No, we don't really think an Apple Car will look like this
There's no rumour mill in tech quite like the Apple rumour mill, and every week – if not nearly every day – there's something new that Apple is totally making.
We've heard a lot of absurd speculation over the years, but the moles have gotten chattier over time, and a rumour will often build and build until Apple finally makes something official. It happened with the iPhone SE and 9.7in iPad Pro earlier this year, and yet again with the iPhone 7 this autumn. Nearly every big detail was confirmed by the time each device was properly announced.
So what is Apple possibly working on right now? We've compiled 15 of the top recent rumours about Apple products and features, uncovered via reports or patent applications, which range from an electric car to a VR headset, an Amazon Echo-like device, and even an Apple Ring.
Apple is definitely going to make all of these things, right? Well, hopefully not the iRing.
1) An electric (and self-driving?) car
An Apple car is probably the most audacious and unexpected thing on this list, and yet surprisingly, it's been widely reported on. What's more, CEO Tim Cook isn't even denying it. Rumours caught fire in early 2015, claiming that Apple had hundreds of people working on an electric car known as Project Titan, and the hits kept coming.
Uncovered emails suggested that Apple was looking for a facility to test self-driving cars – potentially a later goal after launching an initial electric car – and a report said that Apple had "committed" to the project and aimed to finalise it by 2019. More recently, the project lead reportedly left, but Apple supposedly has more and more people working on Titan, and potentially loads of cash invested.
Will we be driving Apple cars in four or five years? Quite possibly. Well, at least those of us who can afford it. Be sure to read our Apple Car preview for the latest rumours and reports on the subject.
2) A streaming TV service
For years, Apple was rumoured to be creating its own streaming TV service to complement its set-top box, and the rumours flared up again in 2015. Reports said that Apple would cobble together a cheaper package of channels like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue, and sell it for much less than the average cable or satellite subscription.
But the plan hit some snags, it seems: channel operators pushed back, and wouldn't give Apple the prices it wanted to be able to deliver cheap bundles. Still, Les Moonves, CEO of American broadcast network CBS, seems confident: "This will happen," he said in December 2015.
3) A smart ring
Apple patent image
Will the Apple Watch beget the Apple Ring? We're not counting on it, but Apple is at least looking into the possibility. A patent application uncovered in late 2015 shows "devices and methods for a ring computing device," and the illustrations shown are indeed for a wearable device with a screen that sits on your finger.
The touchscreen could be used to interact with the Apple Watch, even, but unless you're a die-hard fan of wearables, chances are that you don't need two of them on at any given time. Would anyone? Apple might try to find out, if the application is any indication.
4) MacBook with an OLED touch
MacBook Pro OLED concept by Martin Hajek
It's been a while since the last major MacBook Pro update, and the next one is rumoured to be a big one. While the general form factor might remain the same, sources claim that Apple will add an OLED touchpad bar right above the keyboard. Check out this concept illustration from designer Martin Hajek.
What's the point? Well, it could be a place to keep context-sensitive buttons based on the app you're using, or things like cut and paste controls. We've gotten by without such a thing for a long time, but it could help enhance the Mac experience. Hopefully without bumping the price tag, of course.
Sources also say that the bar will have a Touch ID sensor built into it for fingerprint scanning, which would help make Apple's higher-specced MacBooks a bit more secure, as well.
5) iPad Mini goes Pro?
Apple iPad Mini 4
Can a Mini also be Pro? We might find out very soon, as the rumour mill suggests that Apple plans to give its smallest tablet the same kind of perk seen in the larger models.
If true, the iPad Mini Pro would have the True Tone display, Smart Connector, quad speaker grates, and 12-megapixel rear camera. Given how Apple has moved the "Pro" tag from the extra-large model to the standard size, we wouldn't be surprised to see this shift occur with the smallest iPad, as well.
Another tidbit that's been tagging along with this rumour is that the 9.7in model will be bumped up to 10.1in instead, but given that Apple just released the 9.7in iPad Pro earlier this year, we don't see it happening anytime soon. In fact, we don't see that one happening at all: 9.7 has always been the sweet spot for Apple's tablet. Why add just 0.4in?