Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is a savvy, well-connected analyst. But I think he was wrong this week when he said, “Nothing that you’re going to be seeing next week is going to be particularly innovative, in my humble opinion.” Here’s why I think differently.
iPad Pro with miniLED screen technology
This, I’d say, is going to be a real game-changer. Although there have been changes to the displays on the iPad since the tablet first launched in 2010, this is the first move away from IPS LCD to a whole new screen tech.
The benefits of miniLED are numerous. The tiny LEDs of the technology use tiny LEDs which offer individual light instead of the wash of backlight found on LCD.
This means deep, punchy black shades and extremely good contrast levels. Ideal, for instance, for HDR.
It’s a major change and, to my mind, completely innovative to put miniLED into a tablet.
There’s another reason it’s innovative
That’s down to the Apple road map. Of course, it’s secret but we know there is one. Just as the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5S was a surprise and a standalone new feature, what Apple knew, but we didn’t, was that it was there as the curtain raiser to Apple Pay.
So, the introduction of miniLED on the top-flight iPad is likely only the first step. We can definitely expect miniLED Mac laptops and, further down the road, iPhones. Even though that’s doubtless some time off, the fact that Apple is bringing miniLED to the iPad Pro surely indicates the iPhone engineers are waiting for their turn.
And that would be a big, innovative change.
Although it’s possible that such a change could happen in time for this Fall’s iPhone, it seems more likely to me that it will be a couple of years away at least. But you never know.
A super-fast A14 chip
Gurman is slightly undercutting his own narrative when he says there’s nothing innovative, given his previous enthusiasm for the processor in the iPad Pro models. And the processor will be in the 11in as well as the 12.9in tablet.
This will be a version of the A14 chip found in the latest iPad Air and iPhone 12 series. It’ll be even faster than the A14, for sure, and one analyst says the processor will be on par with the M1 chip in the latest Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. That analyst—you’re way ahead of me—was Mark Gurman.
A tablet with a chip as powerful as a MacBook Pro is something of an innovation, surely?
How about AirTags?
I get that AirTags, assuming the much-anticipated tracking devices actually appear on Tuesday, aren’t the first of their kind. Tile and Chipolo, for instance, already make them.
But a little disc that clues into the Apple Find My network sounds like it could help you find it better than rival devices. What’s that? You can find Chipolo through Find My, you say?
True, but that’s only because Apple just opened up the network. And we still don’t know for sure exactly how AirTags will work, but I’m betting the seamless integration between Find My and AirTags will ensure there are unique benefits other products won’t have.
Gurman did say that his opinion would change if the iMac was launched next Tuesday.
To be clear, I think the chance of the iMac making an appearance is very slim, almost nil, in fact.
But I could be wrong and if it does turn up, it’ll certainly be exciting. The prospect of a new-design iMac, perhaps in a bunch of delightful colors, will get the hearts of those watching the keynote beating that bit faster.
But, even without, I think Tuesday is going to be a great event, with plenty of new products that will turn heads. This is Apple, after all.