For Apple, 2019 was a busy year, thanks to the iPhone 11 lineup, new AirPods, a strong focus on the Mac, and more. As we head into 2020, there’s even more to expect from Apple, including the iPhone 12, more powerful iPad Pros, and continued updates to the Mac.
Read on as we round up what to expect from Apple in 2020.
iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9
The first hardware announcement we expect from Apple in 2020 is a new low-end iPhone model. Reports from analysts including Ming-Chi Kuo have indicated that Apple is developing a new iPhone that serves as an iPhone 8 follow-up terms of design, but with a more powerful A13 processor.
Other than the A13 and a frosted glass back design, we expect this iPhone to be nearly identical to the iPhone 8: a 4.7-inch LCD display, Touch ID, a Home button, and large bezels at the top and bottom. Kuo has predicted that this iPhone model will start at $399 with 64 GB of storage.
What will Apple call this device? While it’s been commonly referred to as the iPhone SE 2, we don’t expect that to be the marketing name. One report has suggested that it might be called the iPhone 9, which makes sense, given its positioning between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. iPhone marketing names are notoriously difficult to predict, however, so we’ll have to wait for Apple’s official announcement for confirmation.
Why is Apple releasing this iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 in 2020? The goal is seemingly to incentivize those still using the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to upgrade. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are not supported by iOS 13, which means those users can’t access Apple’s newest services such as Apple Arcade and Apple TV+. This iPhone is expected to feature the A13 processor, which means it will be supported by iOS for years to come — opening up Apple’s new services to millions of more people.
Read everything we know about the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 in our full roundup here.
Apple introduced an overhauled iPad Pro lineup in late 2018, bringing Face ID, a new edge-to-edge design, the second-generation Apple Pencil, and more. After that dramatic refresh, attention turned to software in 2019, with Apple introducing the first version of iPadOS.
In 2020, reports indicate that Apple has another iPad Pro hardware refresh on the docket. According to renders from Onleaks, the 2020 iPad Pros will feature the same triple-lens camera setup as the iPhone 11. In addition to the upgrades this will bring to general photography, a triple-lens camera setup will also give the iPad Pro more augmented reality capabilities, reports suggest.
When can you expect Apple’s 2020 iPad Pro lineup to be released? It looks like new iPad hardware could be on the schedule for as early as this spring, perhaps alongside the aforementioned iPhone 9.
One thing to consider: Reports have also said Apple is working on iPad Pro models with mini-LED screen technology. One report said this upgrade would come in early 2021, while another, more recent report moved that timeline up to late 2020, at least for the 12.9-inch model.
If you plan on buying the next-generation iPad, just know that a model with mini LED could be on the horizon as well.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
One of Apple’s biggest product announcements in 2019 was the 16-inch MacBook Pro. In addition to the larger display, this update included a much needed updated keyboard design. After multiple attempts to perfect the butterfly keyboard, Apple’s new Magic Keyboard returns to the more traditional scissor switch style for improved reliability, key travel, and durability.
As of right now, the Magic Keyboard is only available in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. That’s expected to change in 2020, however, with Ming-Chi Kuo reporting that Apple will bring the new keyboard to both the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air in 2020.
It’s also likely that at least the new 13-inch (or 14-inch?) MacBook Pro will adopt the new thermal design used by the 16-inch MacBook Pro for improved performance under heavy loads. This would tie in nicely with the “Pro Mode” toggle Apple is testing in macOS.
There’s currently no timetable for when Apple plans to introduce the new MacBooks with Magic Keyboards. A new MacBook model did just appear in a European database, suggesting that at least one could be released within the coming months. In the meantime, it’s hard to recommend you buy any MacBook with the butterfly keyboard.
Much like the iPad Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is also reportedly set to switch to mini-LED display technology in late 2020. Additional details on this update are unknown as of right now.
iMac and Mac mini
Less is known about what to expect for the iMac in 2020. The consumer-grade iMac was updated in March 2019 with new 6-core and 8-core Intel CPUs, and you can still upgrade the RAM after the fact. But what about the visual design of the iMac? The iMac has kept the same general design since 2012, so it’s long overdue for a visual refresh.
The iMac Pro is going on three years since its introduction, and it’s unknown what Apple’s plans are for that machine. If the iMac Pro is going to receive another upgrade, whether it be a redesign or spec bump, we’d expect it to happen in 2020, but only time will tell.
The same can also be said about the Mac mini, which was last updated in 2018. The Mac mini clearly isn’t the most popular Mac sold by Apple, but it’s possible (not guaranteed) we’ll see some sort of internal spec bump update in 2020.
As 9to5Mac has reported several times, Apple is developing a personal item tracker similar to the popular Tile products. What this means is that you’ll be able to attach Apple’s physical item tracker to any belonging, such as your wallet, backpack, keys, and more, and then track those items via the Find My application on Mac and iOS.
Evidence within iOS suggests that these item trackers will be called “AirTags” and integrate with augmented reality features to help users easily find their lost items. For instance, you could hold your iPhone up and see precise directions to find your lost items.
Furthermore, Apple Tag will also be able to leverage the massive iOS user base to ensure that it is always in range of a connected iPhone or other Apple device. Users will also be able to receive notifications when their iPhone gets too far away from the tag.
We initially expected the AirTag accessory to be unveiled in late 2019, but that did not come to fruition. A release in 2020 seems likely, especially given the inclusion of the U1 Ultrawideband location chip in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
Read everything we know about Apple’s item tracker in our full guide.
First off, evidence emerged earlier this month suggesting that Apple is working on a PRODUCT(RED) Apple Watch Series 5 that could be released as soon as this spring. This Apple Watch variant would reportedly be made out of an aluminum casing with a red finish. It would mark the first ever PRODUCT(RED) Apple Watch.
Later this year, history indicates that Apple will introduce the Apple Watch Series 6. We still don’t know much about the next-generation Apple Watch, but early reports suggest it will feature faster performance and improved water resistance. Improved performance will make the Apple Watch even more capable of operating independently of the iPhone.
As 2020 progresses, we’ll likely hear more about what to expect from the Apple Watch Series 6. In the meantime, let us know what you’d like to see Apple focus on down in the comments.
iPhone 12 lineup
In addition to the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 discussed earlier, Apple is also likely to introduce the iPhone 12 lineup this year. What can we expect from the iPhone 12? Early reports suggest that it will be a busy year.
Ming-Chi Kuo has consistently reported so far that Apple is planning to introduce four new iPhone 12 models in 2020. The difference between all of these models, other than screen sizes, will be camera technology.
According to Kuo, the 5.4-inch OLED iPhone will feature a dual-camera setup on the back. The lower-end 6.1-inch iPhone will feature a similar dual-camera system. The higher-end 6.1-inch model and the 6.7-inch model will include triple-lens camera setups as well as time-of-flight 3D sensing technology.
In terms of design, the iPhone 12 is expected to feature a rather significant chassis redesign. Reports indicate that the iPhone 12 will look similar to the iPhone 4 with squared-off edges and an overall boxier design. Since the iPhone 6, iPhones have featured on curved edges that blend into the displays, but it looks like that will change in 2020.
All four of the iPhone 12 models introduce this year are also expected to feature 5G support. This includes both versions of 5G: sub-6 GHz 5G and mmWave 5G. The former offers speeds slightly faster than LTE, but the latter is widely considered to be “true 5G” with speeds that rival home internet.
The iPhone 12 lineup is also expected to feature the next iteration of Apple’s A-series processors, likely called the A14. According to a recent supply chain report, TSMC is on schedule to start the production of the A14 processor using a new 5 nanometer process in Q2. The A13 was produced with a 7 nm processor, so the A14 should be more power-efficient and faster, thanks to the 5 nm process.
As of right now, we expect all four iPhone 12 models to be released in the fall. While this could change, particularly with the uncertainty around 5G, everything appears to be on schedule for now.
Last but not least, Apple will also debut the latest versions of its operating systems in 2020. These are likely to be called iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, tvOS 14, and macOS 10.16.
We don’t yet know what new features Apple plans to focus on this year. A report from Bloomberg, however, recently said that Apple is changing the way it develops new iOS releases to focus on improved stability and beta testing. Apple’s refined beta testing and development process will reportedly make it easier for Apple developers to enable and disable features that aren’t ready for primetime.
The report noted that Apple currently expects iOS 14 to be a feature-packed release, but that it is willing to delay some of those features to iOS 15 for the sake of stability, if necessary.
What are you most excited to see from Apple in 2020? What new software features would you like Apple to focus on? Let us know down in the comments!
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