New Airpods, a redesigned macbook, and more
The Biggest Things Apple Didn’t Announce (But Still Might)
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Apple brought more to the stage this week than just new iPhones, but if you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground about what the company’s future lineup may hold, you’ll have noticed there was plenty that didn’t show up. Here are a handful of rumored products that, while not announced by Apple at its last event, stand a good chance of showing up next year, or maybe even further down the line.
A Macbook with a 16-inch Screen
The iPad got some attention on the Apple stage, with the announcement of a new, keyboard friendly version of the entry-level, $329 iPad that seems poised to give cheap laptops a run for their money. Missing, however, was the rumored 16-inch 4K MacBook Pro, a laptop that is predicted to fit its new, larger screen into a body roughly the size of a 15-inch MacBook by minimizing the bezels. While it didn’t show up this time around, it may appear next spring.
A Bluetooth-Powered Item Tracker
Another product that did not appear was Apple’s rumored Bluetooth tracking tags that would compete with similar devices from the likes of Tile. The tags, which would potentially allow iPhone users to track various possessions via Apple’s new consolidated “Find My” app, are almost certainly on the horizon at some point however, owing to the fact that support for them, or something like them, was found in an internal build of iOS 13.
For months, there have been whispers that Apple has been working on third-generation AirPods that would potentially be water-resistant and include active noise-cancellation technology. While these didn’t make their debut on Tuesday, that Apple is working on new AirPods is basically a sure thing, and in the time since the release of the second generation, competitors like Huawei have been working on bringing noise-cancelling to AirPod-like designs. Apple may decide that features like water resistance, have a better home in its workout-focused Beats buds, but it’s reasonable to expect next-gen AirPods to include a flashy flagship feature.
More TrueDepth Cameras and the Return of TouchID
The predictions that Apple’s new Pro line of phones would feature primarily on camera upgrades proved pretty spot on, but speculation that iPhone may soon sport a laser-powered TrueDepth camera on its rear-racing side has not yet paid off. Reports from Bloomberg indicate this feature might ultimately be slated for the 2020 phones that would be designed with an emphasis on augmented reality tech, which such a camera’s depth-scanning tech would be uniquely suited for. Also rumored for as early as 2020 is the return of Touch ID by way of through-the-screen fingerprint reading, as can already be found in some Android phones. Its reintroduction is said to be contingent on successful tests, and given Apple’s general obsession with fit and finish, the barrier for success is probably higher than mere janky functionality.
A New Small, Cheap iPhone
Apple’s new iPhone lineup places the aging iPhone 8 as its budget option with a starting price of $450, but since the death of the iPhone SE, Apple has not had a small phone on offer. While no successor to the SE’s small phone throne appeared this year, reports suggest that it may still be coming in 2020, complete with a 4.7-inch screen and traditional Home button.