Where next for Apple? We've had three big events already in 2019: the launch of new subscription services TV+, News+ and Apple Arcade, plus Apple Card, on 25 March, the unveiling of the new Mac Pro and display at WWDC in June, along with the details of the new OS updates, and now the launch of new iPhones and a new 10.2in iPad in September. But if you think that's it for Apple's year you could be in for a surprise. There may be more announcements to come in 2019.
In this article we outline what you can expect from upcoming Apple events: when they will happen, and the products and services that will be announced. We also have a predictions article that looks in more depth at Apple's plans for this year and beyond.
Apple's big events tend to happen at roughly the same four times annually:
- March, or spring (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)
Read on to find out when the next Apple event will take place...
Will there be an October Apple event?
Apple often holds an event in October at which, in previous years, we have seen the company unveil iPads and Macs. In 2018 we saw Apple update the iPad Pro and also reveal a new MacBook Air and Mac mini - two consumer-oriented Macs that had been long neglected.
Will there be an October event in 2019? There isn't always an October event, as you will see if you look through our list of October events from the past few years, however, with Apple set to start streaming shows on its Apple TV+ service from 1 November, a late October event, at which it could promote that service, might be well timed for the company.
- 2018, 30 October
- 2017, no October event
- 2016, 27 October
- 2015, no October event
- 2014, 16 October
- 2013, 22 October
- 2012, 23 October
- 2011, 4 October
Apple hasn't yet made any announcements about an October event. The company has updated nearly all its Macs this year, except for the iMac Pro and Mac mini, and the now-discontinued MacBook.
However, there have been rumours that a 16in MacBook Pro could soon launch. Earlier in 2019 Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo was suggesting that this new super-size MacBook could launch before the end of 2019, leading everyone to anticipate a launch in October 2019.
But now Kuo says he doesn't expect the new MacBook until spring 2020, so perhaps there will be no October event after all.
As for the iPad Pro, that might not happen in 2019, or we could just see a press release announcing its availability. If no event happens in October 2019 the next most likely time is spring 2020, probably March 2020.
What will Apple launch at an October event?
We don't know for sure yet if the October event will happen in 2019, but if it does these are the possible announcements.
October events tend to focus on iPads and consumer Macs, but that isn't to say Apple wouldn't break with tradition - as we mentioned above, the Apple TV+ service is launching in November, so an October event would be a great opportunity for Apple to focus attention on that new offering.
As we said above, there is new hardware in the pipeine...
16in MacBook Pro
There are rumours that Apple will introduce a new MacBook Pro before the end of 2019, so we could see it at an October event. That's despite Apple updating the MacBook Pro already this year, including the 13in entry-level MacBook Pro as recently as July.
This new MacBook Pro will have a bigger 16in screen though and there are rumours that it may replace the 15in model.
Read about the 16in MacBook Pro here.
Mac Pro & Display
The Mac Pro didn't get a mention at the September event so it might get an unveiling at an October event, if Apple is ready to start shipping the new Mac Pro machine.
iMac Pro update
We are hoping to see a next-generation iMac Pro soon, so, if an October event, with other creative focused announcements, was to happen, then this would be a good showcase for it. Here's our article about the next-generation iMac Pro.
Mac mini update
The 2019 Mac mini could also arrive at an October event - a year after the 2018 Mac mini did. Although, we may just see a press release about a new Mac mini.
Tag object tracker
Graphical assets discovered in internal betas of iOS 13 strongly suggest that Apple is going to launch some kind of object tracker in the near future. This small disc or sticker will be applicable to keys, wallets and other important items, and will then by trackable in the revamped Find My app (which combines the old Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps). We thought there was a chance we could have seen this at the September event, but it was a no show. An October event could be the next best place (although maybe spring is more likely).
We examine these rumours here: Apple to unveil 'Tag' object tracker
Mini Apple TV
With Apple launching its TV+ subscription service in November, how about a smaller, cheaper Apple TV to go with it? If Apple wants to reach the masses with its service, a dongle that will let them stream Apple's new content to their TV sets could be an essential part of the equation.
Alternatively Apple has already come to an agreement with a number of different TV manufacturers to enable AirPlay 2 compatibility on their sets, so perhaps there will be no need to use an Apple TV to stream Apple's new content. Even Roku will be including the new service on its devices.
New HomePod and HomePod mini
Apple's also rumoured to be gearing up to launch a new HomePod and potentially a HomePod mini in 2019. The latter is probably wishful thinking, but such a move would, presumably, help Apple gain market share in the smart speaker space.
Read about the Mini HomePod and HomePod 2.
There were new AirPods announced earlier in 2019, but the company is also said to be planning to introduce some new over ear headphones and we could see these before the end of 2019.
We've collected the most plausible and interesting rumours about the StudioPods.
There hasn't been a new iPad Pro since October 2018, so could we see one in October 2019? Probably not, with the company just having introduced a new 10.2in model to help it 'sell' the new iPad-related features in Catalina... Read more about the 2019 iPad Pro here.
Spring 2020 Event
In the past, Apple has made significant announcements at spring events. In 2015 Apple held an event called 'Spring Forward' on 9 March, where it announced pricing and the launch date for the original Apple Watch and unveiled the 12in MacBook. Then on 21 March 2016, at the 'Let us loop you in' event, we got the iPhone SE, the iPad Pro 9.7 and iOS 9.3.
Spring 2017 was a bit of a disappointment for Apple followers: instead of a full-blown event the company quietly closed down its online store then sent out a press release announcing the launch of the iPad 2017 and the red iPhone 7.
Then in 2018 Apple held an education-focused event on 27 March at a school in Chicago. The company made a series of announcements including a new iPad (with support for Apple Pencil), updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and GarageBand. As well as talking at length about what it can do for teachers and students.
In terms of what we are expecting to see in the Spring event in 2020, we could see a return to the smaller iPhone... We have our fingers crossed, but hopes are low.
iPhone SE 2
After introducing the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max in September 2018, Apple discontinued the iPhone SE, to the dismay of many. The SE was a popular iPhone, being both the smallest and the cheapest handset on offer, and the iPhone XR, which is much larger and still rather pricey, is no replacement.
However, rumours hint that Apple may yet launch a low-cost replacement for the iPhone SE - although it may not be a smaller phone. Ming Chi Kuo has suggested that the new iPhone SE could be based on the iPhone 8 and it could arrive in spring 2020. There are a lot of people out there that hope these rumours are true!
Read the latest iPhone SE 2 news.
WWDC stands for Worldwide Developers Conference. This tends to be a software-focused event, where Apple announces the flagship features in its annual operating system updates for the benefit of third-party developer partners who will have to update their software to work with the new OS.
What can we expect at WWDC 2020?
At WWDC 2017 we heard about iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra. We also got our first look at the new iMac Pro which was previewed alongside the launch of new iMacs and an updated MacBook Pro and MacBook.
It doesn't take a genius, then, to predict that WWDC 2020 will feature updates to Apple's operating systems. And it may include the appearance of new Macs. Which new Macs? you ask...
New iMac - with a new design!
The iMac has looked the same for around a decade, change is well overdue and 2020 might be the year we finally see it!
Here's what we hope to see from the iMac in 2020.
Apple didn't update the MacBook in 2018 or 2019, in fact it discontinued it!!! So why are we even mentioning it here?
Well we think that Apple does have something up its sleeve and that we could be seeing an all new MacBook at some point in the future, Read about the rumours about the new MacBook here.
September 2020 iPhone event
The September Apple event is usually the highlight of Apple's year. That's when the company launches new iPhones (although in the past iPhones have very occasionally launched in the spring or at WWDC).
The Apple Watch tends to get an update at this event as well, and we can expect the company to announce the public release dates for the next versions of macOS and iOS (which were demonstrated at WWDC, but not released in their final form).
In 2020 we are expecting Apple to launch a 5G iPhone. Beyond that we don't know much, yet, but we'll be sure to update this as we discover more.
As for the date of the 2020 event, we predict 8th or 9th September 2020, based on the dates of previous years' events:
- Tuesday 10 September 2019
- Wednesday 12 September 2018
- Tuesday 12 September 2017
- Wednesday 7 September 2016
- Wednesday 9 September 2015
- Tuesday 9 September 2014
- Tuesday 10 September 2013
- Wednesday 12 September 2012