It’s now known for certain that Apple is going to hold a press event on Sept. 9, 2015 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. We even know that the event will be livestreamed beginning at 10 AM PT/1 PM ET. Here are some educated guesses about what might be announced by Tim Cook & Co.
iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus
This is pretty much a no-brainer, since Apple’s habit over the past few years has been to announce the newest iPhones at an early September event and have those devices available for sale about 10 days later.
The Apple rumor mill has been in full swing lately, and the two new phones should be close in size and weight to what’s available with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today. The next-generation A9 processor should be under the hood, along with (finally) 2GB of RAM, Force Touch for shortcuts to iOS commands or apps, and even improved FaceTime (front-facing) and iSight (rear-facing) cameras.
One rumor even suggests that the iPhone 6s phones will even have a “selfie flash” for the first time. Expect the frame of the phone to be made of stiffer 7000 series aluminum, to avoid the silly “bendgate” situation that cropped up when some people realized that a larger phone would indeed bend when enough force was applied to it.
There’s also a good chance that the newest iPhones will sport better cellular chips for faster and more reliable phone service. As you can tell from the mockup image at the top of this section, some believe that Apple may add a rose gold case color to the iPhone mix. And last, but not least, some think that the new iPhones may have animated motion wallpaper available, similar to that seen on the Apple Watch.
This is the other item we expect to see at the event. Rumors have flown for the past several years about a redesigned Apple TV with an A8 processor, lots of storage space, an iPhone-like case and a touch-based remote. The device will have its own App Store, Siri support, and will eventually be the basis of an Apple “a la carte” TV services… but not right away.
Frankly, I disagree with the rumors of a new remote. Most people who would purchase an Apple TV already have a touch-based remote called an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch. Why add cost and another remote to lose? Siri support would also a fascinating way to control the device, and the “Hey Siri, give us a hint” tagline on the invitation could refer to that.
Considering the size of the venue (approximately 7,000 seats), the fact that Apple will be closing down the street in front of the venue for about a week, and the recent release of HomeKit-compatible home automation devices, it’s possible that the new Apple TV could serve as a home automation hub as well as an entertainment hub. All of the HomeKit accessories are Siri-controllable, and Apple may choose to highlight their home automation plans in a temporary building in front of the auditorium.
iOS 9 Ship Date
It would be very surprising if the new iPhones didn’t run iOS 9, so expect the ship date for the new mobile OS to be announced. Chances are good that it will be some time between Sept. 9 and 18; my personal estimate is Sept. 16, two days before the new iPhones might become available.
OS X El Capitan Ship Date
It’s common at these events for other products to be highlighted, even if they’re not going to be released that day. OS X El Capitan appears to be moving confidently toward a ship date as well. It could be as soon as the same week as the iOS 9 ship date, or Apple could choose to stagger the upgrade to avoid overtaxing its upgrade servers.
watchOS 2 Ship Date
Developers have been anxious to show the public some amazing native apps under watchOS 2, and Apple’s wearable would get a boost if some of those developers were invited to show off their work. Any announcement of the ship date for watchOS 2 might come at the event.
iPad / iPad mini
Less likely to be announced at this event are new iPads, which usually merit their own event in October. Any new iPad Air or iPad mini would benefit from a faster processor and could also include a Force Touch screen. I’d also venture that any new iPads might begin a move in Apple’s mobile lines toward a common USB-C connector for power and connectivity.
This is a long shot to be announced at the event… but stranger things have happened. There have been persistent rumors about an iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch Retina display and a Force Touch enabled stylus, designed primarily for use in enterprises. This device would almost certainly feature the new A9 processor.
The Mac line has been doing quite well in the face of falling PC sales, and since it’s back to school time, it may behoove Apple to release some new desktop and laptop devices. But there’s a very good reason why this may not happen.
Intel’s Skylake processors aren’t quite ready for prime time and Apple might choose to wait until later in the year or early next year before it announces any new Macs. Skylake’s biggest benefits include reduced power consumption, smaller motherboards, and huge performance improvements. Skylake may also bring wireless data transfers via the WiGig standard, something that would make it possible to connect even a 4K or greater Cinema Display to a future Mac without cabling.
When new Macs are finally announced, I’d expect a Retina display 21.5-inch iMac to be in the mix, along with new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros finally sporting a USB-C port, a speed bump for the Mac Pro, and even some attention to the Mac mini.
What Would You Like to See?
The ideas in this post are based on rumors, parts leaks, and knowledge of the direction that the industry as a whole is heading. It’s always enlightening to hear what our readers expect to see at the event, so be sure to give us your ideas in the comment section.