Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Rumors: AirTags, Apple Glasses, LiDAR scanning iPhones, more M1 Macs

In a note to clients — as noted by MacRumors — analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple plans to release its long-awaited AirTags, an unspecified augmented reality device, more M1 Macs, devices with mini-LED displays, and more in 2021.

AirTags, which were expected this year, are a (rumored) Tile competitor that you could attach to an item (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV remote, car keys, etc.) and track it if it’s misplaced or lost. There are several similar products on the market, such as Tile and Adero, but Apple’s version will purportedly be more deeply integrated with its own devices. 

As for the AR device, Chi doesn’t specify what it might be, but the Sellers Research Group (that’s me) thinks it will be the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality/mixed reality headset I think will be at least previewed before year’s end.

When it comes to Apple Glasses, such a device will arrive next year or 2022, depending on which rumor you believe. It will be a head-mounted display. Or may have a design like “normal” glasses. Or it may be available in both. The Apple Glasses may or may not have to be tethered to an iPhone to work. Other rumors say that Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”

As for M1 Macs, I expect to see a 14-inch MacBook Pro and 24-inch iMac in the first half of 2021, with a 16-inch MacBook Pro and 27-to-32-inch iMac in the second half. Some, if not all of those, will sport mini-LED displays, as will a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro I expect to see before spring. 

Chu also predicts that new AirPods are coming soon. The rumored AirPods Pro Lite would replace the non-Pro AirPods in Apple’s lineup. They’d feature a design similar or identical to the current AirPods Pro,

Rumor-wise, Apple is expected to expand its LiDAR Scanner to the entire iPhone 13 lineup in 2021, rather than only the Pro and Pro Max models, according to supply chain sources cited by DigiTimes

The LiDAR scanner was introduced with the 2020 iPad Pros. Here’s how Apple describes it: “The LiDAR Scanner enables capabilities never before possible on any mobile device, according to Federighi. It measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds.”

DigiTimes also claims that Apple is planning smaller, lighter GaN (gallium nitride) based chargers for later this year. This would mean smaller and more efficient AC power adapters.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.