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M1X MacBook Pro, AirPods and more: what to expect from Apple in 2021 and early 2022


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Although Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 range and many other products at its special “California Streaming” event, there are still plenty of other items waiting to be unveiled. Here’s what you can expect from Apple’s second event before the end of 2021, through the first months of 2022.

Apple is constantly the target of rumors, and many speculate about the types of products that the company could launch in the near and not so near future. Although the fever of rumors before the annual special event for the iPhone has passed, there are still many leaks, claims and strong rumors that remain unresolved.

There’s still a chance that those rumors will come true in some way, especially since Apple is launching products at other times of the year. Rumors of another event offer a good chance that the speculations will come true in the relatively near future.

With that in mind, here’s what you might end up seeing announcing to Apple in the next few months – and how likely each one is.

When is the next product launch?

Rumors ahead of Apple’s event in 2021 in September claimed that two such events would occur during the year. There were also suggestions that there could be two in the same month, with one in the middle and one at the end of September, although one happened, the other did not materialize.

Although Apple has successfully held one event, it has not yet hinted at another, but given the lack of mention of Macs in the announcements, it seems likely that they could appear in another presentation.

While there is a possibility for a second event in the fall, especially since Apple had a Mac-focused event in 2020, there is no guarantee it will be at all.

This does not mean that there will be no product presentations. Due to minor updates and announcements, Apple went on the path of launching in the style of a press release instead of a full presentation.

Given typical Apple event schedules, the October event is entirely possible, and has happened seven times in the last ten years. Given that Apple avoided an entire product category at its first event, two figures certainly suggest that the second will happen before the end of the year, as well as what Apple might present.

In 2022

Moving on to 2022, Apple is looking to hold its first product launches in March, so it’s reasonable to assume that a similar event could happen at that time in the future.

Again, this doesn’t affect Apple’s much more frequent event-free launches. Apple’s versions based on the press release could happen at an earlier unusual time of year. For example, in December 2020, Apple introduced AirPods Max without events.

Such launches are usually reserved only for smaller products and not for large tickets for a wide audience. An edition-based launch can happen, but not for something big.

AirPods 3, AirPods Pro Lite, AirPods Pro 2

A key addition to the iPhone, an update of the Airpods line was expected during a special “California Streaming” event, but did not appear. However, there is still great confidence that some form of update will happen soon.

Apple’s AirPods.

Although they differ in exact specifications, there is a general belief that AirPods 3 are on the way, as an updated base model. Shorter stems and improved battery life are suggested, as well as changeable tips like AirPods Pro.

The AirPods Pro Lite is expected to be similar to both the AirPods and AirPods Pro, as it could offer Pro-style features, but in a cheaper package.

AirPods Pro 2 are seemingly on the way, along with updated motion tracking for use in fitness apps, along with multiple device sizes. However, some reports suggest that AirPods Pro 2 arrives in early 2022, not 2021.

Forecasts in July and August indicated a launch in the fall, while a September pre-event report indicated that AirPods Pro would arrive in the near future.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, AirPods 3 does not necessarily replace AirPods, but it could still cost more than them. Potentially, prices could be higher while maintaining current AirPod prices, or they could cause a reduction in original prices.

A report from August 25 pointed to the release of AirPods 3 on September 30, although it is probably better to assume that it will be during the second autumn event.

14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple is in the middle of its two-year schedule to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, which means it must continue to change its Mac product line. The two main candidates for change are the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the new model, the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Both sizes are expected to use an M1-style chip, probably an “M1X” with an updated 12-core CPU and a 16-core GPU. The screen is said to use a mini LED backlight, enabling high contrast ratios similar to OLED panels, at no cost.

However, in mid-September, a report claimed that Samsung Display OLED panels were being mass-produced, potentially for use in a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

On September 24, the code found in the beta version of macOS Monterey hinted at a couple of screen resolutions that did not match existing Macbooks, which could be for the new MacBook Pro models. The 14-inch can get a “3024 x 1,964 Retina” screen, while the 16-inch can have a “3,456 x 2,234 Retina” screen.

The MacBook Pro range is expected to have two new additions to the list.

The MacBook Pro range is expected to have two new additions to the list.

An August report claims that the two models will use the same chip, so they will be similar in terms of performance. The 14-inch would also obviously suffer a price increase over the 13-inch MacBook Pro, at the same time.

Deficiencies in the production of mini LEDs in June led to further reports in July that the models are on the way, although they still have a potential impact on eventual release. Far from the screen, it was rumored that Apple would finally upgrade the camera, from a 720p FaceTime camera to a 1080p variant.

Supply chain reports say the models will appear in the third quarter, while extensive production was claimed in August. However, a report in early September suggested that a global shortage of chips could force a delay in issuance in October or November.

On Sept. 12, Mark Gurman argued that the new M1X models should “hit the shelves in the next few weeks,” and later updated his October 3 forecast to say the launch should happen sometime in October.

Apple, of course, has not confirmed any of this. But there was a brief annoying typo on the company’s German website, which mistakenly included a 16-inch MBook based on the M1 in the product description.

The disappearance of the 16-inch MacBook Pro power adapter from Apple’s online store and physical outlets helped in the claim of the imminent launch. The 96-watt USB-C power adapter was on the product list in stock, with delivery estimates at two to three months.

While not an accurate predictor, since Apple could only update the charger itself, it seems like a good sign that the model is at least something on the way.

MacBook Air

Among the initial launches of M1-based Macs, the MacBook Air will turn one in the fall, which could allow Apple to upgrade without seeming too early in the product lifecycle. However, rumors point to a 2022 edition instead of a 2021 one.

In July, a report claimed that Apple would wait until the first half of 2022 to release the “M2” or “M1X” MacBook Air. The “M2” claim was supported by another publisher, along with a timeline for early 2022.

Early renderings speculated that there might be many color options to refresh the MacBook Air.

Early renderings speculated that there might be many color options to refresh the MacBook Air.

Meanwhile, analyst Kuo advised in July and August that the launch of the MacBook Air in 2022 is expected.

Renders released in May seemed to indicate a redesign, complete with a slim wedgeless design that barely stood the USB-C port on the side. Various colors were also claimed, along with a white frame and keys.

A new screen has also been proposed, with a mini LED backlight.

According to Kuo’s note from September 27, Apple will start mass production of the updated MacBook Air in the middle of 2022, which could encourage a refresh later in the year.

Mac mini

One of the three initial launches of Apple Silicon, the Mac mini similarly did not undergo any redesign before launch. It looks like it may receive that update for the first refresh.

Renders from May claim that it will be a thinner device, with a circular base replaced by rubber bands, and the rear ventilation opening has been moved to the base. The aluminum case would have a “plexiglass” -like top plate, and a choice of colors was also advertised.

Rendering what the new Mac mini might look like, along with a perspex-like tip.

Rendering what the new Mac mini might look like, along with a perspex-like tip.

It is said that the selection of ports on the back consists of four USB 4-Thunderbolt 3 ports, a pair of USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and a magnetic circular power connector, taken from a 24-inch iMac. Inside, the chip will be updated from M1, possibly to “M1X” or “M2”.

A August 22 report claims that the high-performance Mac mini used by the “M1X” is intended to remove Intel-based versions that Apple continues to sell from the product line. However, in addition to the updated design and the use of “multiple ports,” the report offered several details.

The release date is unknown, but Apple is easy to report the model in the fall or early 2022.

Big screen iMac

Since Apple had iMacs in two sizes for its Intel collection, it makes sense for Apple to offer a replacement for the 24-inch iMac for its Apple Silicon range, most likely by replacing the current 27-inch iMac.

A 24-inch iMac can get a bigger stable partner.

A 24-inch iMac can get a bigger stable partner.

In April rumors, ahead of the presentation of the 24-inch model, it is stated that Apple is working on a version with a screen larger than 27 inches. However, that rumor originated from a data leak that allegedly “withdrew” from the “job”.

In July, another rumor mentioned a larger model, although there were few details. Later that month, a rumor spread about the “premium iMac,” which was launched in 2022 because Apple “doesn’t want their devices to compete for attention”.

There aren’t very many details about this alleged iMac, but it still seems like there will be a launch option at some point.

There are probably more Apple devices coming

It continues with a lot of rumors and speculation about other Apple products that are expected to be launched. There are for example “Apple Car” and “Apple Glass” or other Apple AR headphones.

And, of course, the rumors have already started for the “iPhone 14” in September 2022. However, the next iPhone is the only one of these products in the future with a likely launch date.



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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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