What we expect from Apple's 2021 Spring Loaded event
Apple's spring loaded event is here.
Now maybe that means we're about to get a lot of overdue product updates, hence the term spring loaded.
So when it comes to spring events and Apple, it's a bit of a mixed bag.
Unlike Apple's fall iPhone events.
Which feels like clockwork.
The past few years have been a little bit different each time.
It's been a year since the pandemic started and of course last year, everything was thrown up in the air and there was the iPad Pro and the magic keyboard and then the new iPhone SE the year before.
Apple had this star studded event that had Steven Spielberg and Oprah talking about subscriptions and a credit card.
year before Apple had an event in Chicago talking about an iPad.
Apple's also debuted things like the iPhone SE and the Apple Watch and the 12 inch MacBook at Spring events in the past.
So what could this be?
Well, let's dive into some of the reports and make some guesses.
Let's get to that iPad Pro.
Apple has new iPad that were released.
In the fall last year, the iPad Air and a new upgraded base level iPad, the iPad Pro from 2020 introduced LIDAR and a magic keyboard that was in the spring with the updates are that we're expecting now probably are gonna be on the processor side.
Now Apple has those new M1 chips that are in the Mac books.
That are really fast.
It could be that Apple is going to boost the processor up to M1 speeds in what seems to be maybe called the a 14x processor, not an M1 that would be optimized for the iPad Pro.
The other thing that we're expecting are new displays, at least at the top end line mini LED, which wouldn't be OLED both provide better contrast levels, deeper blacks An upgrade the display for people who are using the iPad Pro for of graphics work.
The other thing we might see are better cameras.
I would love to see the camera be on the side because for zooms and things like that, that's where you're using it and iPads get a little bit off center.
With the introduce something like a new accessory, kind of like the magic keyboard, well there was talk that USB C will be upgraded to Thunderbolt for better throughput.
There are already a lot of docks and expansion connectors that use Thunderbolt for Macs and there are ones that use USB see the Kensington studio dock that came out as an example.
Maybe Apple makes its own dock.
That's spatial audio but getting that replaceable ear tip thing and that shortened stem so they don't pop as much out of your ear.
It seems pretty straightforward.
It's been a while since we've seen a new pair of air pods, and maybe this is a good time to include them because we're all at home and it's helpful to have those.
iPhone could emerge at this event if you think about the iPhone SE the iPhone SE again, coming out last year and the iPhone 12 Mini being this really cute little iPhone.
Maybe they release a new iPhone with a processor upgrade, nothing that wild but again spring loaded could suggest that a lot of products get bumps and boosts as opposed to a few singular products.
That also brings us to the Apple TV.
The Apple TV seems like this thing that's been waiting for an upgrade for a while.
And there have been reports for a long time about it getting an update.
It was weird that when Apple arcade and Apple TV plus emerge, there wasn't a new Apple TV to go with it.
Maybe that arrives now.
I mean, forget about the processor.
What I really want is a new remote.
Thing slides in every soap occasion that I have and I lose it every single day.
Maybe Apple also creates its own game controller considering there were so many Apple arcade games, just the thought.
The other thing Apple could get into with this event are maps.
Now there were a whole bunch of new Macs that came out right at the end of last year with an M1 processor.
They have really fantastic speeds I've been using a M1 MacBook Air and I've been really astonished, but the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini are designed as the entry level Mac models what comes next?
Well Apple has not talked about the iMac or about its Mac Pros or MacBook Pros getting new processor bumps.
The most likely one maybe could be the IMac.
Maybe it gets something like a m one or m two processor and gets an even bigger bump and there have been a lot of reports for a while about the IMac getting some sort of IPad Pro like design in terms of its bezels and its look I mean maybe I could get candy colors to wood or pastel colors would be fun.
So here are some wild cards airtex apple and air tags have been a rumor and report discussed for a long time, Samsung released Galaxy tags, these little trackable tags that you put on items back in the winter.
And Apple is supposed to be releasing some sort of trackable tag system that also will work with its you one chip that's on recent Apple devices so that these could be locatable in space.
Really specifically, and you could be able to use these or maybe with an AR app that would then show you like a heads up display where something is hiding in a area like your house.
Now, this would be an interesting time to launch your tags.
Because we're all at home at the same time, I'm not going out all that much.
So it depends on how useful how large your home is and what proposition you think that would be.
Alternatively, air tags could come out maybe later on in the year alongside a brand new iPhone, which would make a lot of sense.
And the biggest wild card I think for Apple right now involves AR and VR.
Now there've been a ton of reports about Apple developing one or two headsets, some sort of a VR headset that could have passed through ability to incorporate AR.
And see the real world through it.
Something that's much more advanced than an Oculus quest and more expensive and maybe Apple eventually gets into AR glasses.
augmented reality has been a tremendous focus for Apple.
Tim Cook talks about it all the time.
And there apparently is a very large team working on this technology and hardware.
I don't think you'd hear anything about it at this event.
Now there has been increasing talk about maybe Apple talking about it sometime this year.
Maybe it will be at WWDC maybe would be around then it would make sense to give a heads up for developers to begin to understand what this technology would allow.
And if it's coming out in 2022, Apple would probably give a year's heads up kind of an indicator like they've done with other big tentpole products to get people to understand it and they start getting developers on board.
I think that's way too much.
For this event.
What I see at the spring loaded event, probably it's going to be loaded with a lot of product updates, a lot of processor updates and a lot of things like that.
But right now, we are in the middle of the chip shortage.
And how will Apple navigate that?
Will Apple maybe decide to stagger these products?
It's possible that if all these products are being announced that maybe they come out over a series of weeks or months last year, the iPad Air didn't come out for quite some time after it was announced.
And that's It's actually been a pretty standard thing for Apple in events of the past.
Also, be sure to catch our live show covering the event Tuesday at 9:30am Pacific on YouTube and also cnet.com.
I'm Scott Stein.
Thanks for watching.
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