It looks like Apple won't be holding another event in 2019, so now we turn our attention to 2020 and what Apple could have up its sleeve as we enter the new decade.
Although there was no October event, 2019 was a busy year for Apple. We had three big events:
- March: Apple unveiled details of its new subscription services TV+, News+ and Apple Arcade, plus Apple Card.
- June: Apple revealed the new Mac Pro and display at WWDC, along with the details of the new OS updates.
- September: The company launched its new iPhones and a new 10.2in iPad.
There were also notable announcements in the year, including a new iPad Air and iPad mini in March, an update to the iPod touch in May, updates to the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in July, the arrival of the AirPods Pro in October, and the 16in MacBook Pro in November.
That's what happened in 2019. In this article we outline what you can expect from the next Apple event: when it will happen, and the products and services that could be announced.
When is Apple's next event?
We can base estimations of when the next Apple keynote will take place on what happens every year. 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)
On that basis, it looks likely that we can expect the next Apple event to happen in March 2020. Read on to find out the potential dates.
Based on previous years, we predict 8th or 9th September 2020, based on the dates of previous years' events, we'll put our money on Monday 23 March 2020, or at least that week:
- 2019, Monday 25 March
- 2018, Tuesday 27 March
- 2017, no March event
- 2016, Monday 21 March
- 2015, Monday 9 March
- 2014, no March event
- 2013, no March event
- 2012, Wednesday 7 March
- 2011, Wednesday 2 March
- 2010, Thursday 8 April (there was also a January event that year)
Next we will examine what Apple might announce at the event. We also have a predictions article that looks in more depth at Apple's plans for 2020.
What will Apple launch the 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 are expecing new iPads and we could see a return to the smaller iPhone. More details below...
iPhone SE 2
After introducing the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max back 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.
However, rumours hint that Apple may yet launch a low-cost replacement for the iPhone SE - although it may not be a smaller phone. Usually spot-on analyst 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.
There hasn't been a new iPad Pro since October 2018, so surely we will see a new one at the start of 2020. Read more about the new iPad Pro here.
Now for the less likely, but still possible updates...
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. A November event could be the next best place (although maybe next spring is more likely).
We examine these rumours here: Apple to unveil 'Tag' object tracker
Mini Apple TV
Now that Apple has its TV+ subscription service, 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 and Amazon include the new service on their devices.
New HomePod and HomePod mini
Apple's also rumoured to be gearing up to launch a new HomePod and potentially a HomePod mini. 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 at the beginning of 2019 and then the AirPods Pro arrived in October 2019, but the company is also said to be planning to introduce some new over ear headphones that we might see in spring 2020.
We've collected the most plausible and interesting rumours about the StudioPods here.
Mac mini update
There was no new Mac mini in 2019, given that it had been four years since the previous update maybe that's not surprising. But we hope Apple will update it early in 2020.
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.
Based on the past few years, we expect WWDC to fall around the 8 June.
- 2019, Monday 3 June
- 2018, Monday 4 June
- 2017, Monday 5 June
- 2016, Monday 13 June
- 2015, Monday 8 June
- 2014, Monday 2 June
- 2013, Monday 10 June
- 2012, Monday 11 June
- 2011, Monday 6 June
- 2010, Monday 7 June
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:
- 2019, Tuesday 10 September
- 2018, Wednesday 12 September
- 2017, Tuesday 12 September
- 2016, Wednesday 7 September
- 2015, Wednesday 9 September
- 2014, Tuesday 9 September
- 2013, Tuesday 10 September
- 2012, Wednesday 12 September
October 2020 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.
But there was no October event in 2019. Does that mean there will be no more Apple keynotes in 2019? Possibly. 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:
- 2019, no October event
- 2018, Tuesday 30 October
- 2017, no October event
- 2016, Thursday 27 October
- 2015, no October event
- 2014, Thursday 16 October
- 2013, Tuesday 22 October
- 2012, Tuesday 23 October
- 2011, Tuesday 4 October
The lack of an October event isn't really surprising. Apple has updated nearly all its Macs this year, except for the iMac Pro and Mac mini, and the now-discontinued MacBook. And while the iPad Pro hasn't been updated, the 10.2in iPad was only just updated in September.
We are expecting Apple to start selling the new-look Mac Pro and it's accompanying XDR Display any day now, but Apple's already revealed all the details of that new Mac earlier this year, so another keynote event seems unlikely.
However, there have been rumours that a new 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.
There could conceiveably be a creative pro targeted event to launch the 16in MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, XDR Display and new iPad Pros.