Apple events are not ordinary. An Apple fanboy or not, you are intrigued to know what the Cupertino giant is cooking. Apple has already had two events in the spring and summer of 2021, and a range of devices and software updates have rolled out. All eyes are now set at the second half of the year when Apple will throw the next big party; the hardware event for 2021. There is no official date for the event yet or any clarification on whether there will be one or two events this fall.
Going by the tradition, two events are more likely. Apple usually holds three to four events a year. Two of these are scheduled in the fall. Last year, due to the pandemic and production hiccups, Apple hosted three separate events; one in September to introduce two new smartwatches, the second in mid-October to launch the iPhone 12 line up and the third in November when the M1 chip MacBook Pro and Air were unveiled.
This year, since production wise things seem more or less in place, two fall events – most likely virtual – are expected in September and October. September event will focus on the next iPhone series, AirPods and the Apple Watch variant, while it would be in October when Apple may introduce the 2021 MacBook Pro and new iPad mini. Let’s delve deeper to know what Apple products are expected and how each one will fair.
iPhone 13 will arguably be the biggest news from the Apple camp this fall. Reports suggest, iPhone 12-like, four models in the iPhone 13 line up comprising the same size as the predecessors and generally the same form factor as well. The enclosures of the iPhone 13 models are expected to remain alike the iPhone 12s, with the biggest design tweak coming on the front where the notch is likely to shrink in size.
The iPhone 13 line up is likely to get upgraded to 120Hz ProMotion displays. It may not happen for all models but the Pro and Pro Max variants will certainly get it. For the optics, rumors suggest the LiDAR scanner could make way to all the four models along with the Sensor-Shift Stabilization feature for super stable images in every type of light condition.
Other than this, we expect the iPhone 13 line up to come with slightly larger batteries. The phones will feature a faster A15 Bionic chipset and even quicker 5G connectivity. Interestingly, rumors have it that the Touch ID could be reinstated under the display in the iPhone 13 as an alternative method for biometric authentication alongside Face ID.
Apple Watch 7
Apple has a tradition of sorts of release a new Apple Watch every September. Last year was slightly different. In addition to the scheduled Apple Watch Series 6, a new SE model was also rolled out. There is no information of any kind about a new SE variant, but rumors are ripe that a redesigned Apple Watch is in the works and speculated to unveil alongside the iPhone 13.
A redesign is likely – considering Apple has stuck to almost the same aesthetic approach for years now – and the next-gen wearable could feature a sleek, thinner bezel design with edges flattened out akin to the iPhone 12. Apple has been very inflexible with battery enhancements on its smartwatch. This is likely to change with the new model; the Apple Watch Series 7 will get notable battery improvement to beef the battery life over the 18 hour mark of the last year’s model.
Additionally, Apple Watch 7 will come with a new health feature, which reportedly could include a sensor to monitor blood glucose. Without a doubt, the watch would run the new WatchOS 8 unveiled at the WWDC earlier this year.
The second-gen AirPods were released back in 2019. It has been over two years and we are still awaiting the third-generation AirPods. Come September this year, fanboys could be treated to the much-awaited accessory. There may not be a flurry of rumors surrounding the AirPods 3 – as the iPhone 13 for instance – but we strongly believe the subtly redesigned AirPods 3 with wireless charging are coming.
Rumors claim the new AirPods will have a rounded design and shorter stems similar to the AirPods Pro. Along the same line, AirPods 3 could for the first time include swappable silicone ear tips, for better in-ear comfort and fit. The third-generation AirPods may lack noise-cancellation and transparence modes but could integrate sensors to enable spatial audio, all of it for a steeper price tag.
iPad mini 6
Rumors surrounding the launch of a reworked sixth-generation iPad mini have been doing rounds for quite some time now. Most vivid of which is the scheduled fall 2021 release. Building up to that launch are a set of leaks that suggest the iPad mini 6 could see an increase in the display size from 7.9-inches on the predecessor to 8.3-inch now.
The new iPad mini is going to take a few design cues from the last year’s iPad Air. It will come with slimmer bezels, Touch ID in the side power button and flatter edges. Borrowing a trait from the 2020 iPad Pro, the iPad mini could have mini-LED display in 2021. If that’s for real, we are talking about improved contrast and brightness in comparison to the previous LCD screen.
For the power, leaks claim the iPad mini 6 will feature an A15 Bionic chipset in its guts that will also debut on the iPhone 13. In addition, Apple may reportedly replace the Lightning port in favor of USB-C and provide 5G for connectivity.
Apple revolutionized the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air last year with inclusion of the M1 chipset. The processing power is expected to beef up a tad and make its way into the noticeably distinct MacBook Pros for 2021. This time we are expecting a resized 14-inch MacBook Pro alongside the 16-inch model.
This 14-inch MacBook Pro will be a resized successor to the 13.3-inch variant from last year. While the chassis is likely to remain the same, the display is slated to feature a thinner bezel to make space for a larger screen size within a flat-edged body – expected on the new device.
Arguably then, MacBook Pro 2021 would not release with any significant variation in the physical size but may lack the Touch Bar. The MacBook Pro will distinguish itself slightly with the inclusion of new ports this year. Reportedly, the MacBook Pro will feature mini-LED display – for better contrast and brightness – and include a MagSafe connector and a SD card reader.
As we said there are no confirmed dates for the supposed Apple events at the moment. Speculations hint that since Apple tends to host events on a Tuesday, 14 September could be the date for its first fall party where the iPhone 13 series, the new smartwatch and the pair of AirPods would be popped.
The other abovementioned products would then release later in the year. Other than these devices, Apple has several other products ready for debut. For instance the new MacBook Air with thinner bezel and faster CPU, new iMac, Mac Pro, and mini, but we don’t know exactly when these are coming.