Despite numerous predictions that Apple would have some new hardware to show off at last month’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the event was surprisingly devoid of any physical product debuts. The closest Apple came was the announcement of its long-awaited transition to Apple Silicon, but beyond a special Developer Transition Kit (DTK), there was no real official mention of when we’ll see new Macs incorporating Apple’s new chips nor what those Macs will be.
In fact, the reports leading up to WWDC ran a wide gamut of products, from new Apple-branded headphones to a new and improved Apple TV and even a redesigned iMac, and that doesn’t even include things like AirTags, which were admittedly more of a long shot, but something that Apple has clearly been working on since even before iOS 13 debuted last year.
However, if a new report is to be believed, Apple already has some products ready to ship any day now, and presumably just chose to forego announcing them at WWDC. This latest leak comes from the cryptic and anonymous Twitter source, @L0vetodream, which has a habit of wrapping up its eerily accurate predictions in “dream” form.
While @L0vetodream rarely says much in the way of specifics, the leaks provided via the Twitter account have been spot on in recent months, including revealing the launch timing of the new iPhone SE and 2020 iPad Pro models, the name “Big Sur” for macOS 10.16, and even the handwashing features in watchOS 7, according to MacRumors, so its track record definitely lends a lot of weight to this latest report.
What the tweet doesn’t elaborate on, however, is exactly what we can expect Apple to release in the coming weeks — assuming of course that it plans to do so before a fall event. After all, having products “ready to ship” doesn’t preclude Apple from sitting on them for a more optimally-timed release, which may be especially true at times like these.
Our guess is that if Apple is going to push anything out before this fall, it’s going to be something rather pedestrian, as opposed to one of its more groundbreaking products. For instance, we wouldn’t expect AirTags to be unveiled without accompanying stage time, so if those are coming any time this year they’ll likely be tied to Apple’s iPhone 12 launch event, which is still generally expected to happen in September.
On the other hand, any of the products that were more seriously rumoured to be announced at WWDC would easily be good candidates to slip out via press release.
For example, although Apple’s “AirPods Studio” on-ear headphones may seem like a really big deal, neither the second-generation AirPods nor the new AirPods Pro got any stage time last year. This also gels with the fact that Apple has been making its press events much more focused in recent years, zeroing in on its flagship hardware and leaving out the more ancillary stuff. Even the Apple TV and tvOS got glossed over during last month’s WWDC keynote, where they were simply wrapped into a broader “Home” category of announcements.
Speaking of the Apple TV, however, we’re also overdue for a new model there as well, with several reports suggesting that Apple is working on a version with an A12 chip and more internal storage in order to create a device that’s better suited for Apple Arcade, and this is something else that doesn’t normally require a big announcement; if anything Apple should have unveiled a new Apple TV last fall when it announced Apple Arcade, and unless it’s going to make another big push for its subscription gaming service, there’s no real need to make a big deal out of a new Apple TV.
The one really strong candidate is a new iMac. We’ve already seen solid evidence indicating that a new iMac model is already up and running inside Apple, and although the pre-WWDC rumours suggested a completely redesigned iMac, it seems more likely that Apple will be releasing one more model that features the old design, with a 10th-gen Intel CPU, before it begins the iMac’s transition to Apple Silicon next year. Saving the redesign for the first Apple Silicon model makes a lot more sense, and if the next iMac is simply going to be a spec bump to a newer Intel CPU and a few other internal upgrades, with the same general design, it’s another example of something that’s really not going to qualify for stage time, and could be announced via press release.
In fact, this is what Apple has been doing with all of its Macs for the past couple of years. Only the Mac Pro got any kind of big announcement recently, and that was at WWDC, six months before it actually shipped. Even Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro came out last fall with nothing more than a press release, and while this could speak to the new iMac getting a slight redesign too, the change to the 16-inch MacBook Pro was relatively minimal, and by all reports there’s still a much bigger redesign of Apple’s MacBook lineup coming next year — likely to go along with the transition to Apple Silicon.