Multiple products are rumored for a spring launch, and while we don’t know exactly when in spring these devices will debut, Apple has held an event in March for the last few years. This year, Apple is planning to host an event on March 25, but it’s going to be focused on subscription services and therefore may not include hardware announcements.
Instead, these updates could potentially be announced via press release right around the time of the event.
- iPad mini 5 – Same design as iPad mini 4 with 7.9-inch display and 6.1mm thickness, but with upgraded processor, lower price tag, and possible Apple Pencil support. Headphone jack and Touch ID expected.
- 7th-generation iPad – Same design as 6th-generation iPad, but upgraded processor and a new 10-inch display size. Apple Pencil support, Touch ID, headphone jack, and other iPad features to remain.
- 7th-generation iPod touch – Little is known, but same design as 6th-gen iPod touch with no Face ID or Touch ID. iPhone-style bells and whistles not expected, as Apple will likely want to keep costs low, but will have faster A-series processor.
- AirPods 2 – Wireless charging case expected, as is “Hey Siri” support. Rumors have suggested some slight design changes, a black color, and health-related features as possibilities. Info is mixed, though, and at least one rumor suggests a Charging Case is coming while new AirPods won’t be launched until fall.
- AirPower – Apple’s long-delayed wireless charging mat for AirPods, iPhone, and Apple Watch is finally in production and is expected to be launching during the first half of 2019.
- Apple News Service – Apple is planning a $9.99 per month subscription news service that would give unlimited access to paywalled sites like The New York Times and the Washington Post. Not all news sites are on board yet, but this is expected to be announced at the March 25 event.
- Apple News Magazine Service – There have also been rumors of a $9.99 per month service that would give access to magazines, similar to the service offered by Texture, the magazine app Apple bought in 2018. Whether magazines will be included in the same $9.99 fee for news or available separately remains to be seen, but expect to see both news and magazine subscription services added to Apple News.
- Streaming TV Service – Apple is working on a streaming TV service that will include the more than two dozen TV shows and movies it has in the works along with access to subscription content from other cable providers. We don’t know what it’ll cost just yet, but Apple will debut it at the March event before launching it later in the year, perhaps in summer. By the way, all of Apple’s services may be available in one big bundle option, so the TV service could be paired with the news service and perhaps Apple Music.
- iOS 12.2 – iOS 12.2 expands Apple News to Canada, brings HomeKit and AirPlay 2 support for third-party TVs, and adds a few other new features to iOS, and we’re expecting it to be launched on or before Apple’s planned March 25 event.
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference takes place in June, and this year it’s going to be held from June 3 to June 7. We’re expecting to see new software updates, and sometimes Apple sneaks some hardware in. We don’t know if that’ll be the case this year, but there is a major Mac Pro update on the horizon and details could be shared at WWDC.
- iOS 13 – Dark mode will be the key feature of iOS 13, and there will be a redesigned Home screen for iPhone and iPad. The files app is getting updated, and we’ll see some iPad-specific features like tabs for apps and a multitasking feature for using two windows of the same app side by side.
- CarPlay – As part of iOS 13, CarPlay may get some revamped interface elements, though details are slim.
- macOS 10.15 – macOS 10.15 will expand cross-platform app functionality to developers, allowing iOS apps to be easily ported over to macOS. macOS 10.15 won’t support 32-bit apps, so expect some of your older apps that haven’t been updated in a while to quit working.
- watchOS 6 – watchOS 6 will come alongside iOS 13 and it could include some interface changes to match, though we don’t know any details about the update right now.
- tvOS 13 – Apple updates tvOS alongside iOS, macOS, and watchOS, so we’re expecting a new version. There have been no rumors of what’s coming in tvOS 13.
- 2019 iPhones – We’re expecting three iPhones in 2019 that are similar to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. We’ll get two OLED models (XS and XS Max successors) and one LED model (XR successor), with no significant design changes, though smaller Face ID notches are rumored. The largest iPhone will feature an improved triple-lens camera while the others will use dual-lens cameras. We’ve heard rumors of USB-C, but it ultimately sounds like the 2019 iPhones will stick with Lightning, and we can also expect an A13 chip along with faster LTE and WiFi.
- Apple Watch Series 5 – We haven’t heard concrete details on what’s coming in the Apple Watch Series 5, but new health features have been rumored for years, such as non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. A micro-LED display is a possibility, as are solid state buttons. We don’t yet know what to expect from the next Apple Watch, but Apple reliably updates it every September just like the iPhone.
Later in 2019
- Mac Pro – Apple is working on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro for its pro user base. The machine will be easily upgradable and will feature components for the most system intensive tasks. We have no word on when in 2019 this is coming, but Apple did promise a 2019 launch date in early 2018. If it’s anything like the last Mac Pro in 2013, we could get some info at WWDC.
- New Apple Display – To go along with the new Mac Pro, Apple is developing an Apple-branded display, the first since the Thunderbolt display. Thin bezels, 5K resolution, and Thunderbolt 3 are reasonable guesses on what we can expect.
- Apple TV Dongle – Rumors suggest Apple is considering a lower-cost Apple TV dongle similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chromecast, which would be available at a lower price than the current Apple TV set top boxes. Such a dongle would be able to be plugged into the back of a TV and would be used to promote the company’s upcoming streaming TV service.
- HomePod – We’ve heard rumors suggesting Apple is working on a lower-cost HomePod option that would better compete with offerings from Amazon and Google.
- High-end Over-Ear Headphones – To round out its audio offerings of the HomePod and AirPod, Apple is reportedly developing Apple-branded over-ear high-end headphones. Sound quality is said to be a major focus, and Apple will include active noise-cancellation. We don’t know just when the headphones will launch, but the second half of 2019 is rumored.
- iMac and iMac Pro – The iMac and iMac Pro weren’t refreshed in 2018, so a 2019 refresh could be coming. We don’t know details, but expect upgraded processors, and one rumor has said we’ll get a “significant display performance upgrade.”
- MacBook and MacBook Air/Pro – There are no specific rumors about notebook updates, but the MacBook is in need of a refresh since it didn’t get a 2018 update, and Apple could also introduce a minor spec update in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. There’s been some speculation that the MacBook will be Apple’s first ARM-based notebook with a custom chip, but that’s not expected till 2020.
Coming in 2020
- 2020 iPhones – Apple’s 2020 iPhones will introduce some exciting improvements, based on rumors. 5G wireless chips for much faster cellular speeds are said to be coming, plus Apple is going to add a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera for significant improvements to AR experiences. We could also get an all OLED lineup, with Apple finally doing away with LCD iPhones.
- 2020 iPad Pro – The 3D camera feature coming to the 2020 iPhones might show up in 2020 iPad Pro models first. The camera will let 3D models be captured using the iPad Pro’s camera and then edited with Apple Pencil. No major iPad Pro changes are planned for 2019, so we might not get another iPad Pro until 2020.
- AR Smart Glasses – Apple is working on augmented reality smart glasses that could come at some point in 2020. The glasses are said to feature a dedicated display, built-in processor, and an “rOS” or reality operating system. Input will be via touch panels, voice activation, and head gestures, and it’s said to support applications ranging from mapping to texting.
- Mac With Apple-Made Chip – Rumors suggest Apple is planning to transition from Intel chips to its own custom-made Mac chips as early as 2020, so we could see the first Mac with a custom chip at some point during the year. Apple already makes its A-series chips for iPhones and iPads and has added custom T2 chips to a number of Macs.
- Apple Car – There have been a lot of twists and turns in the saga of Apple’s electric car development, but reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is still planning on a full autonomous vehicle rather than just an autonomous car software offering, with a launch to happen between 2023 and 2025.