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Leaker hints at new colorful iMac debuting at ‘Spring Loaded’ event

Apple’s next big event will take place on April 20th, an event Apple is calling “Spring Loaded.” Only a few hours after the internet was abuzz over Siri revealing the events date as April 20th, Apple sent out the invites. In classic Apple form, the invite is meant to hint at something to be announced at the event, so what does it hint at and what do we expect to see?

Now leaker l0vetodream on twitter has hinted at the rumored and redesigned ARM64 iMac showing up at the ‘Spring Loaded’ event on April 20th. Check out the details below.

ARM64 iMac

Render by Modality

What will it look like?

A design refresh for Apple’s iMac is long overdue and with the imminent integration of Apple Silicon on the horizon the time is right for a design refresh to accompany the new chipset. The design is a mystery at this point but some insiders have said it will resemble the iPad Pro/iPhone 12 design with flat sides. Some speculate that the iMac will get touch support and curved display corners like the iPad Pro. If the design is rumored to look much like Apple’s iPad Pro/Air in that it will feature flat edges like many other recent devices like iPhone 12 and a bezel-less display, then the iMac may finally nix the curved back. Based on reputable rumors we may see a smaller 24-inch model earlier in the year then a 27-inch later in 2021 with similar designs, one being smaller than the other.

What will power the 2021 iMac?

According to Bloomberg, “Apple is working on designs with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores. That configuration is most likely for the iMac and Mac Pro models, whereas the 8-12 high performance core enabled model we previously reported on would likely be for the next-gen 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first of the three Apple Silicon chips will be a 12-core processor with a unique mix of eight high performance cores called “Firestorm” cores and four energy efficient core called “Icestorm” cores. There is a clear Fire & Ice reference here that also relates to the cores that will be hotter and cooler. Apple is said to already be working Apple Silicon with more than 12 cores with the company designing second-generation processors for Macs based on the future unannounced M1X/M2 chip.

Apple engineers are developing higher performance GPU’s with 16-core and 32-core configurations in testing, says Bloomberg. They go on to say that GPU upgrades could reach 64-core and 128-core configurations in its high-end machines by 2021 or 2022.

What else might show up at the event?

New iPad Pro

The invitation’s multi-color pen sketch perhaps alludes to a refreshed iPad Pro, which we were already expecting to see this spring. With the arrival of the iPad Air last year packing the new A14 Bionic also found in the iPhone 12 series, many saw the iPad Air as the ‘New Pro iPad’ in 2020 and they weren’t wrong. Apple’s current iPad Pro is powered by the A12Z and the iPad Air is powered by the A14 Bionic. We did a detailed comparison earlier this year showing the differences between both of the chips and both of the devices.

In 2020 the iPad Air was the real iPad Pro, it even was compatible with the new Magic Keyboard. In 2021 The iPad Pro will make a return packing mini-LED displays, faster Apple Silicon chip replacing the A12Z with an A14X which is reportedly very similar to the M1 chips found in the Mac lineup currently. Whatever Apple calls the next iPad Pro chip, it is said to rivel the M1 found in the current MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini. The next iPad Pro is said to pack a mini-LED display.

AirTags

Apple’s long rumored Tile tracker-like device is said to be coming soon and may make an appearance at this event. It is said to make use of the ultra-wideband tech originally used in the iPhone 11 all the way back in 2019.

New 14-inch & 16-inch MacBook Pro

With the introduction of M1 and the Macs powered by Apple’s new chip, we expect to see a 16-inch MacBook Pro powered by a chip more powerful than the current M1, like M1 Pro. Ming-Chi Kuo expects the 14-inch & 16-inch Macbook Pros to feature an iPad Pro & iPhone 12-like design with flat faces as opposed to the current subtle ‘pillow’ surface on both the bottom and top lid. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, expects the design changes to be more subtle and will retain the ‘pillow’ on the bottom and display lid.

The Touch bar is said to be making an exit after failing to gain traction with users. Kuo says the Touch bar will be removed on the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

Ports

2015 macbook pro side profile article

The design is said to feature additional ports beyond just the USB-C ports. The MagSafe connector is said to be making a return to MacBook in 2021. Along with the Thunderbolt ports, a USB-A, HDMI, a 3.5 headphone jack and SD Card reader could make it onto the 2021 MacBook Pros but it is more likely it will just be x1 3.5 headphone jack, x4 Thunderbolt and x1 SD card reader.

Just speculating here, but Apple could pull a Microsoft and supercharge MagSafe with data capabilities. Microsoft’s Surface line currently all use Surface Connect and can expand the total number of usable ports. If Apple were to adopt this approach, he return MagSafe could lead to a huge 3rd-party market for MagSafe Docks.

More powerful Apple Silicon

Internally, Apple is said to be using the same thermal system of the current 16-inch MacBook Pro but increasing the heatsink by 35%. Making all that extra heat could be a new Apple Silicon chip with up to 16-cores and four efficiency cores which would likely outperform every laptop on the market. Apple is said to be developing 16 and 32-core GPU options for use in Pro-tier Macs.

mini-LED Display

Kuo and Gurman both expect brighter and higher contrast displays but the questions of mini-LED displays being ready for the 2021 MacBook Pros is still up in the air since neither Kuo or Gurman specifically mention them. The addition of mini-LED in the MacBook Pros would be a natural fit and offer a thinner display with OLED like improvements with dynamic range, truer blacks and higher contrast. The two MacBook Pros are expected to launch in Q3 of 2021.

New ‘Gaming Focused’ Apple TV

A potential exciting product that could be announced, a new Apple TV with upgraded internals, an updated remote and a new gaming controller and support for 120Hz TVs. Apple didn’t decide to focus on gaming in 2020, the company has been laying the groundwork for years for a gaming focused Apple TV.

An anonymous leaker known as “Fudge” on Twitter suggests Apple has prototyped new Apple TV models with both A12 and A14 Bionic chips that deliver more performance. Fudge also goes on to suggest that Apple is planning to bring console-level games to Apple Arcade. Other details are that the new Apple TV will have a 64 and 128GB options which is an upgrade of the current 32 and 64GB configurations. With the Apple TV 4K being released nearly 3 years ago, it is clear that Apple’s next Apple TV is long overdue.

Apple launched games on Apple TV devices nearly 5 years ago and launched Apple Arcade with the mission to deliver ‘quality’ games to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Apple also recently added 35 new games to Apple Arcade and with these developments over the years, Apple has seemed to be trending towards a larger commitment in gaming.

Redesigned AirPods Pro

The design is said to have a shorter mic stem and replaceable ear tips or could axe the mic stem entirely which would look a lot different than today’s recognizable AirPods.

Wildcard: New ARM64 Mac Pro

Apple is set to totally revamp their entire Mac lineup with Apple Silicon chips and fresh new designs. Notable Apple leaker Jon Prosser said that the new design of Apple’s most potent Mac will look like “three to four Mac minis stacked on top of each other.” Putting that together with what we previously reported, with the Mac Pro-like design elements, i.e. the venting, we get a new Mac Pro like the one in this report.

What will power the 2021 Mac Pro?

Jon Prosser went on to say that the Mac Pro will feature a logic board “on the bottom” of the chassis with a “big heat sink on top.” We previously reported on additional Apple Silicon chips coming to Macs later this year and next.

Bloomberg’s reporting says “Apple is working on designs with as many as 16 power cores and four efficiency cores. That configuration is most likely for the iMac and Mac Pro models, whereas the 8-12 high performance core enabled model we previously reported on would likely be for the next-gen 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first of the three Apple Silicon chips will be a 12-core processor with a unique mix of eight high performance cores called “Firestorm” cores and four energy efficient core called “Icestorm” cores. There is a clear Fire & Ice reference here that also relates to the cores that will be hotter and cooler. Apple is said to already be working Apple Silicon with more than 12 cores with the company designing second-generation processors for Macs based on the future unannounced M1X/M2 chip.

Apple engineers are developing higher performance GPU’s with 16-core and 32-core configurations in testing, says Bloomberg. They go on to say that GPU upgrades could reach 64-core and 128-core configurations in its high-end machines by 2021 or 2022.

What do you want to see at the Spring Loaded event on April 20th? Let us know in the comments below.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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