Apple had a good year in 2020. The Cupertino-based giant launched quite a few products, along with some new offerings that the company had not launched previously. Apple launched the new iPhone 12 series, the first 5G-enabled iPhones, the AirPods Max - the company's first over-the-ear headphones (separate from the Beats brand), its first ARM-based in-house silicon chips, first LiDAR-enabled camera module, among other new things. In 2021, it seems that the company has more in store with new M1-powered MacBook laptops, first mini-LED display iPad Pro, AirTags, and much more.
Several reports have said that Apple will carry over its run this year, with the company reported to launch its first device with mini-LED display, new AirPods (3), AirTags item trackers, along with other new products. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had said in November 2020 that Apple will launch a mini-LED display iPad Pro model in the first half of this year. In the same research note, the TFI Securities analyst had said that AirPods 3 will go into production in the first half of this year. AirPods 3 are said to come with the same system-on-chip as the one on AirPods Pro. The AirPods 3 are also expected to be more affordable and may lack high-end features like Active Noise Cancellation, which could also mean a better battery life. The report in November also said that Apple is working on a new wireless chip as well.
One of the most prominent rumours this year has been of a foldable iPhone. While the foldable iPhone is reported to come after 2021, there have been multiple reports that have suggested that Apple is looking into it for the (not so) near future. The most recent report came last week and said that Apple may have already developed a prototype foldable screen for internal testing, but hasn't solidified plans to launch its foldable. The report said that the Cupertino-based giant has internally discussed multiple foldable screen sizes, including one that unfolds to a similar size as the 6.7-inch display on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The foldable screens from Apple, according to the report, have a mostly invisible hinge with the electronics stationed behind the display. An earlier report from an Isreali outlet said that the first foldable iPhone may be launched in 2022. The report also said that Apple may discontinue the iPad Mini if it launches a foldable smartphone. An earlier report from known tipster Jon Prosser had said that Apple is working with Samsung for the foldable iPhone screen. In a video, Prosser had hinted that Apple is testing a clamshell-like folding iPhone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip that may launch in 2023. Despite there being a lot of reports, there is no clarity whatsoever about the details or availability of Apple's foldable iPhone.
Apple is also rumoured to launch its first devices with a mini-LED display, presumably starting with the iPad Pro. Last month, a report had said that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display will launch in the first quarter of 2021.
Apart from the iPad Pro, Apple is also speculated to bring a MacBook Pro model with a mini-LED display. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted that Apple will release two MacBook Pro models in 2021. According to Kuo's research notes in early December 2020, the new MacBook Pro models will come with a mini-LED display and will be powered by Apple's in-house Silicon chips. Kuo also mentions that Apple will be able to offset the increased cost of using mini-LED panels in Mac devices because the cost of Apple Silicon chips is significantly lower than that of Intel processors.
While we are at MacBooks, Apple is also reported to bring two MacBook Pro models powered by the company's M1 processor. Apple is said to bring a 14-inch and a 16-inch MacBook Pro this year, powered by the company's in-house M-series silicon chip. A recent report citing known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the next 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will come with a flat-edged design, similar to the iPhone 12 series. Further, Kuo also said that this year's MacBook Pro models will ditch the OLED touch bar in favour of physical keys. In his report, Kuo noted that the next MacBook Pro would also come with extra ports and Apple may also bring back the magnetic charging port.
Kuo has also said that Apple will next refresh the MacBook Air in 2022, and there will not be a new MacBook Air this year.
Apple is also reported to unveil its long-awaited Bluetooth-based AirTags item trackers, along with an unspecified AR device. In a research note earlier this month, Kuo said that Apple also plans to release the new AirPods, more Apple Silicon-powered Mac computers, and its first devices with mini-LED display throughout the year, among other new offerings. The Apple AirTags are said to be Tile-like Bluetooth-based item trackers that will help users locate their belongings like keys, wallet, backpacks, and would possibly notify users when they are separated from a tagged item. Reports about Apple's AirTags item trackers have been coming in since the past couple of years, and it is believed that the item trackers will be managed through Apple's Find My app.
Details about the augmented reality device are unclear at the moment, but it was reported earlier that Apple is working on an augmented reality headset, glasses, or both. Kuo, however, did not specify what kind of an AR device Apple may introduce this year.