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2021 Predictions: Steve Sande

Happy New Year! With hope in our hearts for a better year than 2020, all of us at Apple World Today are making our predictions on what we’ll see from Apple in 2021. Here are my predictions for the new year!

The Apple M1 System on Chip
The Apple M1 System on Chip

More Apple Silicon!

It’s not hard to predict that more Apple Silicon Macs are coming from Apple, but it’s the order of release that’s going to be tricky. For example, I don’t think that Apple would want to upset iMac Pro users by coming out with a “regular” iMac that is faster because it uses Apple Silicon. So I’m betting that the first real “Pro” machine we’ll see from the company in 2021 is going to be an iMac Pro

That device will need to have at least double the cores of the M1 Macs that are already on the market, so I’m predicting that Apple will come out with an M1X system on chip that will have 16 cores, all of which will be high-performance cores. After all, a device that’s plugged in all the time doesn’t really need the “efficiency cores” that a MacBook requires… 

To speed up graphics, the M1X will also feature a 16-core GPU. Each M1X will come with either 32 or 64GB of unified memory. 

Now, Apple’s not going to want to make Mac Pro users unhappy, so the Mac Pro will also get a boost from Apple Silicon. Apple will use multiple M1X SoCs to create an incredibly fast supercomputer. 

The 16-inch MacBook Pro will also get the M1X treatment at the same time. What about the iMac? I think Apple will introduce both 24 and 27-inch models that run the existing M1 SoC sometime during the year. 

Apple Glasses

We’ve been hearing rumors of Apple Glasses for years, so why not introduce them in 2021? To avoid the stigma that Google Glasses received during the short time they were available, Apple will make these look like regular eyeglasses. Those who have prescription lenses are going to be able to go to an Apple Store for a special eye test that will provide perfect corrective lenses and order the frames they want as well.

The Apple Glasses are meant to be an augmented reality device, displaying objects and information in the user’s field of vision. As such, the device will come with a special version of Apple Maps installed to provide direction cues and other information (like speed or traffic warnings) that “float” in front of the user. 

Apple Ears

One thing I don’t keep secret is that I have bad hearing and wear hearing aids. It’s always irritated me that existing hearing aids are relatively lousy Bluetooth devices and are horribly overpriced — it’s not uncommon to pay $5,000 for a pair of hearing aids.

Could AirPods Pro become hearing aids?

Apple will use its expertise in audio to disrupt the hearing aid industry with Apple Ears. They’ll look like AirPods Pro and use the same noise cancellation capability when the wearer is listening to music or TV. But they’ll also use Apple’s expertise in machine learning for a feature every hearing aid wearer will love — saying the word “What?” will temporarily boost the sound level to compensate for noise situations that make it difficult for the hearing-impaired to hear. 

While they’ll cost about $1,000 a pair because of the incredible technology built in, they’ll still be a bargain compared to traditional prescription hearing aids.

Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch won’t be left out of all the fun. Apple Watch Series 7 will be the first Apple Watch approved by the FDA to constantly monitor blood pressure. Thanks to COVID-19, it will also provide constant temperature monitoring, alerting the wearer if they happen to go over their normal body temperature for a period of time. 

The Apple Watch Series 7 is also going to be the first Apple Watch with built-in cameras. Want to make a FaceTime call? Just look at your Watch, as it will have a camera built into the display. That another tiny camera on top of the watch will be used to take photos and video, with the display showing what you’re pointing your camera at.

While 5G is just starting to make inroads (most of the country is still stuck in LTE-land), the Apple Watch Series 7 will have a 5G modem built in.

But Wait, There’s More!

Of course, Apple always surprises us. Somehow, some way, they’ll add new hardware or software features to the iPhone and iPad.

2021 should be a really fun year for Apple fans, although hard on the wallet… 

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!