Every fall, developers and tech enthusiasts anticipate Apple’s announcement and launch of new products and updates. Recently, Apple cryptically announced a “special event” in the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California that will take place on September 12th, 2018. There is, of course, quite a bit of chatter and excitement surrounding this event. This chatter involves some verified leaks, some rumors, as well as some pure speculation. For us at 100grams, our work with iOS apps is affected by Apple's hardware as much as it is by Apple's software, so this event is of great interest to us and our clients. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the recent talking points and anticipated releases at this event.
An updated Apple Watch
It is expected that Apple will release an updated version of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 4. This version is expected to only have versions with LTE connectivity, a better heart rate tracker, and even a watch-to-watch walkie-talkie feature. Additionally, there is evidence from suppliers that Apple will increase the screen size real estate on the 42mm Apple Watch Series 4 to 384x480 resolution from the previous 312x390 resolution. Some analysts also expect Apple to remove physical buttons and the digital crown, and replace these buttons with solid “buttons” that are really just designated areas on the watch with haptic vibration feedback to make them feel like real buttons. This, of course, will help Apple greatly improve the waterproofing of the watch.
It is rumored that Apple will launch a variety of additional iPhone versions at this event, including an updated 5.8-inch version and 6.5-inch version of its famed iPhone X titled the iPhone Xs. There are some rumors that the 6.5-inch version will be labeled the “iPhone Xs Max” and be similar in dimensions to the iPhone Plus models of previous generations. Additionally, Apple is expected to release a cheaper, 6.1-inch iPhone X that will feature an LCD rather than OLED display. Apple is expected to remove the home button from all newly released iPhone models. Relatedly, it is expected that Apple will rely on Face ID technology for security and user verification. The iPhone X releases are expected to be released in a newly available gold color, fitting for a phone that some are jokingly calling the iPhone “excess” (Xs).
New and improved AirPods
You’ve seen your friends and people on the street who basically have their AirPods permanently implanted into their ears. These wireless ear buds have no doubt been a popular product for Apple, and they will certainly get their fair share of stage time on the September 12thevent. It is expected that Apple will make their AirPods “smarter” – likely by adding an embedded chip and native support for Siri. While the expectations are less clear on specifics, analysts expect the new AirPods to have improved noise-cancelling and water resistant or waterproof capabilities. Additionally, many expect Apple to release a much anticipated wireless charging pad that can accommodate the Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods.
Possible other announcements
Apple’s fall events are always surrounded by anticipation, and this is in part due to the fact that there are often some unexpected announcement and surprises. On this front, there is some talk that Apple will release an updated and enhanced Mac Mini computer. While there may be some updates to the Macbook and Macbook Pro laptop lines, these are not expected to come until later in the fall – on this, you can expect the usual enhanced Retina display, battery life, and processing power. Another possible announcement is an update to the Apple HomePod smart speaker. This may be needed too, as the Google Home and Amazon Alexa are providing some tough competition for Apple in this space.
While analysts, supply chain leakers, and Apple aficionados can speculate and predict all they want, we will not truly know what Apple has in store for consumers until September 12th. The event is being held at 10am PDT in the famous Steve Jobs Theater and will be livestreamed to the general public. While Apple hasn’t released livestream specifics, the livestreaming should be accessible directly on the Apple website at the time of the event. Stay tuned on our 100grams blog too, as we'll post our comments on the event shortly after September 12th.
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