Two fall Apple events are behind us, and it looks very much like there is still one left to go. We have two Apple watches, an iPad, a new iPad Air, four new iPhones, a HomePod Mini and several new MagSafe accessories, but it still looks very much like Apple is not finished in 2020. So what̵
Return to Mac
We have known that this has been coming for a while. Unless something goes wrong, they will release the first Apple Silicon Mac or Mac this year. Well, this year will soon be over and the last chance for an announcement is November. Most Apple leaks and experts seem to be sure that a November event is happening, and such an event would not be necessary without a tent pole hardware product like this.
What we do not know is which Mac or Mac Apple will focus on first. Rumor has it a 13 ″ MacBook Pro, as well as a MacBook Air of the same size. An upgraded iMac has also been reported, but usually with a release date of 2021. There was also a recent report that Apple could revive the MacBook brand for an ultra-thin laptop that would be perfect for the new, more efficient Apple Silicon. Despite all the reports, however, no one has made final predictions that Macs will debut on this event yet.
Whatever Apple releases this year, it will be under the microscope as the technology world looks to see if Apple’s own processors can find the right balance between efficiency and performance. The pressure is on, as Microsoft has a two-year lead on the ARM transition (although not as well) and has just released the second generation Surface Pro X with an ARM processor. I think Apple designs their own chips and controls the whole pile gives them a big advantage, but it will be interesting to see if they can jump right out of the gate.
Although I’m not a Mac user and probably will not be buying this year, I’m still looking forward to this revelation for all we’ll learn about Apple’s new processors and how they are adapted to a more traditional computing environment. Considering how polished the two streamed events we’ve seen have been, I expect the Mac event to be another great show with lots of demos and details.
The old switch
From summer to early fall, it looked like both the AirPods Studio headphones and AirTags location trackers would be on the agenda sometime in 2020. However, Jon Prosser changed the tune of AirTags a few weeks ago, saying they had been pushed back. to 2021.
I’m told that the AirTags delay is due to the COVID situation in the eastern market.
AirTags relies heavily on pinging other iPhones to be exact.
They will still be a successful product launch, but the question is: would they be more successful in March 2021? Probably … https://t.co/P6EzR6fnhw
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 9, 2020
At the time, it was predicted that Apple would likely release AirPods Studio with iPhones at last week’s event. Obviously it did not happen. In fact, just before the incident, Prosser changed his predictions on both devices based on an expected change from Apple due to manufacturing issues with AirPods Studio:
Big hiccup in AirPods Studio production 😬
A few key features have now been cut.
It seems that they still need to work out some things before we have final units.
Looks like they will not be ready to ship in December at best. pic.twitter.com/oRRTXJQVhH
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 14, 2020
With AirPods Studio now pushed back, it now looks like Apple is going to launch AirTags after all.
They are currently scheduled to be released with iOS 14.3 (iOS 14.3 will include features enabled for AirTags) and iOS 14.3 will be next month.
So … pic.twitter.com/Dl0DpMrH9Y
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 14, 2020
Ok, what about “One More Thing”?
Following this ARM Mac event in November, the next Apple event (currently a digital event) will take place on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 🗓
Event headliner will be AirPods Studio (B515) https://t.co/UxqQr6je1c pic.twitter.com/oCxVhg3owb
– Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) October 16, 2020
Dammit Prosser, I just want the good news. AirPods Studio was the Apple product I was most looking forward to this year. I’m excited about the new iPad Air and see how it stacks up to the iPad Pro. The new iPhone is good, but it’s more of an evolution than anything else. The HomePod Mini actually looks more interesting than originally expected. However, AirPods Studio looks like something I would like to use. I still listen to Beats Solo Pros often, and the studios should be a noticeable upgrade.
2020 has been a train wreck since March, so what’s another small, first world problem for the pile. At the end of the day, I would rather have new headphones that work properly, so if there is a problem, it is better for Apple to use the brakes now and hold off until next year when everything is fixed. It just sucks that waiting until next year with Apple means waiting five months.
When it comes to AirTags, I look forward to picking up a pair to test them for tracking important items. They seem like very practical accessories if the price is right. The last bit is the key, because we really have not seen much from the rumor mill on that front. They will only be practical for most Apple users if they are not too expensive.
There does not seem to be anything left for a November event at this time. There have been rumors of new iPad pros with Mini-LED screens, but they will almost certainly come next year. Hopefully they will come to the same March event that Prosser expects AirPods Studio to be in.
There have been recent rumors about a new Apple TV 4K. It’s time for a new one, since today’s model is over two years old. There have been some interesting rumors about Apple increasing internally and going after console-level games for Apple Arcade to go with this device. There is even a rumor that the company will drop its own controls to go with the new Apple TV.
Although interesting, Apple has a long way to go to get involved in the console wars. They have dropped the ball on games before, so they want TON to prove before buyers look at them as a real player in top play. While these rumors are interesting, it is anything but confirmed that this hardware will come next year.
That’s quite a lot for today’s rumor mill. Apple has managed to clear the tires of everything else, even their more modest re-performance of the AirPower wireless charger with MagSafe. The November event will probably be just like what we saw last week. It will be a short while before that covers AirTags and how they work with the U1 chip, and then it will be all Apple Silicon and Mac the rest of the way. Considering how new and exciting this shift in Apple computing is, it’s all right.