Apple launched its first Apple Silicon M1-powered Macs at its November “One more thing” event. The new MacBooks and Mac mini look quite impressive and the major macOS Big Sur update also debuted this week. However, there are a number of compelling Apple products still in the wings. Here’s everything Apple didn’t announce at its November Apple Silicon Mac event.
The “One more thing” thing event was Apple’s third since September. And after a number of anticipated accessories and other products didn’t launch during the Apple Watch/iPad event or at the iPhone 12 event, there was hope we might see some of them land alongside the new Macs on November 10.
As it turns out, the Apple Silicon event was kept brief at 45 minutes and didn’t include any announcements or unveilings beyond the new M1-powered Macs and the November 12 launch of macOS Big Sur.
Back in April of 2019, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that Apple was working on a Tile-like tracking device. We later uncovered that it was using the AirTag name for the product. In April this year, Apple accidentally revealed the AirTags name itself in a support video on YouTube before quickly pulling it.
It’s been a long road to see AirTags arrive and the November event came and went without a launch. This may be a case of Apple seeing unexpected delays.
Earlier in the year, Ming-Chi Kuo pegged a Q3 release for this new product. Then in early October, we saw Jon Prosser predict the AirTags release was pushed to March 2021, but he then said just before the iPhone 12 event that they were on schedule to launch with iOS 14.3 in November. Highly accurate leaker L0vetodream also predicted on October 20 that they were “coming soon” in two sizes.
Lining up with Prosser and L0vetodream, we just found more evidence of AirTags being ready to go with iOS 14.3, which Apple just released as a beta. We were able to uncover more details about the setup process.
Here’s some of what we discovered:
Users can reproduce sound alerts and also link an AirTag to an Apple ID, so it won’t work with another ID if someone else finds it. “Removing this item will allow it to be set up and used by another person and it will no longer be linked to your Apple ID,” says the code. Apple will also provide an easy way for others to scan AirTags and find out who owns that lost item.
Time will tell but we could see this brand new Apple product launch before long.
9to5Mac first discovered icons of Apple’s upcoming over-ear headphones back in March in an early version of iOS 14. Since then we’ve heard more details about what’s expected for the next release in the highly popular AirPods lineup.
In April, Bloomberg reported that they will come with swappable magnetic earpads and headband and should launch sometime this year. Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted a unique magnetic design with production starting in “mid-2020.”
In May, 9to5Mac heard from several sources that Apple’s new over-ear headphones will feature neck, head, and left/right ear detection along with custom equalizer settings. Meanwhile, Jon Prosser said the name will be AirPods Studio with a price of $349.
Fast forward to September and we got an alleged first real-world look at the “Sport” version of AirPods Studio from leaker choco_bit. And the image lined up with the description that Bloomberg previously shared in April.
“Prototypes of the headphones have a retro look with oval-shaped ear cups that swivel and a headband connected by thin, metal arms.”
In October Prosser said that AirPods Studio were facing a “major hiccup” in production and that it would be “December AT BEST” before the launch. He also claimed that “key features have now been cut.”
Bloomberg followed up shortly after corroborating that the production was delayed due to an issue with the headband.
Indeed no AirPods Studio at any of the events this fall, however, 9to5Mac made an exciting find in the iOS 14.3 beta of a detailed icon (shown above) that matches with the previous descriptions and leak that we’ve seen.
The Apple TV 4K launched back in 2017, sports an A10X Fusion processor, and is still the company’s flagship set-top box three years later. We found clues early this year about a new Apple TV that could have an A12 or A13 chip as well as a new remote. Bloomberg later corroborated our findings in August.
However, no mention of an Apple TV hardware update at the November event. In the meantime, we are seeing handy new features like the ability to use HomePods as permanent Apple TV speakers with Dolby Atmos support.
Whenever we do see the next-gen Apple TV, a price drop could go a long way in Apple making up ground on competitors like Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Apple announced its all-new Fitness+ workout service at its September event. When the Apple One bundle service launched on October 30, we got a brief mention of Fitness+ from Apple that it would arrive before the end of the year.
Apple’s November Mac event passed by without more details on when Fitness+ will launch. But since Apple’s committed to a debut before the end of the year, it’s likely to happen with a press release in the coming weeks.
16-inch M1 MacBook Pro and redesigned iMac
An M1 16-inch MacBook Pro missing from the November keynote wasn’t a surprise but was certainly a disappointment for some. A week before the event, Bloomberg reported that the 16-inch M1-powered MacBook Pro was further behind in production than the 13-inch version and the MacBook Air.
Expectations remain from Kuo and L0vetodream that the 16-inch MacBook Pro and a new 14-inch model will launch in early 2021.
While we got the first Apple Silicon desktop with the Mac mini, an M1 iMac is also predicted by Kuo for a Q1 2021 launch. Bloomberg also corroborated that Apple is working on a redesigned iMac.
Amid a challenging year, Apple has launched a range of impressive new products and done really well with the shift to virtual events since WWDC in June.
While Apple events appear to be wrapped up for the year, we can’t rule out the company launching some of the remaining products like AirTags and more via press release but it could end up being 2021 before we see these products arrive. However, at some point in the next seven weeks, we’ll see the Fitness+ service launch.
What are you most excited to see launch? Share your thoughts down in the comments!