Based on previous years and the predictions of various Apple experts we'd normally expect Apple to hold a special event at some point in the spring. In this article we'll look into when, and if, the Apple spring event will happen this year, and what the company could announce.
Update 11 March 2020: the spring Apple event is looking very unlikely due to COVID-19. Santa Clara County - the area in which Cupertino is located - has banned gatherings of 1,000 people or more between 11 March and 1 April.
In addition, an Apple source has told Cult of Mac that Apple is "concerned" about bringing people together for an event, and that it would be unable to ensure the required "social distancing", more on that below.
When is Apple's Spring Event 2020?
We predicted that Apple would hold its Spring Event on Monday 23 March 2020, or at least at some point that week. But then a German website claimed that a source "from the Apple environment" told them that the Apple event would be held on Tuesday 31 March.
However, that's now looking unlikely due to COVID-19. A source from Apple told Cult Of Mac that the rumoured 31 March event wouldn’t be going ahead due to Coronavirus.
If the spring event doesn't take place it won't be completely out of the ordinary. As you can see from this list of dates when Apple has held a spring event in the past few years the company doesn't hold an event every year:
- 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)
There is another reason why the event could happen later than March 2020 - the products Apple intends to launch in the spring timescale may not be ready in time due to factory closures in China. Read more about the effect of Coronavirus on Apple here.
What will Apple launch in spring 2020?
There have been plenty of predictions relating to products Apple could launch this spring, as we will discuss below. But before we do we'll start of with a look at what Apple's launched in past spring events. If you can't wait to find out what's coming jump to that section.
What Apple launched at previous spring events
Apple has made significant announcements at recent spring events.
Monday 9 March 2015 - In 2015 Apple held a Spring Forward event and announced pricing and a launch date for the original Apple Watch. It also unveiled the 12in MacBook.
March 2017 - no event - In Spring 2017 there was no event but Apple did send out a press release launching the 2017 iPad and the ProductRED iPhone 7.
Tuesday 27 March 2018 - Apple's spring event had an education-focus in 2018 and was held at a school in Chicago. Apple announced a new iPad (with support for Apple Pencil), updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and GarageBand.
Monday 25 March 2019 - The March 2019 event had the tag line "It's show time" and saw Apple reveal details of all the shows it intends to start offering as part of the TV+ subscription service. The company also pushed other services including the Apple Arcade games subscription service. About a week before the event (on 18 March) Apple launched 2019 versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini.
You are here because you want to know what Apple will launch at the spring event in 2020? We are expecting new iPads, and we could see a return to the smaller iPhone. More details below... We also have a predictions article that looks in more depth at Apple's plans for 2020. and this article about the next Apple event.
iPhone SE 2
Apple discontinued the iPhone SE, to the dismay of many, back in September 2018. There have been calls ever since for Apple to launch a new version of that handset.
The SE was a popular iPhone, being both the smallest (with its 4in display) and the cheapest handset on offer.
Fans of the SE will be pleased to hear that Apple may be getting ready to launch a low-cost replacement for the iPhone SE. Analyst Ming Chi Kuo (who is often correct in his predictions) has suggested that a new iPhone SE based on the iPhone 8 could arrive in spring 2020, or at least the first half of the year. The release of this phone could be delayed by Coronavirus though.
There is some debate over whether the new phone will be called the iPhone 9 or the iPhone SE 2. It seems that it will have a slightly bigger screen than the SE did, but it does appear to be keeping the Home button, which will appeal to those who aren't sure about the merits of Face ID. You can read more about the iPhone SE 2 rumours here.
Apple last renewed the iPad Pro in October 2018, so it's been more than a year. The spring event has often been used as a venue for introducing new iPad models so it does look likely we will see a new model soon. However, factory shutdowns in China could also mean that this new iPad is delayed.
When it does arrive we can expect a A13X processor, a triple-lens camera and time-of-flight technology (which will lead to improvements in its AR capabilities). For more information about new features in the 2020 iPad Pro read this article.
Apple TV mini
In March 2019 Apple was telling us about its Apple TV+ subscription service. While you can watch Apple's new programmes on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, as well as Samsung TVs, Roku hardware and Amazon devices, the only other way to watch the shows on your TV set is by plugging in an Apple TV. It seems lax on Apple's part that the Apple TV hasn't been updated since 2017.
But what we'd really like to see is a cheaper Apple TV. A low cost dongle to compete with Amazon's Fire TV Stick 4K (£49.99) would give Apple more of a chance of competing with Amazon and Netflix. Read more rumours about the new Apple TV here.
Apple's said to be gearing up to launch a set of over-ear headphones. There seems to be some credibility to the rumours as Apple has applied for various patents relating to over-ear headphones, such as the one below. Find out more about the rumours surrounding the StudioPods here.
Tag object tracker
This is another upcoming product for which there is a lot of evidence. Graphical assets that appeared in internal betas of iOS 13 indicate that Apple has plans to launch an object tracker. You would be able to attach the disc to keys, wallets and other important items and track it using the Find My app. Read more about these rumours here: Apple to unveil 'Tag' object tracker
New HomePod or HomePod mini
This is more of a wish list want than something for which there is a lot of evidence, but we are really hoping that Apple will launch a cheaper HomePod. Such a move might help Apple gain market share in the smart speaker space which is dominated by Amazon and it's lower-priced Echo speakers, such as the £49.99 Echo Dot. Read more about the Mini HomePod and HomePod 2 here.
13in MacBook Pro
We might have to wait until WWDC in June for this one, but we are hopeful that we will see the new 13in MacBook Pro with a new keyboard design in the spring of 2020.
Apple's MacBooks have been plagued by keyboard issues since 2016. The keyboard issue, which is described here, was finally addressed with the 16in MacBook Pro when that launched in November 2019.
Hopefully the 13in MacBook Pro will soon get the same update. Read more about the new MacBook Pro for 2020 here.
New MacBook Air
The MacBook Air should also get that new keyboard so we could see the two models launch in tandem. More information about what to expect from the new MacBook Air here.