In the Apple world, September means one thing: event season is upon us! While we might get just the one Apple event this fall, or perhaps three like last year, or maybe even more depending on which rumor you believe, we do know that Apple has a ton of products set for significant updates.
With rumors still swirling, here are the things I am most excited to see over the next few months.
iPad mini 6
While it might not top the wishlist of many people, the iPad mini 6 looks like the most exciting product on the docket to me. The current 5th-gen iPad mini, released in 2019, is a little long in the tooth. Its internals are mostly fine (though it won't be long before they become outdated), it supports the older Apple Pencil, and its design language has remained mostly the same since the iPad mini's inception.
Rumors point to an all-new iPad mini design, which is much more akin to the current iPad Pro and iPad Air models. That would enable the device to get even smaller or, preferably, fit more screen into the same overall footprint by going edge-to-edge.
I already own a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and love its design language and the experience of using it with a Magic Keyboard, but it's too large to use comfortably for reading or even holding for long periods to watch a movie or play a game. An updated iPad mini 6 would be perfect for these use cases. Support for Apple Pencil 2 would make it the best iPad to use as a portable notepad, too.
The AirPods 2 added additional features while keeping the design the same from the first-gen model. The AirPods 3 are expected to break away from that design in favor of a look more akin to the current AirPods Pro with a shorter stem and replaceable ear tips.
Rumors suggest these new entry-level AirPods will be a significant update and arrive this fall, though I'm hoping they don't take on the in-ear tips of the current AirPods Pro. I'm all for a more compact overall design, but in-ear earbuds have never worked for me, which is why I have avoided AirPods Pro up until now. Looks like I might be out of luck this year.
Mini-LED MacBook Pro
We might not see any Mac updates at Apple's September event if the company chooses to split that out into a separate event later this fall, but all signs point to a new 2021 MacBook Pro being revealed at some point.
The rumored machine is said to feature a mini-LED display, making it the first Mac to adopt this technology following its debut in the M1 iPad Pro, and come in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes. On the outside, it is expected that the new MacBook Pro will feature a flatter, squarer design as Apple has pursued in its other recent releases while inside it will be powered by next-gen Apple silicon.
I've been holding onto my Retina MacBook Pro since late 2013. Though its battery life isn't what it used to be, and the fan is certainly much more active these days, it still runs mostly fine and has allowed me to avoid the butterfly keyboard drama. I also use my desktop Mac for work and my iPad for most other things, so an upgraded laptop hasn't been necessary thus far.
That being said, my 2013 model won't make the cut for macOS Monterey this fall and, having used an M1 MacBook Air, I was blown away by the performance in such a thin, light, and silent machine. This updated MacBook Pro model could be the one that gets me to upgrade and I'm very excited to see it be unveiled.
iPhone 13 Pro
The only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and a new iPhone every year. We know we'll get new models this year, likely in the same sizes as 2020, with some solid year-over-year changes.
Last year, I found that the iPhone 12 Pro feature set was not enough to get me to spend the extra money, so I actually went from an iPhone 11 Pro to the regular iPhone 12. I kept the OLED screen, benefitted from the redesigned chassis in a gorgeous blue color, enjoyed the A14 Bionic speed bump, all at the cost of just the telephoto zoom camera I almost never used and LiDAR that I always forget my iPad Pro has.
What you look for in a phone may vary, but I have found the iPhone 12 to meet my needs perfectly well. What I'd love to see in the iPhone 13 Pro is something that makes it worth the extra cost compared to the standard iPhone 13.
This might end up being the ProMotion display that allows for always-on and 120Hz refresh rate, plus some huge new camera upgrades, though I might end up sticking with the regular iPhone 13 if the feature differences don't justify the jump in price. Either way, I'm excited to see how it shakes out.
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 makes it to my wish list more out of interest than intent to buy. Like the iPhone, Apple is very unlikely to move from the yearly cadence for updating the product at this point, so I'm not wishing for it to exist per se, but I am wishing for it to not be delayed and for it to have some of the more exciting features that we have seen rumored.
Recent news points to a potential Apple Watch Series 7 delay and that several of the best Apple Watch features are being pushed back to 2022 making this year's upgrade much less appetizing. I'm still wearing an Apple Watch Series 4 daily since the Series 5 and Series 6 upgrades didn't really grab me. A totally redesigned Apple Watch would certainly get my attention, but if the feature set is otherwise mostly unchanged I still might end up passing on this year's model too.
I know, there's literally zero evidence that a new HomePod is coming this year, but what is a wishlist without a little wish casting? I'm all-in on HomeKit and have various HomePod and HomePod mini speakers dotted around my home so I can stream music and have easy access to Siri wherever I am.
When the original HomePod came out, I was skeptical about its usefulness as a smart home product but its sound quality as a speaker won me over. In the years since its launch, it has gradually gotten better in the smart home arena too. That being said, it is super old when it comes to hardware which is soon going to start to hold it back. Inside, it runs the A8 chip, which was already several years old when the HomePod was announced in 2017, and it came out before technologies like Thread became mainstream.
The HomePod mini is a terrific device that is clearly more responsive than its larger counterpart and, though its sound is impressive for its size, the diminutive speaker doesn't pack the same punch as the original model.
I'd love for Apple to announce a new HomePod device this fall. Whether it's the rumored HomePod with display or HomePod plus Apple TV combo, I don't mind. I just want to see Apple continue to focus on this category of product. With Siri, HomeKit, Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio, plus technologies like FaceTime and services like Apple TV+ and Fitness+ to leverage if the next HomePod has a display, there's a lot Apple can do in this space.
What's on your wish list?
You've heard what I want to see most this Apple event season but what are you most excited for this fall? Let me know in the comments!
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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.