If new iPhones aren’t coming at the annual iPhone event, what will Apple release?

Apple Time Flies
Image: Apple

Apple Watch, iPad Air, AirPods most likely to fill void until October



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9 September 2020 | 0

If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that Apple will release new iPhones at an event in September. But if you’re expecting to get a look at the iPhone 12 during Apple’s Time Flies event on 15 September, you may be disappointed.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the annual iPhone event will take place in October since the phones aren’t ready to ship yet. So if new iPhones aren’t coming at the annual iPhone event, what will Apple announce next week?

Apple Watch Series 6

Even without the slogan Time Flies, the Apple Watch is all but guaranteed to land at Apple’s 15 September event. The Apple Watch has shared the September stage with the iPhone since its launch in 2015, and rumours have been swirling that a new model is imminent, with a blood-oxygen sensor, sleep tracking, and all of the new watchOS 7 features, including watch face sharing and hand-washing detection. The new watch will likely be extremely similar to the Series 5 design, with 40mm and 44mm sizes.




Apple Watch ‘Lite’

Another rumor from Bloomberg says that Apple is planning to launch a new Apple Watch to replace the current Series 3 model. It’s unclear what the new model would look like, but it will presumably have the older 38mm and 42mm design but possibly with an updated display and processor. The report says the new watch will compete with fitness devices such as the upcoming Fitbit Versa 3.

If a new Apple Watch flagship is arriving, a cheaper model will logically make its debut. With no Series 4 to slide down into the lower end and the Series 3 looking a little long-in-the-tooth, a new cheap model makes a lot of sense.

iPad Air

Apple’s iPad Air hasn’t been updated since March 2019, but Bloomberg reports that the new iPad Air will follow the design introduced with the iPad Pro back in 2018, with skinny bezels, no home button, and USB-C connectivity. It will also introduce Apple’s first fingerprint sensor built into the power button, reserving Face ID for the Pro models.

The iPad doesn’t usually arrive with the Apple Watch, but this year is different. With the Mac event being dedicated to the Apple silicon transition, an iPad Air launch alongside the Apple Watch and other consumer products seems very plausible.

AirPods Studio

Apple has reportedly been working on a pair of studio headphones for some time, and they might finally make their debut next week. In addition to noise-canceling, Hey Siri support, and the ability to detect when one of the cups isn’t on your ear, AirPods Studio is also rumoured to have “a retro look with oval-shaped ear cups that swivel and a headband connected by thin, metal arms.” According to Bloomberg, the pads and ear cups will be magnetic so you can swap them out.

Why release them now? AirPods Studio aren’t just accessories to the iPhone: Apple Watch and iPad owners can use them too. So they wouldn’t seem out of place at a non-iPhone launch.

Apple Tags

Another persistent rumour pertains to an Apple-branded Bluetooth tracker much like the square Tiles trackers. They would reportedly function in the same way, helping find lost items using proximity data of nearby Apple devices to pinpoint location, as well as the U1 ultra-wideband chip inside newer iPhones.

Apple Tags will be an accessory for products not made by Apple, so they can launch at any time. But they would make a lot of sense if the Apple Watch or iPad Air have U1 chips.

HomePod mini

HomePod is widely considered Apple’s biggest flop in recent years (and still unavailable in Ireland), but Apple isn’t about to give up on it. A new smaller HomePod is reportedly on the way with fewer speakers and a lower price tag.

The HomePod hasn’t been updated since its launch in 2017, and it’s pretty clear that people are more interested in lower-cost smart speakers than high-fidelity ones. A launch alongside AirPods Studio wouldn’t feel out of place.

iOS 14 and iPad OS 14

The only thing Covid-19 hasn’t delayed is Apple’s work on iOS, with betas releasing on time and development moving along as it should. Apple only promised a release this fall, which usually means it will drop a few days before the new iPhones go on sale, but with delays pushing it to late October, Apple could decide to separate iOS from the iPhone this year.

Why it might arrive now: Since watchOS 7 is all but certain to land with the new Apple Watch, and iPad OS 14 would be perfect on the new iPad Air, it wouldn’t be all that strange to release iOS 14 a few weeks before the new iPhones arrive.

IDG News Service

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