March 2019 was pretty action-packed for Apple, launching not only new hardware with its iPad mini, iPad Air, new iMacs and AirPods, but also revealing the details of its upcoming subscription services Apple TV+, News+ and Apple Arcade, and in the US only a new Apple Pay-integrated credit offering in Apple Card. But 2019 still has lots of exciting new Apple products to come, with at least two more special events in the wings.
We're hoping to see new Macs at WWDC in June, but let's not forget all the long-rumoured devices to which Apple has so far turned a blind eye. Rumours are heating up about an iPhone SE 2, while September will surely bring new iPhones. (Find out when is the next Apple event.)
One thing we know won't be happening is AirPower. Apple has conceded defeat and confirmed that there will be no wireless charging pad. Read about what happened to AirPower here.
We've donned our prognostication hats and investigated every rumour and trend we could find to bring you our predictions for 2019. Read on to find out what could be in store, from new iPhones, iPads and Macs, enhancements to the software, and some exciting news in terms of music and TV.
In 2018 we saw the launch of the iPhone XS & Max and iPhone XR, but there is one other iPhone that people are hoping will get a look-in...
Not everyone wants a humongous phone and there are still calls for Apple to upgrade the 4in iPhone SE model to the iPhone SE2, replacing the existing (and rather popular) SE that was introduced in March 2016.
Every time we think that its days are numbered a new rumour surfaces about the new iPhone SE, so maybe it has a future. If the new model launches it is likely to keep the existing, classic design, but feature upgraded internals such as the A10 chip found in the iPhone 7 and a more powerful camera.
There are even reports that it could get an iPhone X-style look, but we're not sure Apple is ready to bring Face ID to its entry-level iPhone just yet.
Read more here: iPhone SE 2 release date
When? WWDC 2019, maybe...
There's not much to add to the Apple TV as it stands, but we are hearing rumours that Apple could launch a smaller, cheaper Apple TV stick... Which could help it get Apple's content out to the masses.
Although as more and more TV manufacturers add support for AirPlay 2, maybe there will be no need for the Apple TV set-top box in the future.
When? WWDC 2019
Aside from the new AirPods that have finally arrived (read our AirPod 2 review here), Apple looks set to make some waves in the sound space with updates to its HomePod and may even revive the iPod touch.
Apple is also said to be working on over-the-ear headphones to accompany its AirPods and the EarPods - the other earphones Apple makes.
Read all the news about the StudioPods here.
When? WWDC 2019
You might have forgotten all about the iPod touch but apparently Apple hasn't and it will be updating it in 2019!
Read about the new iPod touch here.
When? WWDC 2019
There's one more *Pod hopefully coming our way in 2019. We expect Apple to update the HomePod - although it's not really clear what the company could do to improve the speaker, other than make it cheaper.
There are rumours that Apple could launch a smaller, cheaper HomePod in a bid to better compete with Amazon and Google. A cheaper device would certainly help it sell a few more of the Siri-powered speakers.
Alternatively, a Siri-powered Beats speaker could make an appearance.
Or maybe Apple will start to push Apple Music on to competitor smart speakers - Apple Music is already compatible with the Amazon Echo although currently only in the US. Read: How to get Apple Music on Amazon Echo.
When? WWDC 2019
Overdue Macs: Mac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro
Apple finally updated the iMac in March 2019, and added some new upgrade options to the iMac Pro at the same time. But there are still some Macs that are due for some love.
Apple left out any upgrades for its MacBook laptop when the covers were pulled off the new MacBook Air in October 2018. This has led many to question whether the slimline device will be discontinued due to the arrival of the Air, which is more powerful, cheaper, and features a larger display, while the MacBook is merely a lighter, low-powered machine.
The most obvious areas of improvement for a MacBook upgrade would be a move to a newer generation of processors, most likely Intel Amber Lake Y-series, the introduction of Thunderbolt 3, and a price drop to bring it down to the £999/$999 that would differentiate it from the MacBook Air.
Moving to the third generation of Apple’s controversial Butterfly keyboard is an essential step, after the problems many users experienced with the first and second versions.
There are thoughts that Apple may retain the overall format and use it as the basis for a new line of laptops that are powered by its own ARM processors. While this is a real possibility, 2019 could be a year too soon for the technology.
See our MacBook 2019 rumours roundup page for any new developments.
When? WWDC 2019, maybe...
The MacBook Pro was updated in 2018 but not every model was, Apple didn't update the non-Touch Bar models.
We are hoping that 2019 will bring an update to those entry-level 13in MacBook Pro models, although we may well see Apple remove them from the line up in favour of the MacBook Air.
We are also hearing rumours from Apple' analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that suggest we could be seeing a 16in MacBook Pro in 2019. The bigger screen will be the result of Apple being able to reduce the bezels - and should finally be a 4K display, something that creative pros have been calling for.
Read about the 16in MacBook Pro here.
The Mac Pro is long overdue a refresh, as it hasn't been updated since the launch of the 'trashcan' Pro model in 2013. The once-futuristic device now looks a little long in the tooth, having been bypassed by generations of Intel chips that never made it into the chassis.
A lot of years have passed without an update to the Mac Pro, but a new machine is on the horizon. In April 2017 Apple broke its silence and discussed the Pro's future with a small group of journalists, first apologising for the lack of updates and then acknowledging that the trashcan design didn't work out the way it had hoped. The triangular structure that hides inside the cylinder was designed with the thermal requirements of twin-GPU setups in mind, but the industry went in a different direction; most pro users prefer to use a single more powerful GPU, something that the Mac Pro cannot cope with. And so the machine ended up being very difficult to upgrade.
Then in April 2018 Apple revealed even more about the radical redesign of its Mac Pro line. However, the company confirmed that we won't be seeing the new Mac Pro until 2019.
Read more in our new Mac Pro rumours article.
When? WWDC in June
New Apple display
Alongside the new Mac Pro, we expect that Apple will launch a new display. We don't know much about what to expect other than it will support Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C, and is said to be 6K and measure 31.6in.
Read more about the new Apple display here.
When? WWDC in June
We know we can expect updates to the operating system software for Apple's Macs, iPads, iPhones, Watches, and even the Apple TV. We'll get a preview in June at WWDC, but until then, here's what to expect.
Initially iOS 12 was intended to add lots of features specifically for iPad, but the focus was shifted to improving speed and stability after iOS 11 was plagued with problems.
Now, with things back on track, those new iPad features should be coming in September 2019 when iOS 13 arrives. The main upgrade people are expecting is a reworking of the Files app so that iPad users can have greater control over importing and exporting data into apps.
If Apple can address the main complaints levelled at iOS 12 in terms of iPad Pro functionality, then it will be like launching new hardware as well as software in September.
There are also rumours that we’ll see an overhaul to the home screen interface, and the possibility of running two instances of the same app simultaneously.
And you can expect that Mac and iOS apps will become more interchangeable as Apple makes it easier for companies to port their apps between the two devices. So maybe we'll start to see more Mac apps coming to the iPad (and vice versa).
Read about iOS 13 here.
When? September 2019
Speaking of new software, following its usual pattern, Apple is likely to show off its plans for the next version of the Mac operating system at WWDC in June 2019.
The big change this time around will be that iPad and iPhone apps should be easier to port to Mac, which could mean lots of new Mac apps - and vice versa.
When? September 2019
Of course, no guide to the best products in any year would be complete without mention of the next iPhone (or iPhones).
With the wrappers barely off the boxes of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, there’s not a lot known of what will follow. As we mentioned above, we hope is that the retired iPhone SE sees a resurrection in the form of an iPhone SE2 with an edge to edge display design that retains the smaller form factor so many people love, but what of the successor to the iPhones XR, XS and XS Max?
Samsung has already shown off a device with a folding display, but we don't expect that Apple will produce anything like that in 2019. Other handset manufacturers are also getting behind 5G in 2019 - but reports suggest that Apple won't be producing a 5G iPhone until 2020. We don't expect much change to the iPhone in 2019, but we expect to see lots of rumours over the next few months.
iPad Pro 2019
Apple announced two new iPad Pro versions at its October 2018 event. The 2018 models have smaller bezels allowing for a bigger screen - and come with 11in and 12.9in displays respectively.
Powered by the A12X Bionic processor these new iPad Pros are already very powerful so it's hard to guess what new features could come in 2019, we'll be on the lookout for rumours though.
We could also see the cheaper iPad updated - while the iPad Air might have been reborn, there may still be an update due for the older iPad, which could gain a larger display thanks to bezels and no Home button.
Read about the iPad in 2019 here.
When? 2019 maybe...
There's plenty more we expect to see from Apple in 2019.
2019 MacBook Air
The MacBook Air had little attention over the past few years and we'd been fully expecting Apple to discontinue the MacBook Air. However we were treated to an all-new, redesigned MacBook Air at the October 2018 event.
The new 13in MacBook Air will set you back at least £1,199/$1,999 which is a good deal more expensive than the previous versions. Powered by an 8th generation Intel Core dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of 2133MHz memory with up to 256GB SSD storage and featuring a new Intel Graphics processor, Touch ID and two Thunderbolt 3 ports - the MacBook Air has certainly seen some love.
In 2019 we could see Apple stop selling the older MacBook Air, which is still on sale for £949/$949, and maybe the entry-level price could reduce in line with that. But beyond that, we don't yet know what Apple could have up its sleeve.
2019 Mac mini
Just like the MacBook Air, the Mac mini also saw some much-needed love at Apple's October 2018 event. Featuring a new Space Grey finish, the new Mac mini continues its theme of packing a whole lot of power into a tiny package.
What could 2019 hold for the Mac mini? We'll be watching the rumours so stay tuned!
Products Apple could launch in 2020
Apple's drive into wearable technology could also eventually mean we can buy Apple Glasses or a VR headset. It certainly sounds like Apple's working on some sort of virtual reality/augmented reality device, but we probably won't be seeing that one until 2021.
The Apple Car was the hot rumour of 2016, but it's since emerged that Apple has scaled back its ambitions on this front but something is definitely happening in the motoring field. The company is said to have had up to 1,000 developers working on the so-called Project Titan, and to have set up various different front companies, including Faraday Futures and Sixty Eight Research.
Industry chatter suggests 2020 is a more likely date for a launch. If this is correct, it might not be worth holding back on upgrading to your existing run-around until then.