Apple Inc. have announced their first “special event” of the year 2021 titled ‘Spring Loaded’ to be held on 20th April 2021. Apple usually has 2 specials events in a calendar year which they use to announce new products and innovations in technology. This year’s ‘Spring Loaded’ special event will be their first major product announcement of 2021. Apple’s spring events vary in nature, they could be about launching new products or about the launch of a new service strategy or their focus on their other projects like education. This year, the buzz among the tech industry suggest we might witness the launch of AirPods 3, new iPad Pro models which may shift to using Apple’s mini-LED panels, a new iPad Mini and other updates. The event is scheduled to kick-off at 1pm Eastern Time in USA which translates to 10:30pm IST in India.
The 2021 ‘Spring Loaded’ event from Apple is expected to feature announcements of the updated 2021 iPad models – iPad Pro &iPad Mini. The 2020 iPad Pro was an update on the 2019 iPad models and has been getting old for a while now. Apple is touted to launch both 11 inch & 12.9 inch iPad Pro models, the larger of the 2 models is expected to have Apple’s first Mini LED display panels due to which the supply of the 12.9 inch Pro model might face supply issues. Apple might announce the 12.9 inch display but decide to release it for purchase to the public only when the situation of shortage of LED panels improves.
The design of the iPad models is expected to undergo only minor changes if any, the expectations are that the Apple Bionic 12Z chip might be swapped out for a processor that is more matched to the like of Apple M1 chip used in the MacBook Air & MacBook Pro laptops. The iPad Pro is also rumoured to come with thunderbolt ports which are faster than regular USB type-C ports and offer wider range of peripehery connections, upgraded cameras also seem to be on the agenda and finally a new Apple Pencil stylus is expected to make a debut (may or may not feature a spring loaded tip as the title of the special event suggests).
As for the iPad Mini – the design of the current iPad Mini is a dated one which is the same as the design of the third iPad which was launched in 2012 which is nearly a decade ago. It also features an old A12 chipset which was last seen in the iPhone XS and XR models 3 years ago. The rumour mill suggests the iPad Mini might feature a slightly larger 8.5 inch or 9 inch display as bezel sizes might reduce.
A newer version of the AirPods – AirPods 3 is also expected to be unveiled, the new AirPods 3 will feature shorter stems and maybe even replaceable eartips like those on the AirPods Pro along with better battery performance.
The Apple TV 4K from 2017 may also get a refresh, the competition of the AppleTV 4K like the Chromecast from Google, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick etc. are available at a fraction of the cost of the Apple TV 4K and provide better features. Apple have been rumoured to be working on a better model for 2021 with a faster processor and a better remote to replace the disliked Siri remote. The new model might even support HDMI 2.1 and 120Hz refresh rates.
Another thing to look forward is the launch and release of the iOS 14.5 given it has gone through developer & public betas already and will come with new emojis, faster unlocking on the iPhone while wearing a mask through the Apple Watch and a host of other updates to enhance the user experience. There may also be announcements about new and more powerful versions of the MacBook Pro, a new iMac & smaller Mac Pro all featuring new M series Apple chips.