Third time’s the charm?
The lights go dark. The music pauses. The Apple Logo hits the screen. Tim Cook. “Good morning!” Or… wait… “Hello and welcome back to Apple Park.” I mean, it’s like we can’t depend on anything anymore. Not anything. Not in 2020, the “drop test” of years.
We’ve already had the September event, not for iPhone and Apple Watch but… Apple Watch and iPad.
And the October event, not for iPad and Mac but for… HomePod mini and iPhone.
And that just leaves lucky number three, for the already teased… Apple Silicon and…
Well, we all know the drill by now.
Drone shot. Speed ramp. Transition. Steady cam. And then… Apple TV or AirPods Studio, or AirTags, maybe iPad Pro, or maybe, just maybe… one more thing.
Well, sit back, slap that subscribe bell or I’ll switch you back to Intel, and get ready to break it all down, all of it, again, right now.
Sponsored by Curiosity Stream… with Nebula.
Zoom in, like mass-driver from space zoom, all the way down onto Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook. He’s on the stage, he’s in the theater, he’s followed Lisa Jackson onto the roof, he’s in the secret BlackBird launch bay under the basketball hoop, he’s… at Apple Park and he’s ready to talk… Maybe Apple TV 4K+, finally?
Apple TV 4K+
Could be Tim stays on camera or maybe we cut across to Eddy Cue, senior Vice President of services, or someone on the hardware team.
And I know the rumors are saying this won’t happen until next year but, gorramit, I want it this year, so I’m going to try and will-and-the-word into being anyway.
We start with an Apple TV remote, which still needs a makeover. Something a little more asymmetrical. Maybe with the Home button centered at the bottom like iPhones have had size Year Zero.
Also, with a U1 spatial positioning chip in it, so we can Find My the stuffing out of it from in the cushions or under the sofa just every damn day. And fingers crossed for inductive charging. Just, MagSafe all the things now, pretty please.
The 4K box itself will no doubt look the same, of course, but has a beefed up A12X processor — or thereabouts — to not only better handle things like HDR compositing and the next generation of games, please let them including Gamepass and Stadia, but also connected experiences like Fitness+ as well.
And maybe, just maybe, there’s an Apple TV+ with an A14X processor, something that would just clobbering time Triple-A games. Especially if some of the more outlandish rumors are true about Apple sniffing around the big studios Sony and Microsoft haven’t bought yet.
Yes, Apple has never shown an interest in hard core gaming… but that’s never going t stop the rumors or dreams.
Cut back to Tim.
iPad Pro 2020 — Part Deux
Just like 2012, when Apple announced the iPad 3 in March and then came back in October and announced the iPhone 4, what if, just what if, Tim Cook wants to tell us that they’re once again not taking their foot off electric accelerator pedal again?
Maybe Laura Legros or John Ternus, one of the VPs of hardware engineering, come out with a second big iPad Pro for 2020, this one having everything the last one didn’t?
Rumors are saying next spring is more likely, but nothing makes sense this year anyway, so I’m including it for the sake of completionism.
Maybe it just gets 5G with a new X55 modem. Maybe it gets 5G and an A14X processor, so it’s just all of Apple’s major products, all on the same IP generation. Maybe it goes all the way and gets that new mini LED display.
My guess is, nothing, but wow would that be something.
Smooth transition pan back to Tim.
Look, I know you want your Apple Silicon already, but the accessories come first. I don’t make the rules, I just report on them. Apple Watch and iPad. HomePod mini and iPhone. Not the other way around.
So, maybe AirTags? Finally AirTags? And, I’m honestly not sure who comes out to tell us more about them. If they were done last month, Kaiann Drance, Vice President of iPhone Marketing, could have handled it same as she did MagSafe. Or, with an even smaller Bond case, same as she did iPhone mini. So could Greg Joswiak, Joz, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. But they didn’t… so it’s just kinda wide open now.
Anyway, someone comes out to tell us more about these tiny little Apple-emblazoned disks you can stick on your keys and wallets, in your gym bags and gear bags, hell in your kids clothes and your pets collars.
They have U1 chips in them and they work with Apple’s Find my Network, so you can locate anything you lost, stolen, or misplaced, with like down to the inch AR guided precision.
Apple addresses privacy concerns, because even though Tile’s been on the market for years, Apple’s all the headlines are going to care about.
Then we cut to Craig Federighi, senior Vice President of software engineering to demo Find My on the AirTags, maybe some 3rd party versions, along with any other new, hardware-specific features coming to iOS 14.3.
We get the two sizes, the ring and the carrier, we get everything. At last.
And blur drop back to Tim.
Now maybe it’s time to talk headphones. Maybe not. Most recent rumors suggest the over-the-ear ones, the AirPods Studio, have been pushed to next March. But if they haven’t, if they’re in fact ready, Tim shows them to us and then…
Well, I don’t know if we’ll ever see Phil Schiller presenting again. We haven’t so far, not since he left his old post anchoring events to become the Apple Fellow in charge of running events. But he still loves audio gear as much as cameras, so who knows?
Either way, any way, the new AirPods Studio take everything great about the in-ear Pro and just hulk serum them out into full-on over-the-ear studio cans. Like two HomePods mini strapped to your head like Princess Leia hair… it’s computational, spatial audio on the go. And we get the full demo, from silicon to streaming.
You can even swap out the earpieces like watch bands, so you can mix up the colors and patterns.
Then cut back to Tim and it’s time for the main event.
Apple Silicon Macs
Apple Silicon Macs. They were pre-announced back at WWDC 2020 in June. The Mac, but instead of Intel CPUs and embedded GPUs, or Intel CPUs and AMD discrete GPUs, they’d be running custom Apple systems-on-a-chip, like iPads have been doing for years and years already.
We’ve seen the developer test system, basically a Mac mini chassis stuffed with an iPad Pro chipset, the A12Z. But now we get to see the first real Apple Silicon Mac — if Apple doesn’t have a fancier brand name ready to debut for the event.
Rumors have been mixed, with everything from a new 12-inch MacBook, basically an iPad Pro in Mac clothing that would kick things off with something… familiar. To a new 13- or 14-inch MacBook Pro that would go a little further in showing us what Apple Silicon can really do in the Mac, especially when the power and thermal constraints are relaxed just a little.
There are also rumors of a 24-inch iMac with an all new, all also iPad inspired design making the rounds.
Even a 16-inch MacBook Pro still using Intel parts, just put a cap in that lineup. You pick the meaning you want for that.
Either way, we could see Johny Srouji, senior Vice President of platform technologies to talk us through the new silicon again, or Sri Santhanam, Vice President of silicon engineering, who showed off the A13 last year, or Tim Millet, Vice President of Platform architecture who introduced the A14 back in September. But really, it’s an open field, with Joz always a possibility, Tom Boger who runs Mac Product Marketing, or the aforementioned John or Laura from hardware engineering who’ve traded off iPad and Mac duties as of late.
And, of course, Craig Federighi, to show off macOS Big Sur on the new machine or machines.
Safe bet is we get an A14 that either has some unique Apple Silicon accelerators discussed for the first time, something that, like the iPhone and iPad share the same chip but optimize for it in different ways, so too does now the Mac, or we get a whole new letter in the alphabet to make it even more distinct, and maybe some IP uniquely its own.
Either way, it just runs macOS and Final Cut and Logic Pro faster than anything else on the planet, virtual machines and emulators faster than it has any right too, and even iOS and iPadOS apps as fast as anyone would want them run.
And the new era has become.
One more thing…
Now, with Apple silicon, do we even need one more thing? In 2020 of all years?
I’d love it, we probably all could use it. But I doubt it.
Biggest outside chance is a first glimpse of Apple Glasses, like Apple Watch got back in September of 2014. But Apple probably doesn’t want to distract too much from the Mac this month, and it seems way too early still for the technology that would make the Apple Glasses really a consumer ready product yet.
So, my guess is that’s a 2021 or 2022 thing, when Apple can show them off and demo them in person. When they’re 100% certain they’re going to ship. Because, especially with everything else going on, I just don’t see Apple setting themselves up for any more delays.
But if there’s any year we could use a bonus, that we need extras, it’s this one.