Surprise! This is another Apple event. Gone are the days of receiving a few weeks’ notice before these events, now that they are entirely virtual (at least until 2022, most likely). Instead, the company just dropped the news last week.
Fortunately, there have been a lot of rumors leading up to tomorrow’s big event – and maybe even a few clues in the invitation itself. After skipping the spring event of last year, due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 in the United States, the company has become much more comfortable dropping semi-regular live events. As always, we’ll be covering the event as it unfolds, starting at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. But here’s what we expect to see, as well as the usual transitions of high production value sweeping drones.
The closest thing to a foolproof bet is the arrival of new iPads, in line with what appears to be a finger-drawn image on the invitation. Specifically, the iPad Pro leads the way. The high-end tablet would have been refreshed at some point this season, so no time like the present.
The biggest news will probably be the addition of a mini LED screen for the 12.9-inch model (a refresh of the 11-inch will be available soon). The benefits include increased brightness, better battery life, and lower risk of image burn-in. The technology would arrive in place of the OLED that is currently found on iPhone models.
The improved screen technology is said to add a bit of thickness to the design, which otherwise is largely unchanged. Supply constraints could ultimately dampen availability, so it is possible that the product will be announced tomorrow, but delayed at a later date.
There will probably also be a processor update. Rumor has it that the A14X will use the same technology that forms the basis of the M1 chip found on recent Macs. This in turn could bring a real increase in performance.
At the other end of the spectrum is the iPad mini. The 8.4-inch tablet would get its first major boost in two years. The updates would be less pronounced than on the Pro. The classic iPad design language will remain, although the device gets a performance boost through new chips. A new Apple Pencil is also rumored to be on the way, although details are scarce.
And could this be the event where Apple finally gives the world AirTags? All the signs say “certainly maybe”. After several delays, the company’s competitor Tile would finally arrive. At the very least, the timing makes sense. After all, the company has just opened the third-party “Find My” access, as well as many compatible devices. This includes the direct competitor, the Chipolo ONE Spot.
Also on the stack perhaps, a new Apple TV with a Find My compatible remote. It sounds like a slam dunk, like one of the most frequently lost commodities in history. With Apple on a two-year refresh down the line, new silicon Macs could make the list. The most likely candidate? For now, it appears to be a long-awaited update to the iMac lineup.