Gadgets for humans

What to expect from Apple’s September 12 iPhone event

2018-08-27_18h12_13

Apple’s hosting its annual fall event on September 12, and that means new iPhones – and maybe a bunch of other things too.

As usual, leaks and rumors have already painted a picture of what to expect. That said, everything we know is based on unofficial information; it’s obvious Apple is announcing a new iPhone, but there’s a chance the rumors won’t get all the details right.

Still, we think we have a solid idea of what’s coming, so without further ado, here’s what might be announced on September 12.

Almost certainly

iPhone XS: The most obvious announcement is the successor to the current 5.8-inch iPhone X. According a report by 9to5Mac, the device is likely to be called the iPhone XS (perhaps stylized as ‘Xs’), maintaining the tradition of having a major design changed followed by a less dramatic spec bump.

Credit: 9to5Mac
iPhone XS leak coutesy of 9to5Mac

We’re expecting upgraded internals, probably including a camera upgrade, though it will still have two cameras as before. Though the phone will use a Lightning connector, it seems the charger canle may come with a USB-C connector on the other end. The main benefit to this is enabling fast charging without having to buy a separate power brick, as well as connecting to modern MacBooks without a single.

The phone is also expected to be available in gold, joining the existing white and gray options.

iPhone XS Max: We’ve long heard Apple is planning to release a 6.5-inch iPhone, making it the largest screen we’ve seen on an Apple handset so far. This one will look very much like a bigger iPhone XS, andawill likely include much of the same internals, though Apple tends to save a few extras like a bigger battery, more RAM, or an extra camera for the larger model. The most notable difference might be in the software; Apple may allow the Max to run two apps side by side, like a tiny iPad.

iPhone XC: Perhaps the most interesting announcement is a more budget-friendly model, possibly dubbed the iPhone XC. It uses a 6.1-inch screen, slotting between the other two models, and will also come equipped with Face ID (and the resulting notch). We don’t know the exact price, but it will likely be under $1,000; it’s made for all the people who bought the cheaper iPhone 8 instead the iPhone X.

Credit: Martin Hajek/iDropNews
A concept of an iPhone ‘Xc’ by iDropNews. That said, it’s currently believed the iPhone Xc will only have one rear camera.

It will achieve this low price point by incorporating an LCD display instead of the fancier OLED technology on the other models, as well as using aluminum over the more expensive steel. It’s also expected to only have one rear camera, as opposed to the dual-camera setup on the other phones. It’s not clear whether there will be other spec downgrades, but Apple at least tends to keep the processor the same across its releases.

On the plus side, it’s expected to be available in a variety of colors a la iPhone 5c, hence the nickname ‘XC’ in rumors so far.

Apple Watch Series 4: The main difference this time around will be a signficantly larger screen, achieved by reduced bezels rather than increasing the body size. It’s expected to have a 384 x 480 resolution, which combined with the larger screen will allow watch faces to fit in much more information. Just look at all the details in the below image.

Credit: 9to5Mac

Otherwise, you can expect the usual spec bumps, though hopefully Apple has some new tricks up its sleeve too.

Pun intended.

Maybe

MacBook Air Replacement:  Here’s a curious one. The MacBook Air is Apple’s cheapest laptop – it starts at $999 – and is thus still one of its most popular. But it’s seriously outdated at this point, and rumors have been firing at full force suggesting a MacBook Air replacement is on the way.

It’s not clear whether this new MacBook will also carry the ‘Air’ moniker, but Bloomberg reports it will come with small bezels and Retina display. The improved resolution is particularly welcome – the 13-inch MacBook Air currently sports an abysmal 1440 by 900 resolution and isn’t exactly great in the color department either. 

The question is more ‘when’ than ‘if.’ New Mac designs usually get their own event or are the major highlight of WWDC. I’d expect the new MacBook sometime this year, but it’s not clear if Apple will announce it during the iPhone event or during an even later in the year. Sometimes Apple does a quiet, eventless refresh, but that’s unlikely given the major new design we’re expecting.

The old Mac Mini

Mac Mini: Pretty much the same applies for the above in terms of likelihood; it’s a matter of whether Apple wants to jam pack all these big announcements into one event.

The Mac Mini is even more long-in-the-tooth than the MacBook Air, as it’s been four years since it received any kind of update. It’s Apple’s cheapest computer at $499, but it’s expected the new model will include a significant redesign oriented at professionals. That will also likely include a price hike, but it’s not clear if that will affect the entire range of configurations or only the top specifications.

New iPad Pro:  In the last few days, a new MacBook Pro leak has hit the interwebs through @OnLeaks and @Mysmartprice. The images are CAD-based renders and shows a very different looking iPad with much smaller bezels and sharper sides edge. It’ll also come with Face ID at the top of the screen, forcing the keyboard to be used in vertical mode rather than horizontal.

OnLeaks himself says he can’t confirm the leak is 100 percent accurate though, so take the final design with a dose of caution. MySmartPrice claims it will be launched at the September 12 event, but we’ve not heard much corroborating this report.

Other Stuff

New AirPods: We first heard in February that Apple is planning on releasing new AirPods with water resistance and tighter Siri integration – mainly, not having to tap on the headphones first. It might also come with wireless charging integration.

New OSes: We expect iOS 12 and Watch OS 5 to be made public following the event. Depending on whether the MacBook’s are announced then, perhaps macOS Mojave will become public too.

Something related to Apple’s new HQ? This one’s a bit of a wild shot, but Apple’s prominent placement of its new campus on the event invite is a little unusual. Apple already hosted last year’s iPhone event at its new HQ, so it’s not as if next week’s event will be an unveiling. Apple could announce updates around its new campus, though it’s not clear what these may be.

No new Mac Pro: Apple has already confirmed it’s not coming this year. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a teaser, but it’s slated for 2019.

You can watch the event on Apple’s website on September 12 at 10AM Pacific Time. Keep in mind you’ll have to use Safari on an Apple device or Edge on Windows for the livestream to work. We’ll keep this post updated if any other news pops up in the days leading up to the event; stay tuned to Plugged for more.

Published September 6, 2018 — 23:14 UTC