You are probably glad to see the back of 2020, it's not exactly been a great year, but for Apple 2020 was filled with groundbreaking product announcements including: the arrival of five new iPhones (iPhone SE, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max); two new Apple Watch models (the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 6); and three new Macs with Apple's own M1 Chip (which it's safe to say has taken the PC world by storm).
In a year when everyone had to work from home due to a global pandemic this rate of new product announcements was pretty good going. Can Apple possibly match it in 2021?
In this article we take a look at what we can expect from Apple in 2021. We've investigated every rumour and trend we could find to bring you our predictions. Read on to find out what could be in store.
23in iMac (M1)
Apple began its transition from Intel's processors to its own Apple Silicon chips at the end of 2020 with the launch of the M1 MacBook Pro, M1 MacBook Air and the M1 Mac mini. What's next?
We think there are a number of Macs likely to get updated soon and we predict that the first will be the 21.5in iMac.
There could be more in store for the smaller iMac than a new processor though. We're hearing that Apple is planning to introduce a 23in model. It will have similar dimensions to the 21.5in model, but a bigger screen made possible by reduced bezels.
Hopefully we'll also see a similar change for the 27in iMac - we'd love to see a 30in model.
We also hope to see some other cosmetic changes to the design - including better ergonomics. Read about why the iMac needs a redesign here.
Apple could wait until WWDC to launch this, but we think it may want to launch it sooner.
Read about the new iMac redesign here.
When? Spring 2021
14in MacBook Pro (M1)
Like the iMac the smaller MacBook Pro is also said to be getting a redesign. Reports suggest that we might see a 14in MacBook Pro thanks to thinner bezels around the screen.
It seems likely that the two 13in MacBook Pro that currently offer 2.0GHz Intel processors will be the models to get this treatment, which could mean Apple will be selling three types of MacBook Pro: 13in, 14in and 16in.
Read about the new 14in MacBook Pro here.
When? Spring 2021
Apple launched the AirPods Max over-ear headphones in December 2020, but it is said to be working on various new AirPods including the AirPods X (said to be for sport) and the AirPods Pro Lite (cheaper version of the AirPods Pro), and third-generation AirPods.
All indications point to an AirPods launch at at event in March - in fact there's even a date suggested: 16 March 2021.
When? March 2021
An age ago on 1 November 2019 Apple launched its new TV+ service via which it is now delivering a collection of exclusive TV shows with more to come. With this focus on television throughout 2020 we thought it likely that the Apple TV set-top-box would see a revamp - in fact there was even a rumour that a new model was ready to launch. But nothing transpired.
It's possible that Apple has put off launching the new Apple TV due to the complexities of the Coronavirus pandemic: many of the second series that the company would no doubt be boasting about coming to the service have been delayed due to lockdowns and problems with filming. We expect that once Apple has something to shout about it will also pull out a new Apple TV - hopefully a cheaper model.
Although as more and more TV manufacturers add Apple TV to their sets, maybe there will be no need for the Apple TV set-top box in the future.
Read about the 2021 Apple TV.
When? March 2021
Another new Apple product that has been rumoured for so long that it's surprising that it's not yet here. There is plenty of evidence suggesting Apple is gearing up to launch a Tag object tracker that will help you track of important items and show you where to find them via the Find My app.
So where is it Apple? Have you lost it? Haha!
Read all about the AirTag tracker.
When? March 2021
Bigger iPad mini
Apple updated nearly all its iPads in 2020, except for the iPad mini. Perhaps it should be no surprise that Apple hasn't updated it yet - after all prior to its update in March 2019 it had been ignored by the company for three and a half years.
When the iPad mini gets updated we may see an increase in screen size and the removal of the Home Button, just as was the case with the iPad Air in 2020. If Apple's redesigning the iPad mini we don't anticipate change before October 2021 though.
Read about the iPad mini 2021.
When? March 2021 (or October 2021)
And a thinner/lighter iPad
There is also a rumour that a new iPad could also launch in spring 2020. Read: Apple to launch 'thinner and lighter iPad in spring 2021
Pro Mac updates
An update to the 16in MacBook Pro model, which launched in November 2019, is long over due. This is not just because it's now been more than a year, but because the processors being used are the same ones Apple used in the 15in MacBook Pro that came before it.
As for the Mac Pro: work is said to be underway on the Apple Silicon Mac Pro, with 32-core CPU and up to 128-Core GPU. It's unlikely to appear before 2022 though...
WWDC would be an appropriate venue for these updates, which could see the company introduce a more powerful version of the M1 Chip - and even better graphics capabilities.
When? June 2021
Apple's made clear its interest in augmented reality, and we may hear more about Apple's plans to make Apple AR Glasses in 2021!
While the rumours suggest we won't see Apple's AR product until 2021 or 2022, it's possible that Apple may share its plans with developers at some point in 2020 in an attempt to get them to design apps for the new device, so we might hear something sooner.
When? June 2021
The iPhone 12 has only just arrived but obviously there are already rumours about the next model - iPhone 13 (in fact there are rumours about the iPhone 14!)
So far the rumours are suggesting a 120Hz refresh rate (up from 60Hz), a reduced notch, and a 10x optical zoom.
Read more in our iPhone 13 rumour round up.
When: September 2021
When Apple introduced the iPhone 12 series in October 2020 we also saw the arrival of the MagSafe wireless charger, and at the beginning on December Apple launched the MagSafe Duo - a wireless charger that can charge two Apple products at once (e.g. iPhone and Apple Watch, or iPhone and AirPods).
If you were wondering if MagSafe is the fulfilment of the AirPower project that Apple announced back in 2017, it's not quite delivering on that promise. AirPower was supposed to be able to charge all three devices at once: iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, while MagSafe can only manage two. Will Apple continue development with a view to meeting its initial goal. Possibly. As for when, we don't expect to see anything until Apple launches the next generation of iPhones.
Read the latest on the AirPower here.
When? October 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 suggested 2020 as a possible date for a launch: that clearly didn't happen, but it seems that there is something going on, the question is what?
When? 2024/2028 are the latest rumours... But is it really a car or just software?