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New mini-LED iPad and AirPods 3 tipped for the first half of 2021

iPad 2020
(Image credit: Future)

What treats does Apple have in store for the first half of 2021? According to one of the most well-known analysts in the business, we'll be seeing both a mini-LED iPad and the AirPods 3 headphones before July 2021 rolls around.

Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo is usually accurate in his Apple reports, and MacRumors has the details on his most recent note for investors. It points to two new gadgets that should be out and available to buy in the next six months or so.

First up it looks as though we're going to get an update to the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad, and that update is going to see a switch to mini-LED display technology – although the rest of the tablet specs are unlikely to be a huge leap forward from this year.

As the name suggests, mini-LED displays use smaller LEDs to light up a screen: as they're individually controlled, the local dimming, contrast and brightness should all be improved. The tech is rumored to be coming to several Apple products in the near future.

Apple predictions

The second product that Kuo says we'll see in the first half of 2021 are the AirPods 3, an update to the AirPods 2 that were launched in 2019. It would be about time for the cheaper wireless earphones in Apple's line-up to be given a refresh.

Kuo has actually made this prediction before, so the timing isn't a complete surprise. The updated AirPods are expected to borrow some design cues from the AirPods Pro, although it doesn't look as though a major upgrade is likely this time around.

Battery life is likely to be improved, Kuo says, although active noise cancellation is going to remain exclusive to the AirPods Pro for the foreseeable future. No word yet on when the more expensive earbuds might get updated, by the way.

As for when these new products might be announced, it's not exactly clear. Apple often schedules a launch event for March each year, though its scheduling for 2020 has been very different to normal, so we'll have to wait and see when it comes to a launch date.