We’re into the fourth month of the year and Apple has only just announced their first event of the year – seems strange given the frantic pace the company kept up to close out 2020, but the first event is going to be virtual and is schedule for next Wednesday Morning.

If you’re bonkers like me, set your alarm for just before 3am on Wednesday April 21, the event will take place online and will likely be yet another slick Apple production, not pretending to be “as-live”, but instead carefully curated and produced to the company’s high standards.

The event will be an all-eyes situation as many look for markers as to what Apple plans for the year. It’s been months since any new hardware was launched, so there’s plenty of pent up rumours ready to be validated or pushed back into the “maybe” category.

New iPads for 2021?

Most likely of them all for next week are the new iPads. New iPad Pro models are due, with expectations of a big bump up in performance, as well as some rumours of a new screen technology on the larger iPad Pro – possibly even MiniLED – a technology we’ve seen launch in TVs this year.

EFTM expects a new iPad Mini will be welcomed into the family. It’s been a while, and the device has a big use in many corporate situations (law enforcement being one) as well as family groups with kids using the iPad Mini. Don’t expect too much though, a boost in performance, a larger screen and relocation of the home button ever so slightly, but still a traditional iPad from the past, not a FaceID or TouchID unit like the iPad Air or iPad Pro models.

Design for both will stay very much the same also, and the cameras will get a generational boost.

Is it time for a new iMac?

Another strongly rumoured device is the new iMac. With Apple Silicon now at the core of Apple’s Mac roll-out, and the current iMac design quite old, though still modern in style, most rumours expect a flat edged screen like a giant iPad Pro, and a larger screen too with a 30 inch likely in the larger form factor.

But don’t expect that next week, Surely a huge refresh like that warrants its own event – or could it be the very basic iPad refresh sits well alongside a big iMac refresh at next week’s event? We’ll see.

Apple AirTags?

Expected in 2019, the rumored Apple Key Tracker or AirTags are another one for the “maybe this time” file – but personally, I think the product doesn’t exist. Apple’s Find My network has now launched, and we’ll have “tags” from third party companies like Chipolo and hopefully Tile, but will Apple need to sell their own tag?

You’d like to think they’d leave the tags to the existing market players, but it’s never stopped Apple before, so while I don’t expect it, it could pop out as a product at any time.

New iPhone SE?

Nope. The entry-level SE doesn’t get the annual refresh of the flagship models, so don’t expect anything new in 2021 on that front.

New iOS Privacy Features

The new iOS “tracking” detection and approval features which were announced almost a year ago are likely to roll out with iOS 14.5. Expect Apple to touch on this, re-iterate their stance on privacy as their battle with Facebook over this feature continues.

When is the Apple Spring Loaded Event in Australian Time?

The event kicks off at 3am, on Wednesday April 21. You’ll be able to watch online at Apple’s website.