There’s really no question at this point that 2020 is shaping up to be an extremely busy year for Apple, and much of the focus from fans is on one product line in particular. Needless to say, we’re talking about Apple’s iPhone lineup. After three years of iPhones with designs so similar that they’re indistinguishable from the front, Apple is believed to have a massive design refresh in store for smartphone shoppers in 2020. Word from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who happens to be the most accurate Apple insider in the world, suggests that the new iPhone 12 series will sport a fresh redesign similar to what Apple was doing back in the early 2010s with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 series. Considering how good Kuo’s track record is, we can definitely expect Apple’s iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and possibly a fourth new iPhone 12 model to feature smaller notches and flat metal edges around the outside of each phone. We can also expect the new iPhone 12 series to be Apple’s first smartphones with support for 5G connectivity, and a few more marquee features to sweeten the pot.
Of course, the iPhone 12 series isn’t the only new product line the company is working on. We’ve seen reports about new iPad Pro models in set to debut as soon as next month alongside another hotly anticipated new Apple product, the long-awaited iPhone SE 2, which has also been referred to lately as the iPhone 9. Other new iPads could be released this year, and there are also rumblings of a more affordable version of Apple’s noise cancelling earbuds in the works, which people are calling AirPods Pro Lite. Refreshed laptop models should hit Apple’s various MacBook laptop lines this year as well, but there’s another new Apple product we’re now starting to hear more about that will be unlike anything the company has released before.
Generally speaking, Apple is all about iteration. The company regularly updates exciting products in its various lineups and it doesn’t introduce entirely new products very often at all. When it does, they’re often aimed at big new markets — think of the Apple Watch that debuted in 2015 or the AirPods that first launched in 2016. They’re both multi-billion-dollar businesses now. Of course, Apple also launches new accessories and supplemental products from time to time, and it looks like we can expect a launch along those lines in the coming months.
Ming-Chi Kuo delivered a new note to clients on Tuesday covering AirTags, a brand new type of product Apple is said to be working on. We’ve seen AirTags mentioned a few different times now, most recently by developers who found references to the unreleased product in Apple’s own iOS 13.2 software. Based on everything we’ve seen so far, AirTags are expected to be device tracker and locator tags similar to what we’ve seen from Tile.
It was unclear at the time when Apple’s new AirTags might launch, but Kuo might’ve just leaked Apple’s plans in his new note. According to the respected analyst, the new Tile-like trackers should be introduced in the third quarter of the year. Kuo says Apple’s supply chain partners are preparing to begin production of tens of millions of AirTag units by the end of the year. Based on Kuo’s mention of a third-quarter launch, it seems possible that Apple will unveil its new Tile rival alongside the iPhone 12 series in September. Alternatively, as 9to5Mac suggests, Apple might announce them earlier at WWDC 2020 so that third-party developers can come up with as many app integrations as possible ahead of a Q3 release.