Apple “Spring Loaded” Event Held April 20
As previously rumored, Apple is now confirming a Spring Loaded media event to be held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. While the event was originally expected to be hosted in March, consistent with previous years, the online-only experience is now officially confirmed. Like other Spring events, updates are anticipated for iPad Pro. Other upgrades may appear for AirPods, iMac, and iPad mini, with a new product launching as an Air Tag.
Traditionally updated in the spring timeline, iPad Pro devices may receive all new mini-LED displays. While this technology does not have an infinite contrast ratio like the iPhone 12 lineup, mini-LED technology still works to drastically improve image quality. The mini-LED display will enhance the iPad’s ability to push brighter brights, against deeper blacks.
It is also widely anticipated that the new iPad Pro devices will feature some modified version of Apple’s M1 chipset, which was first launched in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini last fall. Otherwise, the updated devices may be fairly similar to the models launched in March 2020, which were similar to October 2018. Some pundits are starting to ask if the iPad upgrades are reaching a plateau, held back by the device’s inability to support macOS.
iPad mini is also expecting some minor updates, perhaps in the way of minor display upgrades and a processor upgrade. The device has not been updated in more than two years. There is a rare chance the device also adopts the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 form factor with squared edges and Face ID.
With the discontinuation of the iMac Pro and several variants of the standard iMac, rumors have swelled about iMac refreshes. The current iMac design was introduced more than a decade ago and then slimmed in the early 2010s. An all-new design is expected to remove the ‘chin’ at the bottom, where the current Apple logo resides. The new design would be more square, similar to the Apple XDR Display, which was launched with the newest Mac Pro. Fun colors are expected, similar to the iPad Air and Air Pods Max. It is possible that Face ID could make an appearance for the first time in a Mac, but this is not anticipated.
AirPods and AirTags
A new-ish design may come to entry-level AirPods. The AirPods Pro utilize silicone tips and shorter stems than the entry-level lineup. This form factor is anticipated to come to the full in-ear AirPods lineup. It is unknown if the design will feature the silicone tips of the Pro models. It is widely agreed that these entry-level versions will not feature active noise cancellation. It is possible the entry-level versions will come with a standard wireless charging case.
Last week, Apple announced a new standard for wirelessly finding items that are tagged for the Find My program. Opening their previously proprietary Find My app to third parties means new accessories can be found via GPS on iOS. It is still guesstimated that Apple will launch their own puck-like devices with this same capability.
As usual, nothing is official until Tim Cook and company host the official Apple event. You can tune in via YouTube or the Apple TV app.