What’s Apple Launching On 8 December?


Apple has been busy this autumn. Three events in as many months have seen the announcement of a flurry of new products, and if this were any other company we’d be talking about hype fatigue. But the latest leaks indicate that Apple isn’t done yet.

Last week MacRumors got hold of an internal Apple memo warning retail partners that changes to AppleCare would be announced at roughly 5:30am Pacific Time on Tuesday 8 December, including new product SKUs and new or updated product descriptions and prices. Following the prediction by leaker L0vetodream that Apple had a “Christmas surprise” planned, that probably means we’re getting new hardware of some sort – but what?

What product will Apple announce?

We reckon Apple will announce new (Intel) processor options for the 16in MacBook Pro, and the AirTags.

Here’s what we’ve had so far this autumn:

  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • iPad 10.2in (2020)
  • iPad Air (2020)
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
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  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • HomePod mini
  • MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
  • MacBook Pro (M1, 2020)
  • Mac mini (M1, 2020)

The obvious gaps are the AirTags, any kind of new AirPods (most obviously the AirPods Studio), and the new iMac. But there are reasons to doubt nearly all of these.

I’ve argued dismayingly recently that we’re not getting the AirPods Studio before Christmas, which could mean an imminent serving of humble pie. But, to be honest, there’s still little reason to think otherwise – and the new iMac, too, continues to be predicted as a spring launch.

Instead, my colleague Karen reckons we’re more likely to be getting an update to the 16in MacBook Pro. If it seems odd that this was left out of the Mac extravaganza in November, that’s because we think it’ll be an Intel processor update, not Apple Silicon. Following the all-conquering speed tests we’ve been seeing with the M1 models, this could come as something as an anticlimax.

But let’s go back a step. The AirTags – a Tile-busting object tracking device – isn’t the sort of hypetastic product to justify its own launch event, but it is an entirely new market for Apple to be entering. And we think that’s a realistic prospect for the 8 December product reorganisation, since it was understood to be ready to launch last month.

Would either object trackers or new laptop processors count as “good for winter”, as L0vetodream put it? Well, no. So maybe those earmuff-style AirPods Studio will arrive after all. I just don’t see a product as big and as highly anticipated as that arriving without a full event, and so deep into the Christmas buying period.

Talking of which, check out our guide to the best Apple Christmas deals. And see you tomorrow for the announcement!

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