The next Apple event could be just around the corner. There hasn’t been any official word yet, but we speculate the iPhone 13, AirPods 3 and Apple Watch 7 could be on the way sometime this month for the company’s fall event. We could also see the iPad Mini 6 and a ninth-generation iPad later this year.
It was previously thought that the event could be partially in-person, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that with Apple’s rumored decision to delay its return to in-person work, the next event will probably be completely virtual like last year’s.
Apple has had two events in 2021 so far. The first event was in April, where we got a glimpse of new iPad upgrades, colorful iMacs, AirTags trackers, a purple iPhone 12 and more. (Here’s everything Apple announced in the spring.) Then, two months later, it held the annualWWDC, developers event, where we saw a first look at iOS 15, MacOS Monterey (also known as MacOS 12), WatchOS 8 and iPadOS 15.
If you’re curious about more Apple-related dates, check out CNET’s guess for the iPhone 13 release date. You can also take a look at our iPhone 13 wish list.
When is the next Apple event? It could be early or mid-September
Although there hasn’t been any word, official or otherwise, on the exact date and time for Apple’s next event, we speculate that mid-September would be a safe bet.
Apple typically hosts three to four events in a year with a spring event, a summer developer conference and one or two more events in the fall. The fall events are usually scheduled in September and October. The September event tends to feature new iPhone and Apple Watch upgrades, while the October event typically features Macs and iPads.
Although Apple has announced its latest iPhone during a September event every year since the iPhone 5 in 2012, Apple saw a change in that pattern in 2020 due to production delays during the pandemic. Last year’s September Apple event unveiled the Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE and updated iPad models — but no new iPhone. The company later revealed the iPhone 12 in October. Last year’s fall Apple event was online-only due to the pandemic. A livestream was available as usual through the company’s website.
This year, Apple is expected to return to its usual schedule. CNET took a deep dive into Apple’s event timeline back in 2018 and emerged with a compelling Labor Day hypothesis that you can read more about here. Taking a look at the 2021 calendar, the Labor Day rule would mark Sept. 8 as the next Apple event, but we won’t know for sure until we get the invite from Apple. We do know, however, that the company likes to hold its fall event on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Although the timeline may return to normal, Apple’s next event could be fully virtual again. In his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that the event, said to be focused on Apple’s latest iPhone, will be completely virtual because of the tech giant’s reported decision to delay its return to in-person work due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Apple originally said that all employees would be required to come into the office three days a week starting in September. Gurman says that if Apple stuck with the September time frame, an in-person iPhone 13 event would have been “plausible.” Now, he expects another online-only event.
New Apple products we expect: iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7, AirPods 3, new iPad Mini and more
Apple already unveiled a slew of hardware and software upgrades during its previous 2021 events, but there are still a few things we expect the tech giant to announce in the fall. This includes the iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7, AirPods 3, iPad Mini 6, a larger iMac powered by Apple’s M1 chip, a more affordable Apple Display, a new MacBook Pro and Mac Pro with a rumored update to Apple’s M1 chip. We’re also on the lookout for an Apple competitor to Amazon Echo Show, a soundbar with built-in Apple TV and an Apple AR/VR headset.
The iPhone 13 is rumored to feature four phones — the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Max — according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Although there hasn’t been any official word on the iPhone 13’s release date, we speculate Apple’s new iPhone could be coming in September with a new design, upgraded cameras, battery and specs.
Apple Watch 7
Apple’s next-generation wearable could include some new key features like a sleek, flat-edged redesign, improvements in battery life and a possible blood glucose monitoring sensor. The Apple Watch 7 will come with WatchOS 8, which was unveiled at WWDC.
Apple’s AirPods could be getting an update sometime this year, according to an earlier report from Bloomberg. Rumors suggest the AirPods 3 will have similar features to the AirPods Pro like spatial audio support, a shorter stem, interchangeable tips and a smaller charging case.
iPad Mini 6
Other Apple tablets, including the iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro have already seen updates this year, so that just leaves the iPad Mini. According to Gurman, a redesign for the iPad Mini “should be a go” for fall 2021.
We could see an upgrade to Apple’s iPad this fall with a new ninth-generation model. According to Gurman, the tech giant’s next tablet could feature a slimmer design and an improved processor.
New MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, Mac Mini, iMac and Apple Display
Last year, Apple announced that it would be producing its own chip, known as the M1, to power its Mac. Since then, there has been speculation that Apple may soon announce a new version of its processor for the new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro.
Apple also previously announced a new iMac powered by the M1 processor, but it was only the smaller 24-inch model. Bloomberg has reported that Apple is working on processor updates for both the Mac Mini and 27-inch iMac.
Apple may also be working on a more affordable version of its Pro Display XDR that was originally released in 2019. Bloomberg reported in January that Apple was in “early development” of a cheaper monitor.
Echo Show competitor, soundbar with Apple TV and AR/VR headset
We could see some brand-new devices from Apple this year. This includes the possibility of an Apple competitor to the Amazon Echo Show that would fuse an entry-level iPad with a speaker, a soundbar equipped with built-in Apple TV similar to Roku’s soundbar, and an Apple augmented- or virtual-reality headset.
Until Apple sends its official fall event invitations, all we can do is speculate. But we’ll update this story as new hints and rumors come to light. In the meantime, here’s how the iPhone 13 could compare to the iPhone 12, whether it’s still worth it to buy an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11, and everything coming in iOS 15. Plus, why isn’t iPhone SE 3 on this list?