Several times a year, Apple holds a special event to announce a batch of new products. In this article we look ahead to the likely dates and product focus of upcoming Apple events in 2021.
The last big event was Apple's Spring Loaded event on 20 April when Apple announced the new 24in iMac, M1-powered iPad Pro and new Apple TV 4K. You can still watch the spring event presentation in the window above.
The next Apple Event will be the WWDC keynote on Monday 7 June and we already have the details of when Apple's WWDC 2021 will start.
When is Apple's next event?
The next Apple event will take place on Monday 7 June 2021. This keynote will kick off Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) which will last all week.
Apple Event UK time: The Apple Event start time is 6pm UK time, this is 10am in California where Apple is based.
Here's what that translates to in the countries where most of our readers live:
- UK: 20 April at 6pm (BST)
- Europe: 20 April at 7pm (CEST)
- US: 20 April at 10am (PDT), 11am (MDT), noon (CDT), 1pm (EDT)
- Canada: 20 April at 10am (PDT), 11am (MDT), noon (CDT), 1pm (EDT), 2pm (ADT)
- India: 20 April at 10.30pm (IST)
- Australia: 21 April at 1am (AWST), 2.30am (ACST), 3am (AEST)
The event will probably last between one and two hours.
What will Apple launch at the WWDC keynote?
Before we discuss when Apple might reveal in the WWDC keynote, here's what Apple has announced at WWDC in the past:
- At WWDC 2020 Apple told us about iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur. It also announced the transition from Intel to its own Apple Silicon processors.
- At WWDC 2019 Apple told us about iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. It also unveiled the new Mac Pro and new display.
- At WWDC 2018 we learned about iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. There were no hardware updates at that event.
- 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 2021 will feature updates to Apple's operating systems (iOS 15, macOS 12, tvOS, watchOS, and so on). WWDC may also include other hardware, although Apple tends to have a pro focus for WWDC, so pro versions of the Mac are more likely to be unveiled than consumer-focused models.
With that in mind we wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new Macs with next generation Apple Silicon chips - either the M1X or the M2.
Apple's invitation to the event features an memoji image wearing glasses, which makes us wonder if the company will be revealing something relating to its plans to sell mixed reality glasses - which analyst Ming Chi Kuo says could arrive in 2021. Read: Apple VR headset 'to launch next year'.
We have a dedicated article discussing what Apple could announce at WWDC, but here are some of our predictions:
14in MacBook Pro
Apple updated two of the 13in MacBook Pro models in November 2020, but it left two alone. Apparently Apple has plans for the 2.0GHz 13in MacBook Pro that could involve a redesign and a bigger, 14in screen.
This new MacBook Pro will also be getting a new Apple-made processor, likely to be the M1X.
Read more in our 14in MacBook Pro roundup.
16in MacBook Pro
The 14in MacBook Pro may be joined by a new version of the 16in MacBook Pro. The 16in MacBook Pro is long overdue an update - the current model arrived in December 2019 and uses an Intel processor from the year before.
There is more information about the 16in MacBook Pro in our news round up.
Apple's only just updated the smaller iMac, but the larger model could soon see an update. It seems likely that the larger iMac will get a bigger screen and a redesign in line with the 24in model. As for the Apple processor, this could be a M1X or the M2. Read: Should I wait for the M1X or M2 Mac?
Apple's made clear its interest in augmented reality, and we may hear more about Apple's plans to make Apple AR glasses at WWDC 2021!
The rumours suggested we could see Apple's first AR/VR product in 2022. Even if Apple's glasses aren't ready to launch they may well show them off at WWDC just to inspire developers to get working on apps for them.
We could also see Apple launch the long rumoured AirPods Pro Lite - said to sit between the wireless charging standard AirPods and the AirPods Pro, or AirPods 3 - a successor to the standard AirPods.
Read about the new AirPods.
Even with all these potential launches Apple won't be done for the year. Here's what to expect at Apple's autumn events and beyond.
September 2021 event
Who knows what autumn 2021 could bring, but Apple has launched a new iPhone in the September of practically every year in the past decade, so a new iPhone seems almost certain for September.
2020 was an exception to that rule - with the iPhone launch in October, but the company still held a September event. Apple clearly likes to hold September events.
On that basis, if you want to pencil in a potential date for an iPhone launch - or at least a September event - based on the dates Apple has held previous September events took place on we predict Tuesday 14 or Wednesday 15 September 2021.
- 2020: Tuesday 15 September (Not an iPhone event)
- 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 2021 event
In 2020 October saw Apple unveil the iPhone 12. It was an unusual year though and normally the iPhone would have made its premiere in September. October is usually the month when Apple announces new Macs and new iPads and it may well do so in 2021.
Wondering what date to pencil in? The October events of the past have (or haven't) taken place on the following dates, so we anticipate an event on Tuesday 12 or Wednesday 13 October.
- 2020: Tuesday 13 October
- 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
Apple's event schedule for 2021/2022
In a typical year there are normally up to four Apple events at which the company unveils its latest products in front of a large crowd.
In a less typical year, like 2020 and 2021, Apple doesn't invite people to events, but it makes no less of an impact by inviting everyone to join it in an online broadcast. We actually preferred Apple's video presentations in 2020 to the usual events in front of an audience.
Whether these events are physical or virtual Apple tends to hold three or four in a year:
- March/April (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)
Some years there will be no spring event and other years Apple will skip the October event, like it did in 2019. Obviously 2020 was a little different to usual with events held a little later than usual due to COVID-related delays in production.