Beyond our tax bills, there are two certainties in 2024: Apple Vision Pro and a new iPhone.
I think it’s the first time… ever, that we’ve been able to say that about two new Apple products. Everything else is always speculation, rumours, and “from those close to the matter”.
So, in my list of what I think Apple needs to release in 2024, those two products are omitted. We’re getting them. End of story.
But that isn’t where the story should end for Apple next year. These are the new Apple products I want to see in addition to the obvious stuff.
2024 M3 iPad Pro
I’ve been using my 12.9-inch M2 iPad Pro a lot recently – and, no, not for video editing or music making. The latter is something I want to get into next year, but the former still feels a country mile from being ready to replace my dependency on the Mac.
However, as a device I can use each morning to smash out these blog posts, and a device which is effortlessly brilliant on the road, it ‘smacks’, as the kids say. Big time, bro.
It’s overkill, of course. I could just use my iPad Air. Or even my iPad 10th generation. There’s just something about the big iPad Pro that is so alluring – and there are no corners cut in terms of functionality.
The prospect of an iPad Pro with an OLED display in 2023 is, therefore, extremely tantalising – and just as decadent. And I don’t care.
iPad mini 7
Come on, Tim. It really is time.
A ProMotion display, updated internals, and a mini Magic Keyboard is all we need from the iPad mini 7.
The latter is possibly at the top of my wish list for 2024, mainly because I’ve discovered a lovely new kit bag (the brilliant Grams28 City Pack) and my iPad mini fits into it perfectly. The only thing stopping me from heading out of the door with nothing but that City Pack is a mini Magic Keyboard for the iPad mini.
I’m ready. Everyone is, Tim. Make it one of the new Apple releases.
M3 MacBook Air
I’m going to reveal my updated thoughts on the 15-inch M2 MacBook Air soon, but there are, once again, problems if you go for the base model. Which is a huge shame. These issues may not be remedied by the M3 version, but I really hope they are.
If you’re interested, the ‘issues’ relate to the occasional sluggish performance that I never experienced with the base model M1 MacBook Air. Primarily, this manifests when browsing ad-heavy web pages in Safari (yes, I know I could just block them, but I can’t be bothered) and, as shallow as it sounds, the glitchy way with which the laptop handles macOS Sonoma’s beautiful new drone screensavers.
Therefore, in 2024, I want to see a new M3 MacBook Air (both sizes) with any performance problems from the base model removed.
Am I dreaming? I genuinely hope not; if you only have money for the base model, you shouldn’t feel hamstrung during regular tasks and enjoyment of your Mac.
Redesigned Mac Pro (or get shot of it)
This year, we finally got the Apple silicon-based Mac Pro Apple had promised ages ago. It was late, only formed a small part of the WWDC keynote, and appeared to be nothing more than the previous version with loads of the bits removed.
Because that’s exactly what it is.
As a business owner myself, I sympathise with Tim Cook on this one. Apple has a Mac Pro production line that has been in full swing for a long time and which is, presumably, profitable. If you were in Apple’s position and you knew you could raise that profitability further by removing 90% of the internal components from third parties and simply chucking your chip in there… well, you’d do it, wouldn’t you?
It does look silly, though. And the market for that Mac Pro must have dwindled considerably since the brilliant Mac Studio was introduced.
In 2024, I want Apple to either redesign the Mac Pro entirely (a much smaller footprint while retaining the I/O that sets it apart from the Mac Studio is what’s needed), or get shot of it entirely. Maybe its day has passed?
M3 Mac Studio and Mac mini
There’s one Mac buying conundrum that I still haven’t properly wrapped my head around, I’m afraid.
We’ve had a bunch of new Apple products this year, but the Mac Studio and Mac mini have, weirdly, been left out when it comes to the ‘double Mac’ update granted to the MacBook Pro. The latter has received both the M2 and M3 professional lineup of chips in 2023 (much to the annoyance of those who bought the former) – yet the Mac Studio and Mac mini… haven’t.
If you’re in the market for either of those machines and you want to use them for professional reasons – or you just want the best – what do you do? Buy the M2 version? Or wait for it to be superseded by the M3?
To solve this problem – and it’s a big problem, I think, if you fall into this user bracket – Apple needs to launch M3 versions of the Mac Studio and Mac mini as early as January. If you think that’s unlikely, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve launched new Macs during that month.
A Space Black Apple Watch Ultra 3
One of the biggest disappointments for me this year is that we didn’t receive an Apple Watch Ultra 2 in black. Yes, I’m that shallow.
Now that we have a Space Black MacBook Pro, I want the same shade applied to Apple’s adventure smartwatch. And I’d like the charging cable and puck to be black too, please.
I’d also like a meaningful improvement in battery life.
That’s it. I’m not asking for too much, am I?
A proper AirPods Max update
It sounds like we’re getting AirPods Max 2 in 2024.
There’s just one problem. Well, two, specifically.
The only updates we can apparently expect for Apple’s super-expensive cans is USB-C charging (yay) and some new colours (oh).
That’s it. There has been no talk of proprietary Apple hi-res audio codecs, a proper case, or any form of design tweakage.
Given that AirPods Max will be about four years old by the time they’re updated, this feels like we’re being rather short-changed, doesn’t it? What has Apple been up to? Have they not noted the concerns of current users? Do they not have any ambitions beyond the current design and feature set of AirPods Max?
It’s a head-scratcher. It’s also a topic I’m vastly interested in at the moment, due to the fact I’m conducting a little experiment. I’m using AirPods Max exclusively for a month to see what it’s like to own them properly – i.e. not like a tech reviewer who swaps his headphones more regularly than he swaps his underpants.
If Apple doesn’t give us anything more than the rumour mill suggests we’re getting with AirPods Max 2, I, for one, will be massively disappointed.
When will new Apple products be released in 2024?
Three things are certain next year when it comes to new Apple products (I know I said ‘two’ earlier – but bear with me).
At some point during the first quarter of 2024, Apple will fully launch Vision Pro. My guess is there’ll be a big event at Apple Park to commemorate the occasion, and I’m still planning on doing something myself if a UK release date is too far in the distance.
We’ll also be shown the future of Apple software and, no doubt, some new hardware releases, at WWDC in the summer.
Thirdly, we’ll get a new iPhone in the autumn. Because of course we will.
That’s all we can bank on. Everything else is, as noted, rumour fodder. The latest, from Mr Gurman, is that we can expect a spring launch of new iPads, M3 MacBook Airs, and “revamped” Magic Keyboards and Apple Pencils.
What do you want to see from new Apple products in 2024?
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