Apple’s April 20 event is official – here’s what to expect, including iPad Pro

Apple Event 2021
Apple's invite to its first 2021 launch (Image credit: Apple)

The first Apple event of 2021 will be Tuesday, April 20, according to press invites that went out today. The company is expected to announce new products – and while we don’t know for sure what’s coming, we expect new versions of the iPad Pro, iPad mini 6, and other devices like Apple AirTags.

Apple truly waited until the last minute to announce this event, which has been rumored for months. The invite itself doesn't particular hint at any devices with the tagline "Spring Loaded" focused on the timing of the event.

But we do have some products we’re expecting – most notably, the iPad Pro, given the last one was released a year ago in March 2020. Rumor has it that the new premium tablet will have a chipset that’s ‘on par’ with the M1 chip Apple built for Mac computers, and the larger model in the range (typically the 12.9-inch model) will have a Mini LED display.

Other products are less likely: we heard some rumors that the new AirPods 3 could be announced at the event, but very recent rumors suggest that they’re ‘ready’ but could be coming out later in the year in Q3 and potentially launch alongside the iPhone 13

Other products that leaker Jon Prosser previously alleged to be ready for release include the Tile-like AirTags trackers, which have been rumored for years, and a new Apple TV.

There's also been some interesting rumors about a new Apple TV that could make an appearance next week. The most exciting of these rumors dropped earlier this week and claimed that the next Apple TV would be a set-top box, speaker and smart display combo, similar to an Amazon Echo Show but with an Apple TV 4K built into it.

If that's the case, the Apple TV 6 might include a camera for video conferencing – seemingly taking a lesson from the Portal TV webcam for FaceTime, Messenger or Whatsapp video calls. How much any of that holds true is unclear, but we're optimistic we'll be hearing about a new Apple TV either at next week's April event or WWDC in June.

What’s unlikely to land April 20?

There are other products in the Apple rumor mill that are purported to come soon, some later in 2021, but likely won’t be announced at this event.

We will probably see an Apple Watch 7, but not until later in the year – likely released alongside the iPhone 13, which we expect in September or October, per another rumor

Moving to less probable products, we very likely won’t see an iPhone SE 3 at the event, or even this year  – the iPhone SE 2 was only released in 2020, and it took four years for Apple to release an updated version of the original, which came out in 2016. 

That said, we have heard a prediction from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the entire iPhone range will support 5G by 2022, meaning we’ll probably see an iPhone SE version with that next-gen connectivity next year. 

On the Mac front, Apple recently discontinued the iMac Pro, directing folks to either the MacBook Pro or the desktop Mac Pro. While this led us to wonder if a new model is incoming, it could also just be a pivot away from a third premium computing model in Apple’s lineup (especially if they really need to sell more $699 / £699 / AU$1,049 Mac Pro wheels). 

Lastly, there’s the Apple Glasses, which earliest predictions peg at a 2022 release. We aren’t holding our breath for this one.  

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.