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.

macrumors may2000 short

MacRumors as it appeared in May 2000

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.

target inventory apple tv
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.

powerbeats4 fcc
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.

ipad pro smart keyboard
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.

16 inch macbook pro orange background
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.

apple item tag
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!

cakefetti macrumors 20
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.

MacRumors Newsletter

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.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Top Rated Comments

Pearple Avatar
21 months ago
If Apple leaves Intel, then Im out.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2013.1 Avatar
21 months ago

If Apple leaves Intel, then Im out.
That’s what a lot of people said in 2005 the other way around.

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Emanuel Rodriguez Avatar
21 months ago

Why can’t we move to ARM, would it be so bad?
It wouldn't be bad at all. In fact, it's very likely that we'd get increased battery life, if not also better performance (Apple has impressed greatly with their iDevice CPUs. I'd be willing to believe they could compete with Intel at this point). People are concerned about not being able to run their existing programs, but that won't be an issue either. Apple has in the past provided compatibility layers to make transitions such as this go smoothly, and you can bet they'll do the same thing this time.


Can I dual boot to Windows on ARM based MBP?
You won't be able to boot the normal Windows which runs on Intel-based PCs, but there is a version of Windows on ARM which can run many of the same programs. It's very possible that Microsoft will at some point offer a way to install that on a Mac.

With that said, Boot Camp is a very rarely used feature, so it's possible Apple will just not worry about it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
21 months ago

That’s what a lot of people said in 2005 the other way around.
...and, probably, also in 1994 when they switched from 68000 to PPC, not to mention the early 00s when they dumped classic MacOS 9 for the totally different NextStep/Unix-based OS X (the latter was probably a bigger deal than a CPU switch as it meant everything had to be significantly re-written - not just the relatively small proportion of code that was CPU dependent).

The two snags with the ARM are:
[LIST=1]
* In the past, they were moving to significantly all-round faster chips, which partly mitigated the slow-down when using the 68k Emulator/Rosetta to run legacy software. The incentive to change to ARM is power consumption, better-tailored systems-on-a-chip with better low-end GPUs, and - if the change reaches the 'pro' end - more cores and extra acceleration gizmos per chip. There's unlikely to be a big jump in raw, single-threaded CPU performance - so even if there are no legal barriers to x86/x86-64 emulation its going to slow things down.
* Good-bye running Windows under Bootcamp/Parallels/VMWare - although you'll probably still be able to virtualise Linux-for-ARM (which has been a thing since the 1990s and already runs a lot of the important Linux software). Maybe you'll be able to run the new version of Windows for ARM, but that's probably not why you want to run Windows. Anyway, making the Mac the best Windows computer might not be Apple's priority...

Apart from that, the Mac application "code base" in 2020 should be in a lot better health (in terms of being 64-bit clean, little-endian, mostly written in CPU-independent high-level languages and using official OS services instead of CPU-specific code) than it was in 2005 or 1994 and large swathes really should be just 'tick the ARM box and re-build').


Apple will be doing just overpriced toys for hipsters.
I wasn't aware that the $400 wheels or the $999 display stand had ARM processors... but, otherwise, Apple is quite capable of doing that using Intel CPUs. They could, for example, lock MacOS down to App-store-only tomorrow if they felt inclined. Switching to ARM would be a good smokescreen for that, but it's not a justification.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
21 months ago

Arm design team:

You need to design bleeding-edge speed, low heat/power consumption, and ensure the best Bootcamp-Windows experience ever. Macbooks and iMacs that can provide an outstanding, bootable, dual-OS experience will dominate.
There’s nothing in it for Apple to design a machine to run windows. This isn’t 1995 anymore. Apple sells only four million or so Macs a month. Most of them never use boot camp.

it’s far more important that Apple provides support for Mac users to use the same software they run on iOS. Even iPad far outsells Mac, and iPhone does so by tremendous margins.

if apple loses every boot camp customer for ever, they’ll never even notice it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jouster Avatar
21 months ago
Happy birthday, Macrumors!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple california streaming event

Apple Event Announced: 'California Streaming' on September 14 With iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7 Expected

Tuesday September 7, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with WWDC and last year's fall events, this new event will be held digitally with no members of the media invited to attend in person. Apple will likely provide pre-taped segments for...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
maroon5memories

Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add 'Memories' Song to Photos App

Wednesday September 25, 2019 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard. "Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software. Memories in the Photos app are created ...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
Top Stories 74 Thumbnail

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Nears Launch, Larger Apple Watch?, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Rumors

Saturday August 28, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
August is rapidly drawing to close, which means Apple's annual iPhone launch event is right around the corner. iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 rumors are continuing to circulate, and we're also hearing about Mac updates likely coming a bit later. Apple is also finishing up work on its upcoming software updates like iOS 15, with some late-addition features starting to go live in beta while ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...