September is here and that means so too is Apple's next big hardware event, coming tomorrow on September 15th. The Cupertino giant has already given us a glimpse of the new software updates -- specifically iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and watchOS 7 -- and now it's time for it to announced the next-generation hardware that's going to take full advantage of it all.
Traditionally, this is is time of year when Apple announces new iPhones, new AirPods and a new Apple Watch. You can expect some Apple TV and Apple TV+ news, as well. This year because of the pandemic, things are shaping up a little differently — at least in terms of timing.
It's rumored that Apple is working on over-ear headphones, Tile-like trackers called "AirTags," a HomePod mini and even a new affordable iPad, but it may be too soon for all those. Same too with Apple's impending Arm-based Macs, too. (The latest reports suggest these Macs won't come until the second half of 2021.) Instead, this fall will likely be dedicated to new iPhones and the next-generation Apple Watch.
Here's what you can expect.
Apple won't have one big event. There will be staggered announcements throughout the fall.
It's been widely reported that Apple is expected to delay the release of its next-generation iPhones, but it's looking more and more likely that Apple is also going to delay their announcement, too. In a recent Twitter thread, Jon Prosser, a reliable tech leaker, suggested that Apple would be staggering its product announcements. The first will come during the week of September 7, and it will be dedicated to the next-generation Apple Watch (the Series 6) and iPads. This is expected to be the subject of tomorrow's September event. The big event dedicated to the iPhone 12 (in its various forms) is expected to be over a month later, during the week of October 12.
The Series 6 will have one game-changing feature.
The Series 6 isn't expected to have a radical redesign — it won't have a rounded bezel, for example — and will most likely look very similar to the Series 5 and the Series 4 before it. The Series 6 will undoubtedly have a few new features and abilities. The Series 5, for example, had an always-on display, a built-in compass, a dedicated ECG sensor and new higher-end finishes. But while the Series 6 will undoubtedly have a new chipset and hopefully an improved battery life (it's going to need it for people to take advantage of its new sleep-tracking app), the big new feature is rumored to be a dedicated sensor for blood oxygen monitoring. This will be beneficial for athletes and people serious about working out.
A big question is whether or not Apple will kill the Series 5 after the Series 6 is announced. That's what it did last year to the Series 4 after the Series 5 was announced, after all.
Separately, Apple is also supposedly working on a cheaper Apple Watch that could take the place of the Series 3. It is expected to be named the Apple Watch SE and compared to the Series 3, the new SE is expected to have an updated processor and chipset, Bluetooth 5.0, and it only be available in an aluminum 42mm model. That said, don't expect it to be released (or even announced) this fall — you'll likely have to wait until March 2021.
There will be four different iPhone 12s, two Pro and two affordable -- but probably not tomorrow.
There is a lot to expect from the Phone 12 — and you can hear about it all right here — but the bottom line is that is expected to be four total iPhones: two Pro, two affordable. But Apple probably won't announce it's flagship iPhones at the upcoming September event, saving them instead for a dedicated event in October.
According to the rumors, there will be a 5.4-inch iPhone (smaller than the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro) and a 6.7-inch iPhone (larger than the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max), along with two 6.1-inch iPhones (the same size as the vanilla iPhone 11). The large 6.7-inch iPhone and one of the 6.1-inch iPhones will both be Pros, with better OLED displays and better camera systems. While the 5.4-inch and the other 6.1-inch iPhones will both be more baseline, with two-camera systems and LCD displays.