After the Spring Loaded event brought the colorful 24-inch iMac, Siri Remote, and a new iPad Pro with an M1 processor and a gorgeous Liquid Retina XDR display, WWDC came and went with nary a single hardware release. But fret not, Apple is going to be very busy over the second half of 2021. Here’s everything we’re expecting to see between now and 2022.
AirPods (3rd generation)
We initially thought that new AirPods were coming at the Spring Loaded event, but Apple opted to skip audio products entirely. But based on the leaks and the rumors, they could arrive at any time between now and the iPhone event in the fall. Seemingly accurate images leaked months ago showing a pair of earbuds that look a lot like the AirPods Pro, with shorter stems and a snug ear fit. Early rumors suggested they could get noise cancelation, but more recent rumors say that’s not the case. But all accounts say they’re done and ready to ship and could arrive at any time, and after they skipped the Spring Loaded event and WWDC, we don’t really know.
iPad (9th generation)
Apple hasn’t done all that much to upgrade its entry-level iPad since it brought an A10 processor and Apple Pencil support with the 6th generation in 2018, but rumors say a new version is on the way that might finally bring a more modern design. It’s likely the new iPad will retain the home button, but the design could be closer to the old iPad Air, so the whole package should be slimmer all around and a lot thinner. Since it didn’t arrive at the spring event, the new iPad is more likely to arrive in late summer or early fall.
iPad mini (6th generation)
Apple last updated the iPad mini in 2019 but left the same stale design. That’s rumored to change with the update arriving later this year, but we’re not sure how modern it will get. Some reports say the mini will feature a design similar to the old iPad Air with thinner bezels and a home button, while others are expecting a Liquid Retina screen and Touch ID button like the new iPad Air. It’ll likely arrive alongside the bigger iPad.
Apple Pencil (3rd generation)
It seems strange that Apple would release a new iPad Pro with an M1 processor and eye-popping display but not have a new Apple Pencil to go with it. But from what we’ve heard and seen, a new Apple Pencil is in development with a glossy finish, though we don’t know much else about it. It’s possible that the new Pencil is actually an update to the first-gen model that works with the entry-level iPad and iPad mini that are coming later this year.
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