Apple in 2021

2021 was a challenging year for everyone, but bring new things from Apple. We record what 2021 will bring from Apple. Posted by erwinkarim on 7:19 PM, January 13, 2021 Last updated on 11:07 AM, March 5, 2024 Filed in: apple, chronicle,

Table of Contents

2020 will be a year remembered for decades and stories will be there for a long time. This page will attempt to chronicle everything that Apple did or happen to Apple in the year 2021. We will record product announcement and initiatives that we heard around the internet. The list will be in reverse chronological order.

You can read our sister article, What To Expect from Apple in 2021 to read our predictions for the year 2021.


  • There are reports that selected employees in the silicon, hardware and software division receive unusually high stock-base bonuses ranging from $50k to $180k as Google and Meta aggressively poaching them. - Mark Gurman
  • As 2021 draws to a close, Apple is offering 5% cash back to new customers for purchases made through Apple instead of the usual 3%. Offer valid until 31 January 2022 for new customers only. - MacRumors
  • Apple drops 3 new videos featuring the cinematic capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • All mention about CASM protection has been removed from Apple website. Although Apple clarify that CSAM plans has not changed since September. You can read about Apple’s plan CSAM mechanism here. - MacRumours
  • Apple delays return to corporate office indefinitely as COVID-19 spreads again. There will be a point where return will be implemented, but for now, that’s not the case. Apple giving every corporate employee $1,000 to buy office supplies
  • Apple released Tracker Detect app for Android to allow Android users to detect AirTags and other compatible Find My devices in their vicinity. - The Verge
  • Apple closes in to be the first $3 trillion publicly listed company in the world - Reuters
  • Wallpaper* Magazine was granted access (unprecedented I might say) to Apple Design Team. Although the photos are very manicured, it shed some light on the secretive world of the Design Team.
  • Apple’s VP of Product Marketing Stan Ng, as well as Evans Hankey, Apple’s VP of Industrial Design talks with HypeBeast about Apple Watch bands - Hypebeast
  • It is reported that thieves in Canada is using AirTags to help locate and steal high-end vechiles. Apple responded by promising to tighten anti-stalking measures - Jalopnik
  • Apple have notified several US Department of State employees that they have been targeted by NSO Group spyware - Reuters


  • Apple has introduce ‘Mac Notebook Upgrade’ program for business users where you pay a monthly to their financing partner, CIT, and you will get the newest laptop everytime Apple upgrade their laptop. Prices ranges from $30/month for MacBook Air to $75 for the 16" MacBook Pro - MacRumors / CIT
  • Apple has initiated a lawsuit against an Israeli firm NSO Group and it’s parent company because the aforementioned company has put spyware on the iPhones with the expressed use of surveillance purpose. NSO Group is the owner of the Pegasus software who sold the software as a surveillance tool to governments around the world. The Pegasus software is uncovered by Pegasus project, an international investigative journalism project to uncover the misuse of the Pegasus software. - MacRumors
  • Apple temporary halt sales in Turkey because of currency crash - MacRumors
    • Customers in Apple store are being turned away in Turkey - MacRumors
    • Apple Resume sales in Turkey on 26th November with significant price hikes - MacRumors
  • Apple open a new store in the Los Angeles are named Apple The Groove with apperances by “Ted Lasso” cast and Apple CEO - Tim Cook. - MacRumors
  • Apple, who is notoriously known to severely limit self-repairs to their devices announces the Self Service Repair Program. Customers can now have access to parts and tools (and manuals) to iPhone 12 and 13. Apple mentioned that the program will expand to M1 Macs and will start around 2022. - Apple
    • Right to repair advocate applauds such move but remains cautious to what extent that Apple is willing to get the parts repair.
  • One of Apple Wallet feature is adding US state ID to the wallet. Coverage by CNBC shows the extend of the terms and conditions for this to happen - MacRumors
  • Amazon Prime Video for macOS is now available
  • Apple announced ‘Apple Business Essentials’, a tool for small business (<500 employees) to help deploy, manage, and support Apple Devices in their company. It also works with iCloud for storage. Subscription starts from $2.99/month per device to $12.99/month per user. The top tier plan supports a user with multiple devices and 2TB of iCloud storage. - Apple
  • In Apple v. Epic case, the judge has rejected Apple’s motion to delay the changes that Apple needs to make to the app store.
  • Apple release a video featuring the movie making capabilities of the iPhone 13 featuring Dong Hoon Jun and James Thornton of Incite Designs
  • Apple SVP Craig Federighi give a speech about the dangers of sideloading, with a dramatic slide saying ‘Sideloading is a cybercriminal’s best friend’. Arstechnica coverage questions Apple’s motive when sideloading is allowed on macOS and it has fewer malware and Apple stand to lose money by not taking a slice of every revenue generated on the iPhone - Arstechnica
  • Leaked source shows more information about up coming M2 and M3 chip. M2 is expected to have an improved 5nm process like in the A15 chip while the M3 will go 3nm - Arstechnica
  • Apple has redesigned it’s AppleID website.


  • 21.5-inch Intel iMac is officially discontinued.
  • Apple’s Q4 report is out the results are in: revenue grow 29% to $84 billion and iPhone sees biggest year-on-year growth at $38.87 billion. Despite that, investor expected bigger growth revenue. Tim Cook cite global semiconductor shortage and COVID-19 related contribute to the manufacturing and supply problem. Expect a bigger results next quarter. Service reported a revenue of $18.27 billion, an all time high. - Apple
    • Macs continue to attract interest with MacBook Air in particular
  • macOS Monterey is now in the wild. Features include SharePlay protocol, Universal Control (allows to control macOS and iPadOS seamlessly) and with supported hardware, Live Text and Visual Lookup - Apple
  • Apple ‘Unleashed’ event has come and went and Apple has unveiled new products and services
    • Apple introduce a new Music plan called ‘Voice Plan’. At $5/month, you can ask Siri to play any song that you like. You will lose ability to play lossless music, view the lyrics in the Music app and it’s only supported on Apple devices. You view plan details here.
    • After rumors and rumors about the redesign, AirPods has finally been updated with the new design. It is basically looked like the AirPods Pro without the Q-tips and noise cancelling function.
    • HomePod Mini has been updated with three new colors: Blue, Orange and Yellow
    • All new M-series chip dubbed M1 Pro and M1 Max. M1 Pro has 8 or 10 compute cores and 16 graphic cores. M1 Max has 10 compute cores and 16, 24 or 32 graphic cores. M1 Max has more memory bandwidth at 400GB/s. Both have media engine that can handle up to 7 8K ProRes streams or 30 4K ProRes streams.
    • All new 2021 MacBook Pro. New M1 Pro and M1 Max SOCs. The chassis has been redesigned with new Liquid Retina XDR Monitor, MagSafe power port, SD port and HDMI port.
  • Apple has announced the October Event ‘Unleashed’. It will be an online-only event and streamed on October 18, 10am PDT.
  • The chip shortage effects all, even a behemoth like Apple. Apple reportedly has to cut production goals by as much as 10 million units because their suppliers having problem making the chips - Bloomberg
  • Apple former chief designer Jonny Ive has launched a website of his company: LoveFrom
  • In Epic Games v Apple lawsuit which judgement was delivered in September, Apple has file an appeal and stay of execution. If granted the stay of execution, Apple might not have to implement the new policy of allowing third party payment systems up to a year. - MacRumors
  • In an interview with Bustle, Time Cook is concerned that users are using their gadgets for “endless, mindless scrolling” instead of creativity - Coverage by MacRumors
  • Apple has updated their website in remembrance of Steve Jobs 10th anniversary of his death. There is a video featuring Steve Jobs and a statement from his family.


  • EU has proposed to enforce a single standard port for mobile charging, which would means Apple is forced to change from Lighting port to USB-C - Reuters
  • Apple California Streaming event mark the launch of several new Apple product.
  • In the legal battle between Epic Games (maker of Fortnite) v. Apple, the court has determined that Apple is not a monopoly in forcing every app to use the app store, but rules that Apple must allow app developer to steer to 3rd-party payment scheme - Court Injuction papers / Arstechnica Coverage
    • Apple’s statement in regards to the ruling:-
    • Epic has ‘won’ but still have to pay damages to Apple as the court did not find Apple in breach of contract.
    • Epic has sent a notice of appeal - Bloomberg
  • Apple has sent out invitations to their September Event scheduled at September 14, 2021 , 10am PDT. It will be an online-only event. The event tagline is “California Streaming”.
  • Apple has announced that Arizona and Georgia is the first states adopt license ID in Apple wallet. Other US state that is to follow is Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. According to Apple, the state ID in Apple Wallet can be used in select airports for TSA inspection. - Apple
  • Apple to allow “reader” apps to show links for sign-up outside of app store to close Japan investigation - MacRumors
    • “Reader” apps are apps that can show previously purchased content such as Netflix, newspapers etc.
    • Developers reaction to this is Apple is not doing enough - MacRumors
  • South Korea has pass a law forcing Apple and Google to allow developers to use 3rd party payment method. - Bloomberg


  • Apple reached a legal settlement with a group of app developers which allow them to pay outside of their phone apps. Apple will also create a $100 million fund to pay them - New York Times
    • Despite Apple has to setup a legal fund and app developers allow to claim for damages, an analysis from New York Times claims that Apple still “won” the lawsuit because Apple does not give up much. - New York Times
    • Apple release a statement regrading the recent developments - Apple
  • MacRumors chronicle and reflect Tim Cook’s 10th year anniversary as Apple CEO. From the launch of iPhone 4S (that long??) to becoming the first trillion dollar company in the world - MacRumors
    • As part of his pay deal, Tim Cook will get $750 million in stock from Apple - Bloomberg
  • Australia Financial Review publish a very long interview with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple - Financial Review. Key take aways:-
    • Tim Cook is an early morning person - At the desk at 4am and read customer’s email.
    • Big believer in AR.
    • Technology is neutral. Whether it is being use for good or evil depends on the user, not the tools.
  • Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal together with Marsha Blackburn, and Amy Klobuchar sponsor a bill called the Open App Market Act while will compel Apple to allow alternative app-store and not requiring to use Apple in-purchase system in iOS and macOS. This law will also apply to other companies such as Google that use their own Play Store. - MacRumors
    • Of course, such move spook Apple and Google which Apple said “At Apple, our focus is on maintaining an App Store where people can have confidence that every app must meet our rigorous guidelines and their privacy and security is protected,” - Arstechnica
  • Apple previews new features for iOS 15 that is slated to be released by end of the year. One of the features include Child Safety Feature which scans users iCloud photos for signs of Child Sexual Assault Material (CSAM). - MacRumors
    • Apple provides a technical summary on how they will implement the system.
    • To ally the fears of privacy. Apple has release a FAQ about the system.
  • The Mac Pro has been updated with new graphic options. The new card are Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo and W6900X. - VideoCardz
    AMD Radeon Pro W6800X Duo internals
  • Apple redesign the online Apple store. Together with the Apple store are updated Magic Keyboard with TouchID, Magic Trackpad.
  • Apple is now 6th largest company by revenue and first by profits according to Fortune Global 500 list. - Fortune



  • Apple opens a new store in downtown Los Angeles occupying the iconic Tower Theater.
  • WWDC 2021 come and went and here’s what happen in a nutshell:-
    • No hardware announcement
    • SharePlay API: Share your screen, app and streaming across Apple devices in real time. It was first demo on the updated FaceTime where you can share your streaming and screen across Apple devices
    • FaceTime: SharePlay API, portrait mode, spatial audio, grid view, mic modes. You can only invite anyone (including people on Windows and Android) to use FaceTime via a web browser.
    • Share With You app: a new app to track items that is shared with you in Messages, Notes and other apps.
    • Maps: More detailed in select cities.
    • Wallets: Can now unlock your home and store your ID.
    • Spotlight: Richer results and can now search photos.
    • Read our article for more details.
  • Apple Music announced a “special event” on 12pm PT June 2021 (2 hours after WWDC 2021 keynote). Discovered by twitter user @kuromikenny
  • WWDC 2021 is in spotlight, so a slew of pre-WWDC news is coming
    • Apple announced WWDC ‘21 Swift Student Chanllege Winners. All 350 of them - Apple
    • Apple announced 2021 Apple Design Award finalist ahead of WWDC 2021. There are 36 finalist in 6 categories. - MacRumors
    • “Digital Loungues” - areas where Apple engineers “hang out” to chat with participants - is now open.
    • Hashflag #WWDC2021 is activative on Twitter until June 6 - 9to5mac


  • Apple announced the dates for WWDC 2021: 7th June to 11th June at 10am PDT and it will be an online event. It will start with a Keynote and State of the Union address. Note: The glasses on the developer reflects some unicode which reads “eat, sleep, code”. - ZDNet
  • Apple launches new assistive tech on 20th May. Features include SignTime (one-on-one sign language interpreter when browsing the store online), AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, Eye-Tracking support for iPad, made for iPhone hearing aids and many more. - Apple
  • Apple Music brings spatial audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio to entire catalog … at now extra cost - Apple
  • Apple launched a teaser in the Music app about ‘Music about to change forever’
  • Space Gray Keyboard and Mouse is discontinued and will be available until the stock depletes.
  • Apple started the move to randomized serial number with the purple iPhone 12.
  • Apple released a new video showing off the video capture capabilities of the iPhone 12


  • Apple release their best non-holiday quarter ever with $89 billion on revenue and taking in $23 billion in net profit. Since the launch of the M1, they made the best ever Mac sales at $9 billion. Every other category is basically on the rise. - Apple
  • Apple signs Siegfried & Roy as Apple-exclusive original podcast offering. - Deadline
  • At April special event, Apple introduced AirTags, a brand new iMac and updated the iPad Pro to use the M1 chip. Apple TV is also updated with A12 chip and iPhone 12 has a new color: purple.
  • Fitness+ introduce new workouts for pregnent and older customers. Jade Wanda is a new guest for ‘Time to Walk’ which coincide with Eath Day. Apple
  • Apple announced a $200 million Restore fund to accelerate natural solution to climate change - Apple
  • Apple send out event invitation for it’s April Special Event. The tagline is ‘Spring Loaded’
  • Apple launched Find My Network Accessories program. This program allows 3rd party developers to use the ‘Find My’ App to locate their own devices. There’s also a draft specification of a chipset for manufacturers to take advantage of this feature which will planned to be released in spring. Suspected the U1 chipset. - Apple / MacRumors
  • Apple celebrates its 45th anniversary of it’s founding. Tim Cook, the CEO, quote the words of the founder that the journey is just barely begun.


  • Apple announced WWDC 21 will be held on June 7 and will be an online only event - Apple
  • The original HomePod is discontinued the original Homepod. The HomePod Mini will continue to be sold.
  • Apple invest €1 billion in Munich Silicon Design Center.
  • iMac Pro is discontinued and Apple is selling all existing stocks until it is exhausted. Source MacRumors
    • iMac Pro disappeared from Apple website on 19th March.
  • You can now transfer your iCloud photos to Google Photos via their website. Details here.
  • Apple granted patent for a new MagSafe port and connector for iPhone
  • Jason Sudeikis Wins Golden Globe Award for Apple TV+ Comedy Series ‘Ted Lasso’ - MacRumors
  • New Video by Apple. Hometown featuring black photographers for Black History Month in USA.


  • New ads for Apple Watch 6 featuring Sleep App, ECG and Workout.
  • Apple has outsold Samsung phones for the first time since Q4 2016. But then again, smartphone market is in general decline - Gartner
  • Apple has job posting for 6G engineer. The yet to be defined 5G success for mobile networks - Apple
  • For Black History Month in USA, Apple Launched Entrepreneur Camp for Black Founders and Developers - Apple
  • Apple France has video special showing film made using the iPhone 12, premiered with a short “The Painter” - Apple
  • Apple released iOS 14.5 Beta to developers. Features includes unlocking iPhone using Apple Watch, App Tracking Transparency, Apple Card for Family members, Casting Fitness+ to Apple TV and other devices, Siri Improvements, 5G Dual-SIM, Support for PS5 / Xbox-X controller and Podcast App redesign - MacRumors
  • Bloomberg release an extensive article on how Tim Cook build Apple into a $2.3 trillion fortress. - Bloomberg


  • Apple release a new video for shot on iPhone series for the Chinese Lunar New Year. The entire short was filmed using iPhone 12 Pro Max.
  • Apple announced Q1 2021 record breaking results with $111.4 billion in revenue and $28.8 billion in profits. iPhone made 59% of revenue while services grew double digits to become the 2nd largest revenue generator for Apple. - Apple
  • HomePod software 14.4 released with new functionality with HomePad Mini - Apple
  • In celebration with Black History Month in USA, Apple released a limited edition Apple Watch Black Unity. The watch features laser engraving with the words ‘Black Unity’ on the back. The Unity watch face is available on watchOS 7.3
  • Hardware Engineering SVP Dan Ricco transition to a special project while that post is taken up by John Ternus.
  • Fitness+ introduced ‘Time to Walk’ feature. Feature stories from celebrities in 25 to 40 minutes segment. Each narrator of the audio story is having a ‘walk’ so you are walking with the celebrities.

  • Apple launched Racial Equity and Justice Initiative project to chanllege systematic racism and advance racial equity in the USA. $100 millio peldge and an Apple Developers Academy in Detriot - Apple
  • It is reported that Apple and Hyundai in which Hyundai will make Apple cars due for delivery by 2024. It is not known if it will be an existing Hyundai platform or Apple own bespoke platform - Reuters

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