Everything Apple Didn’t Announce at its Apple Silicon Event
Apple’s November 2020 event was full of Mac news, with the company showing off its new Apple Silicon M1 chips and the Macs they are now powering. But despite going into great depth on this topic, Apple completely omitted many products that were heavily rumored in the lead up to the show.
If you want to know what did not make the cut — and which products Apple might be working on but is not yet ready to reveal — we have rounded up everything Apple is making us wait a bit longer to see.
When Apple unceremoniously killed off the 12-inch MacBook in 2019, few people were surprised. While it was Apple’s most experimental and, perhaps, revolutionary laptop in years, it just did not gain the traction needed to justify its place in the Mac lineup.
It was a surprise, though, when rumors started circulating that Apple was planning on resurrecting the 12-inch MacBook as part of its processor transition from Intel to its own Apple Silicon M1 chips. Could the power boost from the new chips be enough to make the lightweight laptop an enticing prospect again? Ultimately, we did not find out at Apple’s November event, because the 12-inch MacBook did not even get a mention. Maybe next time.
16-inch MacBook Pro
The 16-inch MacBook Pro was first introduced in late 2019, so now would be an ideal time to update it with boosted Apple Silicon processors, making it the perfect flagship product to demonstrate what the new chips are capable of. At least, that is what you would think, but Apple apparently thought otherwise, with the largest MacBook Pro notably absent from Apple’s event.
This could mean the company is holding off until early next year for an update. Apple often updates its Macs in the spring, and given the severe delays the current pandemic has caused to the company’s supply chain, we may have to be a little more patient before we see updates to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Alongside Apple Silicon Macs, one of the strongest stories going into Apple’s event was that the company would debut its long-rumored AirTags. These are allegedly Tile-like tracking devices that can be magnetically attached to your valuables. Evidence of their existence has been uncovered in various versions of iOS, so it seems to be a question of when, not if.
Alas, Apple held off on announcing AirTags, preferring instead to focus entirely on the Mac and the company’s new M1 chips. Given the abundance of evidence pointing to their existence, we do not expect it will be long until Apple decides the time is right for the new product.
AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2
The ever-popular AirPods and AirPods Pro are being redesigned, according to numerous rumors and leaked photos. Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said he expects AirPods 3 to look a lot like the current AirPods Pro design, with a much shorter stem than the current iteration. And what about the high-end version of Apple’s wireless earbuds? Bloomberg reckons they will lose their stem entirely, taking design cues from companies like Amazon and Google.
This announcement was always a bit of a long shot. While previous rumors pinned the updated AirPods and AirPods Pro on a November reveal, more recent reports predicted they would not make an appearance until 2021. That now looks likely given their absence from the Apple Silicon show.
AirPods, Apple’s in-ear headphones, have been a massive success since launching in 2016. Now, the word on the street is that Apple is working on the next step: a pair of on-ear cans to be dubbed AirPods Studio, potentially lessening its reliance on the Beats brand it already owns. These would incorporate active noise cancellation, head detection, touch controls, and potentially even swappable parts, all for $349.
Despite being heavily rumored in the approach to Apple’s November M1 event, AirPods Studio were conspicuously absent. That’s a surprise given the upcoming holiday season, but with a number of reported design problems — such as the on-device touch controls and the extent of the modular design — perhaps Apple just ran out of time to get things right.
HomePod 2 and mid-range HomePod
Apple’s last event — its iPhone 12 showstopper — also revealed the HomePod Mini to the world. That put the focus squarely back on the larger HomePod model, as it has been over three years since it launched in 2017 with no updates in sight. Surely something new is coming soon — right?
Fuel was added to the fire in the form of a Bloomberg report that teased that Apple was considering a mid-range HomePod that would sit somewhere between the HomePod Mini and the original HomePod. In the end, though, neither of those prospects came to pass, with Apple staying quiet on the topic of next-generation HomePod models. Instead, we will have to see what the company reveals over the coming months on this front.