What to Expect from Apple's April 20 Spring Event

We're betting on a refreshed iPad Pro line, but there are other surprises Apple could throw our way.

When is the next Apple keynote? Apple has officially announced an April 20 event, and it looks like we could be seeing AirTags, AirPods 3, a new iPad Pro, the iPad mini 6, Apple TV 6, a new iMac design, and AirPods Pro. So let's dive into these possibilities of what we could be seeing on Tuesday.

Related: When & How to Watch the Next Apple Announcement on April 20

When Is the First Apple Event of 2021?

The first Apple event of 2021 will take place Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. PDT. Just like the 2020 events, it will be entirely virtual, streamed live from the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Here's how to watch the Apple spring event.

So, now that the event is confirmed, what will we likely be seeing? Let's take a look at some of the possibilities.

A Possible AirTags Debut

AirTags is the main buzzword around this Apple event. They're supposedly small devices that you can attach to your valuables (like your wallet and keys) so you can track them via BlueTooth through your Find My app. Apple has yet to officially confirm the existence of AirTags, but a video posted in the spring of 2020 on the Apple Support YouTube channel showed a screen with AirTags listed under the Find My section in Settings. AirTags are far from groundbreaking technology, with the company Tile and Samsung already offering similar devices, so it's a little puzzling to see Apple dragging its feet on this. iOS 14 introduced an expanded Find My network, allowing supported non-Apple devices to participate in the location services, but AirTags would presumably offer a much wider range of devices—even perhaps non-electronic ones—to track.

New iPads

The 2021 iPad Pro

Bloomberg is confident Apple will announce a refreshed iPad Pro line at this event. It assures us that "people with knowledge of the matter" say "the company is planning a refresh to its iPad Pro line, adding a better processor and improved cameras." Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also seems confident we'll be seeing the new iPad Pro announcement soon. Rumors seem to heavily favor a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini LED display and maybe even a 5G chip, but other rumors suggest an 11-inch model may also be in the works. Apple did announce the 2020 iPad Pro in March of last year, so there is precedent here.

A New Budget iPad

Rumors of a new low-cost iPad and a new iPad mini began circulating last spring when analyst Ming-Chi Kuo mentioned Apple was working on both. We didn't see either of them in any of the 2020 announcements, which means this could be the year we see one or both. The low-cost iPad is rumored to have a 10.2-inch display and be thinner than the current basic iPad model, perhaps more along the lines of the discontinued 3rd-generation iPad Air.

A Bigger iPad Mini

The Japanese site Mac Otakara, which has a history of having sources from Apple's supply chain, predicts a spring release for the 6th generation iPad mini, and claims it will be bigger than its predecessor, sporting an 8.4-inch display instead of a 7.9-inch. A new render by Pigtou shows an all-screen front that includes in-display Touch ID, and notably smaller bezels. If even some of these rumors are true, 2021 could be a big year for the iPad mini.

A Big Year for AirPods?

Pumped-up AirPods 3

Last year, Ming-Chi Kuo promised us the next generation of AirPods by summer 2021. The design is rumored to be similar to the AirPods Pro, but lacking Active Noise Cancellation, which makes room for a lower price point. Other design features are still hush-hush, but in the theme of a lower-end Pro design, some believe the new release will be called AirPods Pro Lite.

More Compact AirPods Pro

Not to be outdone by its potential new younger sibling, the AirPods Pro 2 is running through the rumor mill. Bloomberg claims the AirPods Pro 2 will have a more compact design than its predecessor, with Apple removing the stick at the bottom, leaving only what goes in your ear. There's also talk of a longer battery life and a lower price point, both of which sound good, but raises the question of overlap with the new AirPods 3 design. It seems unlikely both of these models will make their debut without some serious differences, so we'll have to see what, if anything, comes down the line this season. 

An M-Series iMac

Related: Should You Buy a 2020 Mac? Apple’s New M1 Processor Is a Gamble

Ever since the new Apple Silicon chip was announced last year, it's only been a matter of time until we see them in the iMac. Some were expecting them as early as late 2020, so it makes sense all eyes are on the first event of 2021. We're also due for some big design changes; so in addition to the new processors, we may be looking at thinner bezels, a flat back, and 23- to 24-inch sizes. There are also rumors about MagSafe chargers making a comeback. While we're not exactly sure when these new iMacs will be available, we're ready for them and we can't wait.

Apple TV

Could we finally be closing in on the new Apple TV announcement? It's impossible to know for sure, but let's just say we'll be on the lookout. The new Apple One subscription service does make it seem like this would be a logical time to release a new Apple TV box, and Apple leakers have been making noises that the new Apple TV box would bring big changes to the gaming experience. But whether or not this is finally the time for this long-awaited upgrade is yet to be seen.

iPhone SE

We got an announcement of the 2020 iPhone SE last spring, so it's a natural course of thought that we might be seeing the new model this spring. Or, if Apple follows its set course for SE releases, we could be waiting until 2024. Mac Otakara claims Chinese suppliers have indicated an April 2021 release date for the iPhone SE 3, which lines up with this event. Macworld, on the other hand, is expecting the launch to be in the fall alongside the iPhone 13 line. With such doubt as to when we'll see the iPhone SE 3, it's hard to predict any of its features. Sure, we'll likely be seeing the new A13 chip and 5G capabilities, but a phone released this year will be pretty different than one held off for another three years. The release of the iPhone 12 mini might disincentivize Apple to release another SE so soon, but at this point it's anyone's guess. Stay tuned!

Follow us for more info on the next Apple event date of 2021. We'll post all Apple event dates of 2021 on here as we learn them. We'll also post the Apple event times and how to watch Apple events. For rumors and tips on the WWDC 2021 summer event, read this. What are you most excited for this year? Let us know!

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.