What to expect at Apple’s September event – and what not to – AppleInsider


By William Gallagher

Friday, August 23, 2019, 01: 01 pm PT (04: 01 pm ET)

There’ll be iPhones, of course, but Apple has a lot more to offer that it could choose to reveal. Based only on the most solid information from the supply chain, here’s what we can —and can’t —expect to see at this September’s Apple event.

You can expect Tim Cook to say

You can expect Tim Cook to say “good morning” at the September event.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one: there will be new iPhones from Apple in September. That is so firmly fixed in the calendar that you can bet Apple schedules everything, from events to production lines, around making that date. And around making sure nothing else gets in the way of maximum exposure and attention on the new iPhone models.

It’s never a case of what’s ready to be unveiled. It is always about getting the greatest number of people to be the greatest degree of interested they can be, and then translating that into sales.

Which means Apple is always juggling what to say when. It’s become the norm, for instance, to have a separate iPad event because that detracts attention from the phones. And it’s been the norm to include the Apple Watch with the phones, because that was leveraging the phone to promote the new wearable.

Equally, the company is unlikely to get gigantic attention for an event that solely uncovered, say, a sixth generation of the Apple TV hardware. So while there are rumors of every Apple device under the sun getting an update, you can be certain that most of them will not.

Based on supply chain information, availability of updated processors, and a little historical perspective, here’s what’s definitely coming.

New “iPhone Pro,” or “iPhone 11”

There will be new iPhones and there will be three of them. The most recent rumors, with reasonably solid sources in the supply chain, say that they will indeed be called the “iPhone 11” range.

The equivalent of the current base model, the iPhone XR, is expected to be called the “iPhone 11.” The updated iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are expected to be called the “iPhone 11 Pro” and “iPhone 11 Pro Max.” We’ve said before that ‘Pro’ is just a name, but we’ve also said before that it’ll be expensive.

New iPhones are the only absolutely guaranteed product to come in September

New iPhones are the only absolutely guaranteed product to come in September

Indications are that it will be the 2020 iPhones that gain 5G, so there’s an argument that this year’s models won’t be an especially significant update. However, all reasonable evidence points to the primary update for the “iPhone 11” to be the addition of a square camera cutout to the range —and that’s going to be bigger than it might seem.

The base model, the replacement for the iPhone XR, is thought to have two camera lenses, but the others will have a triple-lens system which includes a wide-angle lens.

A report in Bloomberg claims that software within iOS will be able to automatically combine photos from the different lenses and apply corrections or improvements to low-light images.

The same report expects “significant” improvements to video recording, include the ability to add effects in camera instead of after filming.

There have been reports that the iPad Pro will also get a triple-camera system, but we’re not expecting to see those until October.

Last updated: September 2018

Likelihood at September event: certain

Apple Watch

Recent EEC filings include four brand new model numbers for the Apple Watch.

Away from filings with external regulatory bodies, there has also been evidence within Apple’s own watchOS beta releases. Images within the software include references to a Titanium model —and the return of the beloved Ceramic version.

Apple Watches are close to certain, and it looks like we'll have new casings

Apple Watches are close to certain, and it looks like we’ll have new casings

Other than this one point about materials, there hasn’t been any solid detail about new Apple Watches. So it’s not certain that there will be an “Apple Watch Series 5” yet.

However, the software that contained these images is the already-announced watchOS 6, which Apple has said will add enhanced health features plus the Watch’s own App Store.

New Apple Watch features and materials are ready to go, then, so given that and Apple’s history with the wearable, you can put money on seeing Kevin Lynch unveiling it at the September event.

If you don’t put money on it, you can put that money toward buying one shortly afterwards.

Last updated: September 2018

Likelihood at September event: certain, to some extent

New Macs

For once, we do know from Apple itself that there is at least one new Mac coming —but we do not know that it will be shown at the September event. The 2019 Mac Pro is due soon, but really we’ve seen it unveiled back in June, alongside the Pro Display XDR.

There wouldn’t be a lot of point having a second unveiling, and the audience for the new Mac Pro doesn’t seem like the same one that will be tuning in to the keynote for the 2019 iPhones.

We already want a new Mac Pro, so there's little benefit to Apple of showing it again

We already want a new Mac Pro, so there’s little benefit to Apple of showing it again

However, Apple’s website briefly stated that the Mac Pro and the monitor would be coming in September.

Previously we might all have reasonably put two and two together to assume that Apple must be showing it at the September event. Now, though, we’re becoming used to the company releasing even quite major hardware update with a press release.

That’s what it did in March with the iPad Air and the iPad mini. Apple brought those out ahead of its March 25 event so that we all knew there would be no hardware at that Apple TV+ and Apple News+ launch.

So perhaps the Mac Pro will ship in September, but it seems unlikely to be featured in the event.

Last updated: 2013.

Likelihood at September event: low

MacBook Pro

Persistent, detailed and seemingly solid rumors from supply chain sources say that Apple is going to make a new 16-inch MacBook Pro.

A new MacBook Pro 16-inch model is highly likely to be coming —but very unlikely to be shown in September.

A new MacBook Pro 16-inch model is highly likely to be coming —but very unlikely to be shown in September.

These same rumor sources have the new model retaining the existing 15-inch model’s chassis, and featuring a bigger screen because of narrower bezels.

The machine has been rumored to be entering production in September with coming in October.

It’s hard to call this one, but we expect the October date is correct and there will be no sign of the 16-inch MacBook Pro at Apple’s September event.

There certainly won’t be any sign of the rest of the MacBook Pro range. The 13-inch model was updated in July, along with the MacBook Air, and the 15-inch was refreshed only this May.

Last updated: The 15-inch MacBook Pro was updated in May. The 16-inch model (obviously) has yet to be revealed.

Likelihood at September event: low

New iMac and iMac Pro

The regular iMac got an update back in March. It didn’t sound like the biggest of updates, since it kept the same design it’s had since 2012, but a new processor and new graphics card made significant improvements.

The iMac Pro is overdue for a significant update, but we're not expecting this in September either.

The iMac Pro is overdue for a significant update, but we’re not expecting this in September either.

Those improvements closed some of the gap between this normal iMac and the previously top of the range iMac Pro. And that iMac Pro hasn’t really progressed since its late 2017 debut, though it did have a minor refresh in March this year.

So the chances of a new iMac Pro coming are high, but we’d still say they’re low for it being in the September event. Since that event is unquestionably going to center on the iPhones, it doesn’t feel like a good fit to wedge in a pro user desktop at the same time.

Last updated: iMac 4K and iMac 5K in March 2019. The iMac Pro shipped in December 2017.

Likelihood at September event: low

New iPad Pro

If we’re going to see anything more than the iPhones and the Apple Watch at the September event, it is more likely to be an updated iPad or iPad Pro than it is a Mac.

Still, even though we can be sure that there is a new iPad Pro model on the way, the smart money says it will be their own event in October. Apple does not always follow up its September iPhone events with an October one about other hardware, however, and this year there is more going on than ever.

Alongside the certainty that a new Mac Pro is coming shortly, and the high probability that so is a 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has committed to launching Apple TV+ and Apple TV channels in the fall.

There's no chance of a new iPad in September. Now, October, that's a different matter.

There’s little chance of a new iPad Pro in September, but it’s not impossible.

Summer officially ends on September 23, so while the fall could mean any time from then on, October or November is a fair bet. If Apple is looking to make a big Apple TV+ splash October, the company is also going to be weighing up when or even whether to have an iPad event too.

Only they know what they’re planning for the rest of year, so only they could predict whether iPads will be brought forward to the September event, or not.

When they come, it’s been reported that the two models of iPad Pro might gain a triple-lens rear camera like the iPhone.

Last updated: iPad Pro was updated last October

Likelihood at September event: 50/50

New iPads

This report about a triple-lens camera for the iPad Pro claims that a 10.2-inch iPad could gain a dual-sensor system. That would be similar to how the current iPhone XS works, but perhaps more significantly, the report assumes that this entry-level iPad will gain a larger screen.

Currently the regular iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and the iPad Air that has a 10.5-inch one. While the report isn’t verified, this detail fits with previous claims by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

There are the same reasons to place the new iPads and perhaps iPad Air in October as there are for the iPad Pro models, but there are also the same reasons to say a September launch is possible.

Last updated: iPad Air and iPad mini were updated in March 2019, but the regular iPad was March 2018

Likelihood at September event: 50/50

Other hardware

Apple does also make AirPods, which have been updated once already this year, and the Apple TV 4K, which hasn’t.

That Apple TV 4K, the hardware device rather than the service, hasn’t really been touched since September 2017, and under other circumstances, we’d say Apple has forgotten it.

Except Apple really, really has not forgotten the service Apple TV+ and that makes a difference. If, as seems likely, Apple TV+ will at least be mentioned at the September event, then you are guaranteed to see the Apple TV 4K hardware shown on screen.

It just might be the same old one. There have been no rumors, no supply chain evidence, not even any chatter about a new box. What there has been, directly from Apple and others, is news of Apple TV being incorporated within TV sets made by other companies.

There will be mention of the Apple TV+ service, but there's no sign of updated Apple TV hardware.

There will be mention of the Apple TV+ service, but there’s no sign of updated Apple TV hardware.

And there has also been much made of the software, tvOS, which has been in beta testing and will release alongside the new iOS, macOS and watchOS in September.

The forthcoming iOS 13 is going to bring new features to HomePod, at least through the updated Siri Shortcuts, but otherwise Apple’s music speaker seems unlikely to get a mention. Again, there are no supply chain rumors about it.

There has been one suggestion about the Apple Pencil, which is both that it will work with the new iPhones, and that there will be a new, shorter model.

We don’t have enough evidence to call it either way on the Apple Pencil working with the new iPhones. However, since the bulk of the Pencil is battery, we do know that making a shorter one would radically impact battery life and that seems a bit un-Apple-like.

Likelihood at September event: low

Show us something

If we sound like we think little is likely to be shown at the September event, it’s because we are. Every year there are rumors of every possible thing being launched or unveiled or released at every event. Invariably, Apple then gets a bad press for having failed to release something it never intended to.

These events launch precisely the products and exactly the number of them that Apple calculates will have maximum impact. That will include unveiling anything that helps increase that impact, that bolsters the benefits of the products.

In the new operating systems, there are hooks for nearly everything that Apple announced back in March. So, while it may not be day and date with the new iPhone, it won’t be long afterwards.

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.

Read More

Add Comment