Hot on the heels of his iPhone 12 report, dead-on Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) is back with a new prediction for Apple’s 2020 plans, and they’re very intriguing. Among the new products on the docket are a new iPhone SE, a redesigned MacBook Pro keyboard, an iPad Pro with a rear time-of-flight camera, and a pair of Apple AR glasses.
That’s a lot to absorb, so let’s break it down. First Kuo reiterates that his sources say a new iPhone SE is coming. That’s not a surprise, since he provided details about that very phone a couple weeks ago, but after years of rumors, it’s starting to look like it might actually happen.
Then there’s the new MacBook keyboard. We’ve already heard rumblings of a new MacBook Pro keyboard, so Kuo’s confirmation here is a great sign. Specifically, he says the redesigned MacBooks will arrive in the second quarter of 2020 featuring “scissor” mechanism keyboards rather than the much-maligned butterfly mechanism that Apple uses today. According to Wikipedia, “Scissor-switch keyboards are typically slightly more expensive. They are harder to clean (due to the limited movement of the keys and their multiple attachment points) but also less likely to get debris in them as the gaps between the keys are often smaller (as there is no need for extra room to allow for the ‘wiggle’ in the key, as typically found on a membrane keyboard)”
Kuo previously reported that the upcoming 16-inch MacBook Pro would be the first model to use the new scissor keyboard, which is expected to arrive later this month. It’s unclear whether this new report changes that timeline or if Kuo is simply referring to updates to existing models
Next up, we have an iPad Pro with a new rear camera array. While the iPad has been a single-camera device since its inception, leaked images have shown an iPad Pro with a similar square triple- camera array as the iPhone 11 Pro, a rumor we struggled to believe. But now Kuo offers a bit more detail on what might be inside that bulbous bump. According to his report, next year’s iPad Pro will have a 3D-sensing time-of-flight sensor on the back, which could be used for indoor mapping and next-level AR applications.
And last but the furthest from least we can get is Kuo’s prediction that Apple’s will launch its first “head-mounted AR product” next year. Details are extremely light, but according to MacRumors, Kuo says the augmented-reality device, which has been previously rumored, “will be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone.” That could be glasses or a headset, but it certainly sounds like something Apple would expect users to wear all day.
Get your wallets ready, because 2020 is shaping up to be a killer year for Apple if the oft-correct Kuo is correct yet again.