don’t you hate it if they reveal everything in the headline? So, belated spoiler alert that the iPhone 14 will indeed almost certainly be the big headline announcement at Apple’s September event. A few other things also appear almost certain, including the Apple Watch Series 8.
As always, there may be one or two wildcards at the event. It will be interesting to see exactly how much Apple announces next week. In the two-plus years since everything suddenly went online, the company has been more than happy to distribute announcements at events. The simple truth is that asking people to drop everything to cover your event is a lot easier when it comes to sitting in front of a computer than flying across the US. This one, on the other hand, will most likely be worth the flight (I mean, I hope – no refunds on the tickets).
The company sent out invitations earlier this month featuring a galaxy made out of the Apple logo and the words “Far Out.” A subsequent animation shows the constellation rotating to reveal a heart. There is often hidden meaning in invitation art, and speculation has been rife for the past week.
My first thought was something to do with the company’s alleged AR/VR headset. Others have suggested it may have something to do with the long-rumored satcom technology for Apple devices not making it in time for last year’s event. Others still believe it could be an indication of the improved imaging on the new iPhones.
So let’s start with that iPhone 14. Hard to believe, but the device celebrated its 15th birthday in June. So what does Apple have planned for the Crystal anniversary? Rumor has it that the high-end devices will do the heavy lifting this time around (expect some of those upgrades to trickle down to the lower-cost models in the next year or two).
The most surprising news this time around might be the long-awaited loss of the notch on the Pro and Pro Max. There’s some debate over the exact configuration, but a hole punch (like the one we’ve seen on a number of Android phones over the years) will likely arrive in its place, perhaps in conjunction with a secondary “pill” design. So you get more space, but you compromise with a few camera cutouts.
Another longstanding Android feature – the always-on display – is rumored for the premium models. The main camera is said to be getting a big bump, up to a 48-megapixel sensor. That’s for the wide-angle paired with a couple of 12-megapixel cameras (telephoto and ultrawide).
The chip will also be upgraded on the more powerful A16s – again, that could be a premium-only upgrade here. We know that a move to USB-C is inevitable given recent legislation in the EU requiring device manufacturers to adopt this universal standard. Despite the fact that similar laws have been enacted for a number of countries – including the US and India – the iPhone 14 is expected to be the last stand of the Lightning port for the line. Speaking of last stand, the iPhone Mini may have gone completely out of line. That’s a huge blow to fans of the little phone out there – some of whom are currently employed at .. So expect a… spirited post or two on these pages if that happens. The new line is expected to come in two 6.1-inch and two 6.7-inch models, each with a Standard and Pro version.
That Apple Watch Series 8 is the other big expected headline here. The latest version of Apple’s market-dominating smartwatch is rumored to come in three flavors. There’s the SE (getting its first major update since 2020), which will retain the same footprint as the 7 Series, along with a larger Series 8 and a new outdoor/sports model designed to compete with the Garmins of the take in the world.
In addition to enlarging the screen, all three devices can also be upgraded to the new S8 chip. Along with software improvements, the system may finally get a new power saving mode that would improve battery life – still the biggest issue with the Apple Watch compared to the rest of the field.
Perhaps the most overdue item in the list: the AirPods Pro. The standard AirPods have seen a few updates, but the high-end models haven’t seen any since their launch in 2019. Three years is forever in the earbud world, and the competition has had plenty of time to catch up and even – in some cases – past Apple here.
Lossless audio is rumored. There may also be a redesign that could remove the iconic click stem. That would be quite a dramatic change in how the device is controlled. Another interesting potential element is the addition of sound for the case, which can work better with the Find My feature.
In the meantime, iPads may appear, including one M2 iPad Pro model, but the consensus seems to be that the company will be hosting one last event before the holidays where we’ll also get new Macs with the latest chips, including the long-awaited – and heavily revamped – return of the Mac Pro. I wouldn’t completely rule out either of these for this event, but they are less certain than the above.
That AR/VR headset is the real joker in all of this. Rumors have been around for a while and only got hotter as the company filed brands like Reality One, Reality Pro, and Reality Processor. It is said to have already shown a version of the headset to the shareholders. At most, a preview could arrive to entice developers to start building for the product.
A few little things:
- The Return of HomePod? We’re talking about something that might be similar to the original full-size model, and possibly a product with a display à la Nest Hub or Echo Show. Apple really needs a proper hub for HomeOS.
- A new Apple TV.
- release dates for iOS 16 and watchOS 9 seem likely. We know we’ll have to wait a little longer for them new iPadOS. and macOS is coming could appear to arrive during this event, but a safer bet is the October unannounced event mentioned above.
As always, we’ll be there and bring you the news as it comes out.