We know that Apple is planning to launch a wealth of new devices before the end of the year – including the iPhone 13, the Apple Watch 7, the iPad mini 6, a new entry-level iPad, updated AirPods and a couple of MacBooks – but when are they going to be unveiled?
According to a new DigiTimes (opens in new tab) report based on supply chain sources, all of this hardware will be launched in the month of September 2021, across a couple of virtual events that are going to be streamed online.
It would be an unusual move for Apple, but it's not entirely out of the question – after all, prerecorded virtual events without any in-person attendees are easier to queue up than ones held in a physical location with an audience.
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What happened last year
Apple traditionally has a lot of hardware to launch in the final third of each year, with the new iPhone usually starting everything off in September. However, last year's launch schedule was heavily impacted by the global pandemic.
We got the Apple Watch 6 in September 2020, with the iPhone 12 following in October. Then in November, Apple introduced the M1 chip and the first computers running it: the MacBook Air, the Mac mini, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
If the new report is accurate, then Apple is going to try and squeeze a similar amount of activity into a much smaller window of time – and we will of course bring you all the news and announcements as soon as they're made official.
Analysis: two September events would be hard for Apple to pull off
DigiTimes has a decent record of reporting accurate information from the Apple supply chain, but it doesn't always get everything right – and right now it seems unlikely that Apple would decide to push out everything it's been working on in September.
While putting together two presentations to be broadcast to the world would be relatively straightforward – Apple could even record everything it needs in one go, before splitting up the clips – it's the logistics of launching so many products so close together on the calendar that would be very challenging.
Think adjustments to the Apple Store, and shipping arrangements, and customer support. It would be Apple's busiest September ever, in a time when companies are still trying to handle the pressures of the pandemic. Spreading launches out gives Apple more breathing room to get each one right.
That said, Apple might surprise us. As MacRumors (opens in new tab) points out, it would mean catching the back-to-school rush, and if the hardware is ready to go in September, perhaps Tim Cook and his team feel there's little point in waiting to get it out in the world.
Via AppleInsider (opens in new tab)