With 2019 now over, Apple is now probably focusing on all the new products and services it plans to launch in 2020. This year will be an important one for the company as it is expected to launch 5G iPhones along with some other breakthrough and radically different products.
In fact, if rumors are anything to go by, Apple could launch its first AR headset this year. If that happens, we could finally see AR becoming mainstream. There is also a possibility of Apple launching ARM-based Macs which could mark a major turning point in Apple and Intel’s relationship. There are a heck lot of more products that Apple is working on for 2020. Below, we list down all the products that we expect Apple to release this year. I have broken down the section into two parts: hardware and software.
2019 iPad Pro
The first hardware product announcement from Apple in 2020 will likely be the 2019 iPad Pro lineup. The company did not refresh its iPad Pro lineup in 2018 which means they are now overdue for an upgrade. Apple usually announces new iPads in March every year so that’s when we should expect the new iPad Pro to land this year.
Rumors point to the 2019 iPad Pro lineup coming with a triple-camera system similar to what we see on the iPhone 11 Pro, faster A13X Bionic chip, more RAM, and more. There are also rumors of Apple using microLED display on the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, though nothing concrete has leaked on that front to substantiate it.
iPhone SE 2
Despite its age and dated internals, the iPhone SE remains a very popular choice among a certain category of customers. Every single time the phone has come back in stock in Apple’s clearance store, it has sold out within seconds which is a clear indication of its popularity.
This year, we might just see Apple refresh the iPhone SE with powerful internals, a more capable camera, and other upgrades. Reputed Apple analyst Kuo believes the iPhone SE 2 will feature an iPhone 8-like design, pack an A13 Bionic chip, 3GB RAM, and Touch ID. It is expected to launch at the end of March this year with a $399 price tag.
Retina MacBook with ARM Chip
The problem with Apple’s current Retina MacBook lineup is that it is not powerful enough even for basic tasks. The fanless design means that Apple needs to use an extremely low-power 5W Intel processor which is simply not good enough for some simple photo editing or heavy browsing. The company could easily fix this issue by switching to its own A-series chipset.
A Retina MacBook with an A-series chipset will have more than enough horsepower for Chrome, basic photo and video editing, and more. Apple’s in-house chips are already rivaling that of Intel in terms of performance and the additional thermal headroom offered by a MacBook’s chassis will allow something like an A13X Bionic to truly shine.
Apple could also offer 4G connectivity on the Retina MacBook making it an ideal on-the-go device for many.
There have been rumors of Apple working on an ARM-based MacBook for quite some time now, with even Intel believing them which is a pretty good confirmation of their existence.
13/14-inch MacBook Pro
Towards the end of 2019, Apple surprised everyone with its new 16-inch MacBook Pro. It fixed all the wrongs of the previous MacBook Pro variants and offered a big display, better thermal performance, longer battery life, and a trustworthy keyboard.
For 2020, the same changes are now expected to trickle down to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. This means we can possibly see a MacBook Pro refresh packing a 14-inch display in a chassis that’s of similar size as the existing 13-inch model. Depending on when Apple launches this 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh, they could launch with Intel’s new 10nm chips which offer notably superior iGPU compared to the existing chips. Oh, the keyboard reliability issues should also be fixed as Apple will likely switch to Magic keyboard as seen on the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Now that the Mac Pro refresh is out, there’s only one Mac left in Apple’s lineup that sorely needs a refresh — the iMac. The machine is in a serious need of a design overhaul and Apple needs to work on reducing the bezels surrounding the display. The internals could also see an overhaul with Apple ditching its Fusion Drive in favor of its proprietary SSDs and faster Navi GPUs from AMD.
Apple could end up using the same microLED panel on the 27-inch 5K Retina iMac as it uses on the Pro Display XDR, though that could make the machine notably more expensive.
Apple Watch Series 6
Just like the last few years, this year’s Apple Watch will launch alongside the new iPhones in September. The Apple Watch Series 5 was a modest update that only packed one major feature: an always-on display. This time around, Apple is expected to add native sleep tracking to the Apple Watch. Other health aspects of the wearable could also be improved, though what they could be is anyone’s guess at this point.
The Apple Watch Series 6 might also pack some design changes, though don’t expect anything radical. The Apple Watch Series 5 did not bring about any performance improvements but with Series 6, that will not be the case. Its water-resistance capabilities will also be improved.
This is going to be a big one. The 2020 iPhone lineup is going to see a big overhaul in terms of design, specs, features, and connectivity. In many ways, the 2020 iPhone lineup will be as big a refresh as the iPhone X launch in 2017. Rumors point to Apple launching the 2020 iPhones in completely new screen sizes, further improving the camera, adding a ToF sensor for AR purposes, and perhaps most importantly adding 5G connectivity.
The inclusion of 5G is expected to make hoards of people rush to upgrade to the 2020 iPhones.
This will be a big one. There’s no confirmation if Apple will indeed release its AR headset in 2020, but if it does, expect it to change the market completely. There’s no doubt that the company is working on its AR headset as indicated by the code found in internal iOS 13 builds. Rumors also peg Apple to launch the AR headset in association with a third-party brand in Q2 2020, though this is something that’s yet to be corroborated by other reputable sources.
Even if Apple does not launch its AR headset this year, it might just demo the product at WWDC 2020. That itself will also be a big deal and could give a major boost to AR adoption and in the development of AR apps.
In terms of software releases, Apple is not expected to spring any surprises this year. The company will not be doing anything radically different this year and follow its usual yearly announcement and release cycle for software.
iOS 14, iPadOS, macOS 10.16, watchOS 7
Just like previous years, Apple will be talking about the next major release of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, macOS, and iPadOS at WWDC 2020. The company will likely announce the next step of Project Catalyst which it launched to developers last year and allowed them to easily port their iPad apps to macOS.
Apart from this, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are expected to bring a redesigned home screen, improved Widgets, and some tweaks to the Notification center. Siri is also expected to get a major update this year that will further enhance its usefulness. Apple will be more cautious in announcing new features this year as it will not want to repeat the iOS 13 fiasco from last year where it ended up releasing the OS with buggy and unfinished features.
watchOS 7 should also be a relatively major update that will see Apple add new watch faces and add native sleep tracking to the OS.
What are your expectations from Apple in 2020? What products are you looking forward to the company releasing this year?