Top Stories: iPad Pro With Thunderbolt?, Intel Mocks M1 Macs, iMac Pro Officially Discontinued
We're past the halfway point of March with no sign of an Apple media event, but that doesn't mean we won't be seeing an event or simply some product launches via press release in the coming weeks, as rumors of upcoming products continue to circulate.
Perhaps the biggest news topic this week was Justin Long of Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign from over a decade ago starring in a new campaign from Intel promoting Windows machines based on the company's processors as superior to Apple's new M1-based Macs. Check out our video above and read on below for details on these stories and more!
iPad Pro With Thunderbolt Port and Mini-LED Display Coming 'As Early As April'
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman this week reported that Apple plans to announce new iPads "as early as April," including new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.
Notably, Gurman claimed that the new iPad Pro models could feature a Thunderbolt port. This rumor certainly sounds plausible, as the new iPad Pro models are expected to be equipped with a faster A14X chip based on the M1 chip in the latest Macs, and the M1 chip supports Thunderbolt. And since Thunderbolt uses the USB-C connector design, the new iPad Pro models would still work with existing USB-C chargers and accessories.
As widely rumored, Gurman said Apple is looking to include Mini-LED backlighting on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at a minimum, suggesting that the display technology might be exclusive to the larger model.
Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo lent credence to this timeframe, claiming that mass production of Mini-LED iPads will begin in mid-to-late April. Kuo expects a new MacBook Air with a Mini-LED display and potentially a new iPad Air with an OLED display to follow in 2022.
Apple Event in April? Recapping the Latest iPad Pro, AirPods, and AirTags Rumors
It's been a whirlwind of a month for Apple rumors. First, we heard from leaker Jon Prosser that an Apple Event was planned for March 16, but that was later ruled out by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Once that date passed, Prosser and other leakers then suggested there would be an Apple Event on March 23, which is seemingly not happening either.
With attention now shifting to April for potential Apple announcements, we've put together a recap of the latest iPad Pro, AirPods, and AirTags rumors from sources like Gurman and well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Beyond new iPad models, new products rumored to be in Apple's pipeline include its long-awaited AirTags item trackers, a new Apple TV with a stronger gaming focus, new AirPods and AirPods Pro, and more Apple silicon Macs, but some of these products are not expected until the second half of 2021.
Former 'I'm a Mac' Actor Justin Long Throws Shade at M1 Macs in New Intel Ad Campaign
Justin Long, who starred in Apple's iconic "Get a Mac" ad campaign in the mid-2000s, has turned against the Mac in a new Intel ad campaign.
Intel's ad campaign attempts to poke holes at Apple's new M1 Macs, including their official support for only a single external display (DisplayLink adapters can be used as a workaround), support for a limited number of games, lack of a full-out touchscreen, and more.
Intel's campaign has so far included a series of videos starring Long, a website comparing the M1 chip to Intel processors, and social media content, including a photo of Long holding several dongles in his hand.
The first M1 Macs have received rave reviews, with the M1 MacBook Air outperforming a maxed-out 16-inch MacBook Pro with Intel's Core i9 processor in Geekbench benchmark scores.
iMac Pro Officially Discontinued, Removed From Apple's Site and No Longer Available for Purchase
Two weeks after Apple announced that it was discontinuing the iMac Pro and noted that orders would only be available while supplies lasted, it appears the high-end all-in-one desktop has reached the end of the line. Apple this week stopped taking orders for the machine and removed it from the Mac section of the company's website.
Apple recommends that users who are looking for a high-end Mac choose the 27-inch iMac, which was last refreshed in August 2020. The current 27-inch iMac configured with a 10-core Core i9 processor is faster and more affordable than the standard iMac Pro with a 10-core Xeon W processor was. Apple is also expected to introduce a redesigned iMac based on Apple silicon chips later this year.
Hands-On: Kensington's New $400 StudioDock for iPad Pro
Kensington in February began accepting pre-orders for the StudioDock docking station that it released for the iPad Pro, and now those StudioDock orders have started arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new StudioDocks to see if it's worth the high purchase price for an iPad workflow.
Available for the 11-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and 10.9-inch iPad Air, the StudioDock has a magnetic base where an iPad can attach, and it can be used in either landscape or portrait mode. We have the version for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and it resembles Apple's Pro Display XDR stand. Watch our hands-on video for our complete impressions.
iPhone 13 Models Will 'Likely' Have 'Touch ID' Under the Display
iPhone 13 models slated for release later this year will "likely" feature a fingerprint scanner embedded under the display for authentication, in addition to Face ID, according to Barclays Research analyst Andrew Gardiner and three of his colleagues.
Under-display "Touch ID" for iPhones has been rumored several times over the last few years. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern have also claimed that Apple is at least testing an under-display fingerprint scanner for iPhone 13 models, so time will tell whether the feature makes the cut.
Apple has filed various under-display fingerprint scanner patents as part of its research and development of the feature.
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.