Every year, on the year, for almost a decade, Apple’s September event meant new fresh iPhones. Except, of course, for last year which, thanks 2020, was all… Apple Watch and iPad. So what does 2020 Jr…. I mean, 2021 have in store for us? Literally…
Well, it’s looking like a return to form with 120Hz iPhone 13, redesigned Apple Watch Series 7, refreshed iPad 9, redesigned AirPods 3, and maybe, just maybe, a redesigned iPad mini, some M1X Macs. Let me explain…
Apple introduced the current, entry-level iPad via press-release back in March of 2017. Basically a 9.7-inch iPad Air… 1-and-a-half reboot, it’s killer feature was its killer price — starting at $329.
But then, Apple started showcasing new iterations up on stage. Adding Pencil support and a $299 education price-point at the March Education Event in 2018, keyboard support and a bigger 10.2 inch display at the September iPhone Event in 2019, and most recently, an A12 chipset at the September iPad Air Event in 2020.
This year, rumor has it, Apple’s just gonna keep on iterating with another screen bump, this time to 10.5-inches. Which started on the iPad Pro 2, then moved to iPad Air 3 when the Pro 3 got its big redesign, and is now moving to the iPad Nothing 9, following the Air 4’s big redesign.
And.. never say never about laminated displays, but that’s really all I’m expecting at that price point or less. No A13. No full-screen. No Pencil 2, no Magic Keyboard that costs almost as much as the machine itself. No power button Touch ID. Nothing that takes away from the more expensive mid-range iPads like the current Air, or the widely expected new mini.
Which is supposed to be getting just exactly that big redesign. A very similar to last year’s Air big redesign. Pretty much making it an iPad mini Air… Air mini? Both? With Thanos-snapped bezels, deleted Home button, Liquid Retina display, better camera, better speakers, power-button mounted Touch ID, and a rainbow of colors. But with the mid-range price point between the nothing and the Air to go with it. I’ve also got a full video up on the new iPad mini rumors and I’ll link it below the like button.
My biggest questions are — will it require a new, smaller Apple Pencil 2? Could Apple possibly make a Magic Keyboard mini for it? And will it actually be announced at the September Event or will be part of the more traditional-for-iPad October event instead? Apple tends to ship things as soon as they possibly can to get sales going as soon as they possibly can, so it’ll just come down to what’s ready and when.
Apple Watch Series 7 is reportedly getting a new design, a new retro-future chic design as well. Something to bring it more fully in line with the current, flatter, more squared off iPad and iPhone looks. There are also rumors of better swim tracking, but other sensors like body temperature, blood sugar, and blood pressure might still be a year or several away. And the edition materials of ceramic and titanium might simply be going away. With the focus shifting, instead, to the aluminum models but with an iPhone like, even iMac-like set of new colors.
Full video on that up for you as well.
So, will Apple finally retire the Series 3? Update the Apple Watch SE? My guess is yes to Series 3 going away, just so Apple doesn’t have to keep supporting 3 form factors, and circa 2016 tech with 2022 watchOS updates. And, with the Series 7 getting a new design, maybe they’ll keep the current SE and rather than updating it, price drop it to cover the entry level instead? That’d be way more in line with the iPhone SE positioning.
For the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12s or whatever Apple calls this year’s new models, we’re looking at the same mini, regular, Pro, and Pro Max, same sizes and similar price points, but with A15 — or basically M2 jr. — chipsets, more efficient X60 5G modems, bigger and better camera systems, and smaller notices all around. Including portrait mode video.
And for the Pro models, the long awaited ProMotion, or variable refresh rate from a peak of 120Hz for scrolling and gaming, to 48Hz for movies, to 24Hz for static photos and interfaces, to 1Hz for always-on Lock screen displays.
And while it’s supposed to be the same or similar LTPO OLED panel as the Galaxy S21, the combination of Apple’s custom drivers, display engineering, and iOS pipelines and color and performance management, it could melt eyeballs in hitherto unimaginable ways. Yes, I did just say hitherto.
Full video on all that, you know it, linked below the like button.
If the new AirPods 3 are ready, we could see them announced alongside the new iPhone as well. I mean, the OG deputed alongside the iPhone 7 back in 2016, when Apple ripped out the 3.5 mm headphone jack and then quickly put some wireless ice on the wound. AirPods 2 were dropped in a press release right before the big Apple Services event in March of 2019. Because a billion phones in our pockets, y’all, not a billion pods. At least not yet.
Those traded up W1 for H1, Apple’s first purely headphone chipset, and added a inductive charging option to the case, but were otherwise very much the same. AirPods 3 are supposed to be much more like AirPods Pro, at least in terms of design if not active noise canceling or transparency.
Biggest questions I have is whether inductive charging will be included by default now, and whether or not they’ll have the one-size fits all on-in-ear tips some love, others hate, or silicon tip options others love, some hate.
And, more on That in this!
The elephant-sized wildcard in the room, of course, is the M1X MacBooks Pro, which everyone and their YouTuber expected back at WWDC in June, but which LED-displays reportedly delayed until the fall.
New, flatter, squared-off iPad Pro and M1 iMac style design, the return of MagSafe power, HDMI, and SD card ports, a bezel-snapped 14-inch model to match the previously snapped 16-inch model, and the death of the Touch Bar, RIP.
And yes, M1X, which should be a more massively multicore, and memory extended, Pro-ready version of the M1, not M2, which should be the next-generation ultra-low power M1 replacement for the next consumer MacBook Air, sometime next year.
But will Apple have them ready for the September iPhone Event, will it take until the more traditional October Mac event to push out, or will we be waiting until November again, like we did for the first M1 Macs?
And so does hitting the playlist above for more on all of Apple’s upcoming fall products, Watches, iPhones, iPads, Macs, AirPods, and more, so you can better decide what to buy for and what to skip. Hit it up and I’ll see you in the next video!
If I had to guess, my brains says October or November, even if my heart says now, now, now. Because I’m still on a 16-inch Intel MacBook Pro and there’s no device in the world I want more right now than a 16-inch M1X MacBook Pro.
And I know some people find it hard to believe Apple would release an M1X MacBook Pro after releasing the iPhone 13, because M1X is on A14 generation silicon and iPhone 13 will be on A15 generation. And think that means Apple will have to go with M2X instead, to also be on A15 generation.
But, you know, Apple sees pro devices differently. I’m not even talking about the Mac Pro or iMac Pro being on older Intel architectures, because that’s just how Intel rolls with their Xeon chips. I’m talking about what Apple’s done with their own silicon in the past. Most recently with the 2020 iPad Pro, which shipped with an A12X even though the iPhone 11 had already shipped with A13 six months earlier.
So, yeah, lower single core performance but far more massively multicore performance and way higher memory options.
Not a perfect world, I grant you. That would have been shipping back at WWDC in June. But a pragmatic one, given the 2020 jr. we’re blazing through right now.