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Apple may unveil new iPad Pro, AirPods 3 and AirTags at rumored March 23 launch event

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro, AirPods and AirTags – its long-rumoured high-tech tag device for tracking everyday items – on March 23. 

AirTags are expected to be small, circular devices with an Apple logo in the centre, possibly equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. 

Users will be able to find lost items like wallets, keys, luggage or even a stolen bicycle if they have an AirTag attached to them.

The rumoured launch event date is courtesy of a respected China-based leaker with a decent track record who goes by the name of Kang. 

Kang (康总) is a ‘mysterious but spot-on’ China-based source sharing news on social media site Weibo, according to Apple Track, a blog that keeps tabs on Apple rumours ‘and the sources that publish them’. 

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPad Pro, AirPods and AirTags on March 23. AirTags are Apple’s rumoured tracking system for the ‘Find My’ app. Each will be small, circular and made to be attached to everyday items (pictured here in supposed leak previously published by MacRumors)

‘Kang knows exactly what Apple is working on – to the tee,’ said Apple Track, which gives him or her a 97.8 per cent ‘rumour accuracy’. 

Another phone leaker Jon Prosser – who has a 78.2 per cent rating on Apple Track – already claimed March 23 is the date of Apple’s unveiling event.

Earlier this month, he tweeted ’23’ – and added that AirTags, iPad Pro, AirPods are also ready to reveal, as well as a new Apple TV. 

March 23 is also the alleged date of a launch event from Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, for its upcoming OnePlus 9, suggesting the two firms will go head to head. 

AirTags 

The most exciting product expected to be announced by Apple is arguably AirTags, which are said to have been in development for years. 

The small circular tracking tags would help users find any personal item that has an AirTag attached, by using on a map on the ‘Find My’ app.

Find My lets people track the whereabouts of their Apple devices, such as iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and AirPods, in case they get lost – but AirTags will extend this to other everyday, non-electronic items.   

If the lost item is in the vicinity, such as around the house somewhere, users would be able to click an option for the AirTag to emit a noise to help them locate it, just like items already supported by the Find My app. 

If the lost item with an AirTag attached was further afield – for example, if it was accidentally left in a bar in the next town – users could find it on the map.

If the item was stolen, the owner could potentially find out the address of the person who took it, as long as it still had the AirTag attached. 

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September 2019 when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of a new ‘Items’ tab in the ‘Find My’ app. 

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September last year when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the 'Find My' app

Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags first surfaced in September last year when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the ‘Find My’ app

The product was reportedly been given the code-name ‘B389’ during its development but is expected to be sold under the name ‘AirTags’ 

It’s believed personal items like keys and wallets that have AirTags attached to them will show up under the ‘Items’ tab on the app. 

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed. 

The video, entitled ‘How to erase your iPhone’, mentioned AirTags in a shot of Settings for the Find My app. 

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed

In April last year, Apple mistakenly uploaded a support video to YouTube that revealed the existence of AirTags, which was quickly removed

AirPods 

On March 23, Apple is also expected to reveal its third-generation AirPods – the wireless Bluetooth headphones that come with their own charging case. 

The second-gen AirPods, which were unveiled two years ago, start at £159.  AirPods Pro, with additional noise cancellation technology and water resistance, cost £249. 

According to MacRumors, Apple is working on more affordable ‘entry-level’ AirPods – albeit with a lack of higher-end features like active noise cancellation.

Apple is already pushing consumers towards AirPods. iPhone 12, released last October, didn’t include a pair of standard wired headphones (EarPods) in the box, unlike its predecessors, prompting outrage from some buyers. 

The decision not to include wired EarPods in the box of the iPhone 12 should turn consumers towards its £250 AirPods Pro (left) and AirPods (right)

The decision not to include wired EarPods in the box of the iPhone 12 should turn consumers towards its £250 AirPods Pro (left) and AirPods (right)

Cheaper AirPods will therefore come as good news for iPhone fans – although consumers can still buy EarPods for an extra £19. 

Another leaker, Ming-Chi Kuo, also noted that Apple is expected to release new models of AirPods in 2021, 9to5Mac reported last year. 

iPad Pro 

Lastly, the new fifth-generation iPad Pro will be available in the same sizes like its predecessor – 11-inch and 12.9-inch – according to Japanese site Mac Otakara, citing Chinese supply chain sources.

But the fifth-generation will have a ‘significantly improved’ processor from the Apple A12Z in the fourth generation, Mac Otakara said. 

Other sources cited by MacRumors have also suggested Apple will also release new iPad Pro models with mini-LED displays and faster processors.

MailOnline has contacted Apple for comment regarding the date of its next launch event and what will be revealed. 

Apple is expected to livestream the March 23 unveiling event online without an in-person audience, like its recent events, due to the current pandemic

Apple is expected to livestream the March 23 unveiling event online without an in-person audience, like its recent events, due to the current pandemic

Although the iPhone 13 is not due until the autumn, analysts have already been trading rumours about what it will look like. 

In January, it was reported by the Twitter tipster Mauri QHD that Apple has created a prototype iPhone without the black ‘notch’. 

The rectangular black notch, which has featured on flagship iPhone models since 2017, conceals the phone’s front-facing camera components and sensors.      

iPHONE 13 RUMOURS 

NO NOTCH? 

Apple is considering ditching the black ‘notch’ at the top of the iPhone for its next flagship model, the iPhone 13, according to an online tipster. 

The rectangular black notch, which has featured on flagship iPhone models since 2017, conceals the phone’s front-facing camera components and sensors.   

Pictured, the iPhone 12 marking out the notch and the bezel. Zero bezel effectively means the device's screen blends seamlessly into the edges of the device. The notch's days may soon be numbered on the iPhone, according to Mauri QHD, an Apple tipster on Twitter

Pictured, the iPhone 12 marking out the notch and the bezel. Zero bezel effectively means the device’s screen blends seamlessly into the edges of the device. The notch’s days may soon be numbered on the iPhone, according to Mauri QHD, an Apple tipster on Twitter

But according to the tipster, who goes by the name Mauri QHD on Twitter, Apple has created an iPhone 13 prototype with no notch at all. 

The prototype instead puts these important components at the top of the bezel, the border between a screen and a phone’s frame. 

‘There’s a prototype with no notch at all, but – a bit – bigger bezels,’ Mauri QHD tweeted.   

All four sides of bezel on the prototype ‘are equally bigger’, he added, meaning the top part of the bezel won’t stick out further than the others. 

The sensor-housing notch was first introduced to the iPhone with 2017’s iPhone X – but was mercilessly lambasted by critics and fans alike as a terrible design flaw. 

Apple’s phone-making rival Samsung even mocked the notch in an ad for its Galaxy Note 8 smartphone at the time, featuring a man with a notch-shaped haircut. 

RETURN OF TOUCH ID

A report in January indicated that iPhone 13 would see the return of its Touch ID technology, in the form of an in-screen fingerprint reader.

This would help users unlock their smartphones without having to remove their face masks during the current pandemic. 

According to Bloomberg, instead of reintroducing a Home button, the Touch ID technology would be embedded within the new iPhone screen

According to Bloomberg, instead of reintroducing a Home button, the Touch ID technology would be embedded within the new iPhone screen 

Apple first introduced Touch ID in 2013 with the iPhone 5S, in the form of a fingerprint reader integrated into the iPhone’s home button.

However, Apple started to move away from this technology in 2017, with the introduction of Face ID in the iPhone X.

According to Bloomberg, instead of reintroducing a Home button, the Touch ID technology would be embedded within the iPhone 13 screen.   

Rather than being a replacement for Face ID, Touch ID would be an additional method of unlocking the iPhone, according to the report. 

CAMERA UPGRADES 

iPhone 13 models will feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera lens with a wider ƒ/1.8 aperture, compared to ƒ/2.4 on iPhone 12 models, according to an investor note shared with MacRumors. 

The site said in February: ‘A wider aperture would allow for more light to pass through the lens.

‘The move from a ƒ/2.4 to ƒ/1.8 aperture [will] likely to result in significantly improved low-light performance when shooting in Ultra Wide mode on iPhone 13 models.’

 




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