Mark your calendars and set aside some time on September 15th at 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT, as Apple has scheduled an announcement. The event will be live-streamed from Apple Park both on the Apple website and the Apple Events Apple TV channel. It’s unknown whether the event will be pre-recorded like June’s WWDC keynote address, or if it will be a live event.
In September, Apple traditionally unveils the new iPhones, but that isn’t expected to happen at next week’s event.
What will be announced?
Apple Watch Series 6
The “Time Flies” tag line on the press invitations is a dead giveaway that the Apple Watch Series 6 is one of the primary announcements. It’s expected that this series may finally include an entry-level version with a plastic casing that could be used by children in a “Kid Mode.” One desired Watch feature has been blood oxygen level monitoring, and that may finally make it to the Series 6. And it’s also very possible that the sleep tracking features planned for the upcoming watchOS 7 may benefit from some new hardware enhancements.
For quite some time, we’ve been expecting an AirTag announcement — a small device that could attach to virtually anything and use the Ultra-Wideband and Bluetooth capabilities of the iPhone 11 and future iPhones to locate AirTagged items with an augmented reality view in the “Find My” app. Many pundits are expecting that announcement to happen on Tuesday.
Another “almost definite” announcement is a long-rumored new iPad, either a 10.8-inch iPad or an iPad Air 4. The new device is expected to mimic the iPad Pro’s design with less-prominent bezels surrounding the display and no Home button. The device is rumored to either use Face ID or a Touch ID-equipped power button for authentication. Should the new iPad appear, it’s like to be a USB-C device.
Why no iPhone 12 announcement?
It’s thought that Apple is waiting for more of the devices to be produced and in inventory before making the announcement, and constraints in the supply chain earlier this year due to COVID-19 slowed down that production. When it does arrive — perhaps in October — the new iPhone series is expected to consist of four different models in two pricing tiers. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max are expected to have 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch OLED displays, while the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will feature 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screens.
The Pro series is rumored to offer 10-bit color depth and 120Hz ProMotion for the displays and an extra 12-megapixel telephoto camera and the iPad Pro LiDAR sensor for depth mapping. It’s expected that the cameras will also support 4K resolution slo-mo video at 120 and 240 frames per second and an “Enhanced Night Mode.”
Of course, the iPhone 12 should have 5G connectivity, although it’s unknown if support for the faster mmWave “flavor” of 5G will be included with all models.
Be sure to visit The Rocket Yard after the event for our traditional “Deep Dive” into the announcements.
Apple put a fun Augmented Reality (AR) Easter egg into the announcement. Go to apple.com on your iPhone or iPad, scroll down to the announcement, and then tap the curvy logo. Here’s what you’ll see:
Hmmmm… makes you wonder if Apple will introduce something dealing with augmented reality, doesn’t it?