Speculation continues to persist that Apple will be holding a March event this year, at which we could see a new iPad Pro 2021, a new iMac, AirTags and possibly even new AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2.
The Cupertino-based company has held a hardware keynote in March six times over the last decade, and after taking 2020 off (understandably due to the emerging COVID-situation) it seems likely that the Spring event will return this year.
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This will be Apple’s first event of the year, and it’s expected that a range of products will be announced and detailed, including the iPad Pro 2021, a new iMac 2021 and the long-rumored AirTags as well.
Online whispers in February suggested that an Apple event was scheduled for March 16; however, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman poured cold water on his speculation with a tweet claiming that there “won’t end up being one” on this date. A new, later, date has since emerged.
Apple isn’t likely to confirm the date, or even that there is an event at all, until a few days before it’s due to take place. So for now all we have is leaks to go by.
Here’s what we could expect from an Apple March event (if it winds up taking place).
Apple March event date
A new tweet from Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser says that Apple will hold an event March 23rd. He then followed up to say that the following products are ready: AirTags, iPad Pro, AirPods and Apple TV.
Updated info from a reliable source 👇Products that are ready: AirTags, iPad Pro, AirPods, Apple TVTake that however you’d like...March 8, 2021
iPad Pro 2021
The iPad Pro 2021 seems almost a dead certainty for Apple’s March event, with a bevy of leaks already giving us some idea of what the newest model of Apple’s tablet will look like.
MacOtakara reports that the “housing design will be unchanged” though we wouldn’t be surprised to see thinner bezels, fewer speaker holes, and a camera bump that protrudes slightly less.
Rumors suggest that the new iPad Pro will come in an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch model. Apple may also be gearing up to switch out its currenct LCD display technology for mini-LED screens, which should result in a wider contrast ratio and deeper blacks.
An internal component bump is practically a given, as is 5G support, and if Mark Gurman is to be believed the tablet will pack a processor on “on par” with the M1 chip most recently released in the latest MacBooks.
A refreshed magic keyboard is also reportedly in the works, which could well debut alongside the new iPad Pro.
It feels like we’ve been reporting on AirTags for years at this point, but surely this Apple March event has to be when Apple finally gives us some official details on the long-in-development accessory.
Trackers designed to compete with the likes of Tile Mate, AirTags will make use of Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband technology, plus the Find My app, in order to help users hunt down misplaced gadgets.
The bottle cap-sized devices have been tipped for March 2021 release date for a while now, so we’d be very surprised if they don’t make an appearance at this event.
These trackers should retail for less than $50 apiece and could be a lifesaver for IOS users who are prone to losing their phone or tablet.
AirTags have been indirectly referenced in iOS 14.5, so they’re certainly on the horizon. Now definitely feels like the time when we’ll finally get a proper look at them.
Apple’s wireless earbuds have been a runaway success since debuting in 2016, and the latest iteration of the popular buds, AirPods 3, look set to launch in 2021.
Reports are indicating that AirPods 3 will ditch the traditional design, and opt for something much closer to the look of the AirPods Pro.
The refreshed earbuds are also rumored to be pinching active noise canceling from the Pro model, alongside Dolby Atmos support and spatial audio. But we'll have to wait and see on that.
Originally slated for a 2020 release, AirPods 3 now seem likely to launch in the first half of 2021 according to South Korean site The Elec, which would make an unveiling at Apple’s March event pretty likely.
A shiny new design, as well as new features, don't come cheap however and rumors are suggesting that the price of AirPods 3 will rise to $199. That would be a sizeable increase from the $159 price point that was standard for the earbuds previously.
One aspect of the AirPods we’d like to see addressed is the poor battery life. Currently, AirPods offer 5 hours on a single charge, which is pretty poor when stacked up against the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
Apple TV 2021
The Apple TV streaming box is another device that could see an update at the Apple March event.
The big change we're expecting is new internal hardware, namely a new A-series chipset, to make navigating tvOS snappier than ever before while also boosting Apple Arcade gameplay. We're also hoping that the rumors of a new, easier to use Apple TV remote control will come true since it's one of the Apple TV's weak points.
iPad Mini 2021 (less likely)
The iPad Pro may not be the only iteration of Apple’s tablet getting a refresh in 2021; the new iPad Mini 6 could be on the way. The iPad mini hasn’t been updated since 2019, so it’s certainly due.
Reputable leaker Ming-Chi Kup claimed last May that a new iPad Mini was set to be released in 2021, with MacOtakara corroborating this report in January this year.
Not so mini anymore, the latest model is expected to sport an 8.4-inch screen which would be a substantial increase over the iPad Mini 5’s 7.9-inch screen. Touch ID and lightning charging are likely to be retained
All info points to the new iPad Mini being an evolution rather than a revolution. Rumors that it will mimic the design of the iPad Pro with slimmer bezels and no home button seem like wishful thinking to us.
iMac 2021 (less likely)
After confirming that the iMac Pro is getting discontinued Apple looks set to announce a new iMac 2021 that will run on Apple Silicon chip and also sport a new design.
It’s been a while since Apple properly updated the iMac, so it seems likely that 2021 will finally be the year that the company gives one of its flagship products a thorough refresh.
The current design of the iMac has been with us for over nearly a decade, but we’re expecting that the iconic “chin” of the all-in-one computer may finally bite the dust this year.
Rumors hint that the design will be something akin to the Pro Display XDR, at a much more palatable price. We've also heard that the new iMac 2021 could come in five colors, similar to the recent iPad Air.
Apple’s move to mini-LED on the iMac looks likely as well, which would result in much better image quality on the display. And further leaks have hinted that the iMac 2021 will come with Cupertino’s first desktop-class Apple Silicon chip.
- Read next: Apple discontinues iMac Pro ahead of iMac 2021 launch
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