Seven days ago, Jon Prosser tweeted out a tentative schedule for upcoming Apple hardware releases, showing one slated for the week of September 7, one the week of October 13 and the last event sometime in November. This lines up with other leaks that came before and it also comes from a source with a much better than average track record.
The first event is predicted to be for the Apple Watch Series 6 and an iPad. I held out hope for a while that the iPad in questions would be the rumored new iPad Air, but the current sentiment from multiple sources in the rumor mill is for that device to come in March of 2021. C’est la vie. More on which iPad in a moment.
That first release window in September got a little independent backing out of nowhere today, as Matt Birchler of birchtree.me managed to catch Apple in the act of…well, something.
Oops, TEST 😋 pic.twitter.com/ZM9j9n47yN
— Matt Birchler (@mattbirchler) August 20, 2020
So it looks like someone at Apple was doing a little stream testing of some kind today and had a date of September 10 attached to their test event. Notice that the picture on the YouTube stream is a placeholder from WWDC and the name of the stream is TEST. However, it’s the date of September 10th that got everyone’s attention. That does line up with Prosser’s prediction of something happening the week of 9/7.
Jon Prosser rightly pointed out later that September 10, which is a Thursday, is highly unlikely as an actual event date. Apple never does events on Thursdays, usually targeting Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with occasional Monday events. Tuesday and Wednesday give journalists time to travel (remember when we all used to be able to just…travel?) and then Apple has the rest of the week’s news cycle to themselves. Since the event in question would be streamed, travel isn’t a concern, so it could be any time early that week.
If I had to put money down, this is just a small piece of additional evidence that the predicted week is correct. It will just be another date that week. My guess would be Tuesday.
Now, if you don’t already know who Matt Birchler is, I highly recommend following him on Twitter (@mattbirchler). While he is an Apple fan and user, he shares my interest in testing and writing about all kinds of other devices, as well. Matt is also a rare gentleman on the Internet and is about as level-headed and non-biased a tech blogger and critic as you will find. He’s also one of the few people I regularly correspond with on Twitter who can debate a topic in a completely civil manner, which I appreciate. I hope you get some follows today, Matt. You deserve them!
Now back to the news. One Apple scheduling leak from a moth ago that I had high hopes for fell flat yesterday. @Komiya_kj initially predicted that Apple would release their AirPods Studio and new HomePods on 8/19. I’m ready to get my hands on these headphones we’ve been hearing so much about, so I was really hoping he would prove to be right, but my hope faded when he subsequently deleted the Tweet. That wasn’t a good sign and yesterday came and went with no new headphones.
Since that leak, the rumor mill has gone strangely silent on the AirPods Studio. I imagine they will arrive during one of Prosser’s three release windows above, along with AirTags, a HomePod refresh, Apple Silicon Macs and possibly more.
So what about that iPad in Prosser’s September prediction? I’m surprised he’s now saying that a new iPad Pro will arrive this Fall. Unfortunately, this is not the big Mini-LED update that is still supposed to arrive next year. This is just supposed to have a processor bump to an A14X and 5G. Both the processor and 5G have been reserved for the arrival of the iPhone, so that part makes sense. However, three iPad Pro releases in 12 months time? That would be quite outside the norm. I’m still a little skeptical, but outside of WWDC, Prosser has been pretty on target, especially on release dates.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we can expect Apple to release anything the rest of this month. I held out hope for a while that they would clear some backlog with some press release drops in August, but it was not to be. That said, if you trust Jon Prosser, we should still have something new in our hands in three or four weeks. Who knonws? Maybe Apple can spend the next three weeks patching up their public image a little while they prepare for all these launches. They certainly have plenty of work to do there.