes. The refreshed iPad mini will continue to feature a Lightning port, and if there's a larger display, it will be implemented through a reduction in bezel size.
Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV with an updated processor and a redesigned Apple TV remote that could have a Find My-like feature that allows the remote to be tracked down when it's lost within the house. There could be two variants, one with an A12 chip and one with an A14X chip with Apple allegedly working towards console-level games for Apple Arcade.
Apple is working on a new version of the AirPods, which will look similar to the AirPods Pro, but without Active Noise Cancellation. The new AirPods will have a smaller case and a shorter stem, and will be more affordable than the AirPods Pro. There were multiple rumors suggesting the AirPods 3 would launch in the first half of 2021, likely at a spring event, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in March that the earbuds aren't going to be entering mass production until the third quarter of 2021, which indicates a late 2021 launch.
Apple is working on a new version of the AirPods Pro with a more compact design and a new wireless chip. The design is said to eliminate the short stem that sticks out from the bottom, resulting in a more rounded shape closer in design to competing wire-free earbuds from Google and Samsung. Japanese site Mac Otakara believes the AirPods Pro will launch in April, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Products With Unknown Release Dates
There are several other products rumored to be in the works for 2021, but we don't know exactly when these updates are coming.
iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack - Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for the iPhone 12 models, which will attach magnetically. There's no word on when the battery pack is coming and Apple is working to overcome some technical issues, but there was a mention of the battery pack in iOS 14.5, so it could be launching in the not too distant future.
MacBook Pro - Apple is working on 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that are expected in the third quarter of 2021. The new machines will feature the most significant design overhaul to the MacBook Pro line that we've seen since 2016, introducing a flat-edged design. The new MacBook Pros will charge over MagSafe, will have more ports, and will have physical function keys instead of a Touch Bar.
MacBook Air - Apple is developing a thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air that will have thinner bezels than the current model. The machine will feature MagSafe charging technology and a pair of USB 4 ports for connecting external devices. The new MacBook Air could come out in the second half of 2021 at the earliest, but Apple might choose to hold it until 2022.
AirTags - Apple in iOS 13 introduced a new Find My feature that lets iOS and macOS devices be tracked even without a data connection by taking advantage of Bluetooth, and rumors suggest Apple could also expand this into a Tile-like Bluetooth tag that could be attached to any item. It may feature AR support for locating an item in a room and leashing to alert you when an item being tracked moves too far from an iPhone. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expected AirTags to launch in the first half of 2020, but that did not happen, and now he believes they'll launch at some point in 2021.
AR Smart Glasses - Apple is working on augmented reality smart glasses that could come at some point in the next few years. The glasses are said to feature a dedicated display, built-in processor, and an "rOS" or reality operating system. Input will be via touch panels, voice activation, and head gestures, and it's said to support applications ranging from mapping to texting. The first rumors suggested Apple's AR glasses would come in 2020, but now it's sounding like the product will see a release in 2022, though Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said some kind of AR product is coming from Apple in 2021.
|Apple's event schedule for 2021 |
We've covered what we expect Apple to launch at an event in the spring of 2021, but what about the rest of the year?
In a typical year there are normally up to four Apple events at which the company unveils its latest products in front of a large crowd.
In a less typical year like 2020 (and probably 2021) Apple doesn't invite people to events, but it makes no less of an impact by inviting everyone to join it in an online broadcast. We actually preferred Apple's video presentations in 2020 to the usual events in front of an audience, hopefully we will see more of the same in 2021 - and maybe even once we see the back of COVID-19.
Whether these events are physical or virtual Apple tends to hold three or four in a year:
March/April (education and creativity themes, often includes iPads)
June (WWDC - mostly software, sometimes high-end/pro hardware)
September (iPhones and Apple Watches)
October (iPads and sometimes consumer-focused Macs)
Some years there will be no spring event and other years Apple will skip the October event, like it did in 2019. Obviously 2020 was a little different to usual with events held a little later than usual due to COVID-related delays in production, and 2021 may also be.
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