Happy New Year! 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but Apple still delivered with new iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches, and more. But where will the company go next? We’ve put together some of our own product release predictions for the year ahead…
iPhone 13 range
The iPhone 12 might be fresh off the production line and enjoying impressive sales around the world, but that doesn’t mean that Apple is resting on its laurels. Insiders suggest that next year’s smartphone will sport a similar design to the iPhone 12, with four models and some under-the-hood changes designed to further elevate its performance and specs. Though major design changes aren’t expected, there’s a good chance that we’ll see some improvements to the camera, a new A-series processor, and perhaps even the transition to a portless design for the first time. Following the release of MagSafe for iPhone in 2020, some have speculated that Apple is working towards removing the Lightning port from its iPhones, helping it achieve its long-term ambition of a phone that looks like a single sheet of glass.
AirTags launch – finally!
As Apple further looks to expand its product portfolio, AirTags could be just around the corner. For more than a year, the company has been poised to release its own Tile-like tracking devices, which attach to wallets, keychains, teddy bears, and cars to track and monitor them, wherever they are. Back in iOS 13, we saw the first teases of the product, with code suggesting that Apple was working on an augmented reality user interface to help users find their lost items. We had expected that AirTags would launch in the first half of 2020, but now it’s likely that they’ll come in early 2021 at one of Apple’s Special Events.
More M1 Macs
Although the company has remained tight-lipped on which Mac will be upgraded next, it’s likely that the current eight-core M1 chip will only be for entry-level machines. A source told Bloomberg that Apple wants to release new iMacs and Mac Pros that “outclass top-end PCs” with the company developing a new “aggressive” roadmap that will see it add as many as 32 performance cores to new Macs. Whilst AMD offers a 64-core Threadripper, a new 32-core Mac Pro would elevate the machine and entice professionals. Apple is also developing new higher-end MacBook Pros (likely the 16-inch variant) with 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, and the company wants to improve graphics performance with new 16- and 32-core GPUs for iMacs and MacBook Pros. The company could even introduce a 128-core GPU for the highest-end Mac Pro, which would be several times faster than AMD graphics in Intel-based models. Bloomberg suggests that high-end Macs will arrive in the latter half of 2021, though mid-range models could come sooner. Other improvements are likely to include a redesigned chassis to help usher in the new era of the Mac, as well as improvements to the FaceTime HD webcam and Touch Bar.
Upgraded Apple TV
Alongside new iPhones, Apple Watches, and MacBooks, 2021 will also see Apple launch a new set-top box with an upgraded processor and a new-look Apple TV remote, which itself could feature a Find My AirTag-style service for finding a missing remote control. Insiders have teased two new models; one with an A12 chip and one with an A14X chip to power console-style games from Apple Arcade, whilst a third-generation of Apple’s popular AirPods could follow in March. The models will feature a design similar to the AirPods Pro, without Noise Cancellation to keep costs down, with a second-generation AirPods Pro the year later.
Apple Car news
We might just see our first glimpse of the Apple Car in 2021. Although the project was officially scrapped a couple of years ago, Apple has still been working on its own electric car technology, with the company working on both autonomous software and a physical vehicle, with a design “similar to a Tesla.” Ming-Chi Kuo argues that a full roll-out of an Apple-branded car is still a few years away, but that we should see some more developments in the next year as the project gathers steam.
Which of these are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know and check back soon.