Top Stories: iPad Keyboard With Trackpad in 2020, Arm-Based Mac in 2021?, MacRumors Turns 20
Apple appears to have a bunch of new products ready to launch in the near future, led by the long-rumored iPad Pro, which is now looking like it may come alongside a new Smart Keyboard that even includes a trackpad.
Powerbeats4 earphones also appear to be imminent, while Target has a ton of new placeholder listings in its inventory system that may point toward updates for a lot of other Apple products.
Read on for all of the details on those stories and more, and celebrate the 20th birthday of MacRumors!
New AirPods, Apple TV, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch Band Placeholders Listed in Target Inventory System
Just days before March, a common month for new Apple product releases, new AirPods, Apple TV, iPod touch, and Apple Watch band placeholders have appeared in U.S. retailer Target's inventory system. The listings could represent upcoming Apple products or be entirely speculative.
A report last week claimed that Apple is aiming to host a special event on Tuesday, March 31, with rumors suggesting that the company may introduce a new lower-cost "iPhone 9" and refreshed iPad Pro models sporting a triple-lens rear camera system with 3D sensing. We've also heard rumors about new AirPods and Apple TV models.
Apple's plans may change due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, but CEO Tim Cook this week said he feels that "China is getting the coronavirus under control."
Apple's Rumored Powerbeats4 Receive FCC Approval
Another product release on Apple's horizon appears to be Powerbeats4 wireless earphones, which received FCC approval this week ahead of their launch.
While an Apple event in March is certainly a possibility, the Powerbeats4 will likely be announced within the coming days or weeks via press release.
"Powerbeats4" should be an upgraded version of Powerbeats3 with an Apple-designed H1 chip for hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands and "Announce Messages with Siri." Apple already released Powerbeats Pro with "Hey Siri" support for $249 last year.
Apple Said to Release iPad Pro Smart Keyboard With Trackpad in 2020
Apple is planning to release an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in trackpad later this year, according to a report from The Information this week.
Last month, a separate report claimed that Apple is working on an iPad keyboard with backlit keys and scissor switches, so those features could also be part of this new Smart Keyboard with a trackpad.
Mac With Apple-Designed Arm Processor Expected in First Half of 2021
Apple's first Mac with a processor designed in house is set to be released during the first half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
There are no other details provided, but multiple rumors in the past have suggested that Apple is working on custom Arm-based processors that would allow it to transition away from its current supplier Intel.
AirTags Said to Be 'Completely Waterproof' and Use Magnetic Charging Like Apple Watch
Apple's rumored Tile-like "AirTags" item trackers will be "completely waterproof" and use similar magnetic wireless charging to that seen on the Apple Watch, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.
MacRumors uncovered evidence of Apple working on item tracking tags in iOS 13 code last year, including an unreleased "Items" tab in the Find My app and a potential "AirTag" name for the tags, which would attach to everyday belongings like keys and backpacks for tracking purposes.
The tags will support Ultra Wideband and launch in the first half of 2020, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Ultra Wideband support would allow for more precise location accuracy than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth LE.
MacRumors is 20 Years Old This Week
Monday marked the 20th anniversary of MacRumors!
While longtime readers may be familiar with the site's origins, there are plenty of others who are unaware that it began as a hobby while our founder Arnold Kim was a medical student, and it remained a side project for over eight years until he decided to give up medicine to focus on MacRumors as a full-time career.
Kim reflected on the site's beginnings in a 2008 article in The New York Times.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.