Apple sent an invite to media last week on its special online-only event with a header “Spring Loaded”. It will be held on Apr 20, 10am Pacific Time (Apr 21, 1am Singapore Time), at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple Park campus in Cupertino, US.
Apple tends to hold its spring event in Mar. But for various reasons we can only speculate, this event has been postponed to this month. This will be Apple’s first Apr event in 11 years.
There was no Apple spring event last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic then starting to show its ugly face. Instead, Apple announced a new iPad Pro and MacBook Air via press releases last Mar with the second-generation iPhone SE unveiled in similar fashion last Apr.
So, it must be something substantial for Apple to hold an event, even if it is only an online affair.
According to the rumour mills and based on our past experiences, this is what we think you can expect from the “Spring Loaded” event. Quite literally, it is probably a spring event loaded with new Apple products.
IPAD PRO AND IPAD MINI
In the 2018 spring event held in Chicago, Apple unveiled an entry-level iPad targeted for education use. However, the current eight-generation iPad of similar mould was only released last Sept. So we think it is unlikely it will be refreshed so soon.
But with the current-generation iPad Pro coming to one year and a month old, we can safely see a refresh of the iPad Pro line-up.
The 2021 iPad Pro has been widely rumoured to be updated with mini-LED displays. Unlike OLED screens, mini-LED displays are more energy efficient, brighter and less likely to suffer from burn-in.
However, the design of 2021 iPad Pro is expected to be unchanged, apart from having a faster A14X processor and maybe more RAM and storage. There are some speculations that it might come with a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 port, instead of a USB-C port.
The iPad mini has not been refreshed since Mar 2019. So, we think it is highly likely that it will be refreshed during this event.
The sixth-generation iPad mini is expected to increase in screen size from the current 7.9 inches to 8.4 inches, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara. Despite the screen size increase, the tablet size is not expected to change due to the thinner bezels. Also, it will continue to feature a Touch ID home button and a Lightning port.
Rumours of Apple AirTags have been circulating for around 2 years. And it has always been mentioned in articles like this. And so far, we have yet to see its unveiling.
Basically, the AirTags is a small item tracker device – similar to Tile tracker – that you attach to your everyday items like keys, wallets and laptops.
We are skeptical on this one, as we are starting to think if this device will even be launched at all. But we might be wrong.
The AirPods 2 is already like more than 2 years old, and its successor should be introduced soon.
Based on multiple reports, the AirPods 3 might look a lot like the AirPods Pro. In other words, it will feature a short stem but it will not have active noise cancellation.
However, it is said to use a new chip with extended Bluetooth range and longer battery life. We hope the price is cheaper though.
MAYBE APPLE SILICON IMAC?
This might be on our wish list, but we think the Apple Silicon iMac is the most unlikely product to be unveiled during this spring event.
During Apple’s worldwide developer conference (WWDC) last year, it was announced that Apple will transit to its own Apple Silicon processors over 2 years. And they announced a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini using their in-house M1 chip last Nov.
An Apple Silicon iMac will do a lot to accelerate the M1 chip adoption with many Apple fans preferring this all-in-one solution. But with WWDC 2021 only two months away, we think the developer event will be a more suitable setting for the introduction of the Apple Silicon iMac.