Apple's new products for 2021 just leaked — including first AR device

Apple Glass concept
(Image credit: idropnews/Martin Hajek)

AirTags, new MacBooks and iPads with mini-LED displays and possibly Apple Glasses are all in the cards for Apple in the coming year, according to a new report.

Details of Apple's massive 2021 product plans come from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac), thanks to his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain.

AirTags, Apple's long-awaited tracking tags, will finally appear this year. Kuo doesn't provide a specific timeframe for this to happen, but one report suggests we could see them arrive in March. Once available, these tags will act similar to Tile trackers and other key finders, letting you find lost objects with your phone.

The big difference between the AirTags and Tile, as well as the rumored Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, is that Apple will use UWB to help you find items. So it should have better accuracy than Bluetooth and also let you use augmented reality on your iPhone to locate things.

A refreshed iPad Pro is another product we've heard about for a long time. This new premium tablet is said to use a mini-LED display when it arrives in the first quarter of this year, but otherwise seems to be similar to the 2020 iPad Pro.

Mini-LED is an evolution of the widely used LCD display, which uses smaller LEDs to produce images with better color and clarity than before. It's a big deal for devices with larger displays such as TVs, as well as smaller devices like tablets and laptops.

We're also going to see more Apple Silicon MacBooks arrive this year, including new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. These will also use mini-LED displays like the new iPad Pro, and possibly a new M1X chipset based on other rumors. Their release date isn't mentioned, but based on launch dates for previous MacBook Pro generations, either May or October/November could be likely times for the new laptops to be announced.

As for brand new products coming this year, we have the AirPods 3. Also potentially called the AirPods Pro Lite, these are wireless earbuds with gel tips like the AirPods Pro rather than the open-fit 2nd-gen AirPods, and would replace the basic AirPods. Kuo has said in previous reports that he believes these buds will arrive within the first half of 2021.

Finally, Kuo mentions 2021 will be the year we see Apple's first AR device. This could turn out to be the Apple Glasses wearables, but Kuo and other sources have claimed it'll be 2022/3 before we see these launch. It's possible that Apple could be releasing a pair of Apple Glasses that will be heavily reliant on the iPhone first before moving on to a more self-sufficient device.

There's also supposedly an Apple VR headset in the works, so that's another possibility for what this unidentified product will be.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.