Apple has spent the last few years making headline-grabbing changes like its services push, with the $5-per-month Apple TV Plus ; its addition of 5G in the iPhone 12 ; and its hit AirPods wireless headphones, which carry a price tag of $149.
For 2021, Apple will be making changes most of us won’t see or care about, but they may be some of its most important moves yet. One example is that Apple is planning to start using custom chips inside more of its Mac computers, leading to thinner and likely longer-lasting laptops .
Apple is expected to debut more lower-priced alternatives to its premium products, too. We already have the $279 Apple Watch SE, and rumor has it the company will take a similar approach with AirPods SE, which could sport a design close to that of the well-reviewed, $249 AirPods Pro noise-cancelling earbuds but without the extras like simulated surround sound.
Now that Apple’s iPhones have 5G, and its Macs have M1 chips, what next?
“Our mission is to create products that play a meaningful role in people’s lives,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at one of the company’s livestreamed presentations in November. For 2021, he proclaimed Apple will do even more.
It may all seem rather nerdy and even boring if you’re used to seeing bold new announcements like superfast 5G wireless networks, or professional-looking portrait photos taken with your phone.
It’s also hard for many people to find the energy to care about any of these things while the world struggles with the anguish of the coronavirus, which continues to spread, with more than 75 million people infected and more than 1.6 million people dead. At least we now have vaccines starting to make their way out to the most vulnerable and the most exposed.
Just as Apple’s choice to announce its iPod music player mere weeks after the 9/11 attacks didn’t stop the device’s historic rise, these initiatives Apple has planned for 2021 may change how technology works for everyone, even the non-Apple people among us, regardless of COVID-19.