Apple’s 2020 Event Plans: New Products and Software Coming in 2020
Monday September 21, 2020 12:50 PM PDT by Juli Clover
In an average year, Apple holds three to four events. There’s usually a spring event in March, the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, a September event that’s focused on iPhone and Apple Watch, and sometimes an October event if there are iPads or Macs expected in the fall.
In this guide, we’re keeping track of all of the Apple events that are on the horizon and what we’re expecting to see at each one, so make sure to check back in regularly.
No Early 2020 Event
Apple’s first event of each new year typically happens in the spring, usually in March. We were expecting an event in March, perhaps on March 31, but the global health crisis delayed Apple’s plans and there was no spring event.
Apple introduced a new MacBook Air and new iPad Pro models via press release in March, and debuted the 2020 iPhone SE via press release in April.
Apple held the 2020 WWDC event in a digital only capacity and unveiled iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7, but no new hardware was announced. Apple did, however, share its future plans for Arm-based Macs, and the first machine is expected to launch in late 2020.
September 2020 Event
Apple held an event on Tuesday, September 15, unveiling the new Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad Air, and eighth-generation iPad.
The new 2020 iPhone lineup was not unveiled and may instead come at an event set to be held later in the year, perhaps in October.
Fall always brings new iPhones, and this year will be no exception. We’re expecting four new iPhone models in 5.4-, 6.1-, and 6.7-inch size options, all of which are rumored to feature OLED displays and 5G connectivity.
The 6.7-inch and one of the 6.1-inch iPhone models will be “Pro” models priced higher than the 5.4-inch model and the other 6.1-inch model, which are expected to be more affordable alternatives akin to the iPhone 11.
Apple in July confirmed that this year’s iPhones are going to be a little bit delayed. Rather than launching in September, the new iPhones are expected to become available for purchase a few weeks later in October, and current rumors suggest we’ll also have an October iPhone event.
Apple is working on an “AirTag” that will compete with products like Tile, offering up Bluetooth tracking for items like keys, wallets, cameras, and more. AirTags will integrate into the Find My app and will take advantage of offline tracking capabilities. Recent rumors have suggested AirTags could be introduced alongside new iPhones.
Apple is rumored to be working on high-end over-ear Bluetooth headphones with an all-new design and superior sound quality, which may be called “AirPods Studio.” There may be two versions in development, a premium model with leather-like fabrics and a fitness-focused model with lighter, breathable materials. Detachable ear cups and headband padding may be included, which would allow these components to be swapped out. The headphones are expected to feature Active Noise Cancellation like the AirPods Pro. Apple is targeting a 2020 launch date, and pricing could be around $350.
Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper HomePod that is expected to feature the same general form factor but with reduced audio quality and a smaller size. Apple is rumored to be targeting a release date in the second half of the year.
Apple is working on Arm-based Macs that use its own Apple Silicon chips, and while we don’t yet know what the first Arm-based Mac will be, Apple has said that the first machine equipped with Apple Silicon will be released before the end of the year.
Other Products in the Works
There are several other products that have been rumored, but we don’t know exactly when to expect them.
Small Wireless Charging Mat
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said Apple is working on a “smaller wireless charging mat” set to be released in 2020. No other context or information was provided on the upcoming product, so it’s not clear if this wireless charging mat will be a scaled down version of the AirPower, which was discontinued, or something else entirely.
Apple is rumored to be working on a new low-cost iPad that could come in the second half of 2020.
New Apple TV
Code found in an internal build of iOS 13 references a new Apple TV 11,1 model, suggesting Apple is working on an updated Apple TV. Little is known about the new device, but it could feature an A12 processor. There’s no word on when we can expect a release.
New 16-inch MacBook Pro
Apple refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Pro in May, adding scissor switch keyboards and a new 32GB maximum RAM option, but there are also rumors that a new 16-inch MacBook Pro will be released in 2020, and it could feature a mini-LED display. It’s not clear if the ongoing health crisis will affect Apple’s plans, however, and the rumored mini-LED MacBook Pro could be delayed until 2021.
While there have been rumors that the first Arm-based Mac with an Apple Silicon chip will be a MacBook Pro, Chinese language newspaper The China Times believes Apple is working on a new variant of the 12-inch Retina MacBook that weighs less than one kilogram (2.2lbs).
The MacBook is said to feature an A14X processor codenamed “Tonga,” which will have a battery life between 15 and 20 hours. The site says that the machine could launch in 2020, but most Arm-based rumors have focused on the MacBook Pro and iMac.
Apple refreshed the 27-inch iMac in August, but there are still rumors of a 23 to 24-inch iMac with “iPad Pro design language” and thinner bezels similar to the bezels on the Pro Display XDR, which could come in late 2020 or early 2021. This iMac is also expected to have an Apple Silicon chip and a custom-designed Apple GPU.
Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV with an updated processor and a redesigned Apple TV remote that could have a Find My-like feature that allows the remote to be tracked down when it’s lost within the house. The new Apple TV is expected to launch in 2021.
2020 Product Refreshes and Announcements So Far
Apple in March started releasing new 2020 products, with a list of the new and refreshed devices below.
- March 2020 – iPad Pro
- March 2020 – Magic Keyboard
- March 2020 – MacBook Air
- March 2020 – Mac mini
- March 2020 – Powerbeats
- April 2020 – iPhone SE
- May 2020 – 13-inch MacBook Pro
- June 2020 – Apple Silicon chip plans
- June 2020 – iOS 14
- June 2020 – macOS Big Sur
- June 2020 – iPadOS 14
- June 2020 – watchOS 7
- June 2020 – tvOS 14
- August 2020 – 27-inch iMac
- September 2020 – Apple Watch Series 6
- September 2020 – Apple Watch SE
- September 2020 – iPad Air
- September 2020 – Eighth-Generation iPad