Samsung's Unpacked event is behind us, which means attention is turning to the just-announced Apple Event on Sept. 14. And though the invitation from Apple is suitably vague, we've got a pretty good idea of what could be coming soon from Cupertino.
According to one Mark Gurman's Power-On newsletter for Bloomberg from a few weeks back, Apple's upcoming fall event will feature five devices, a claim which matches previous rumors and leaks we've seen about the company's product plans. Other than the widely anticipated iPhone 13, Gurman says the event will feature the launch of the MacBook Pro 2021, Apple Watch Series 7 and AirPods 3, plus new iPads in the form an iPad mini 6 and a 9th gen iPad aimed at students.
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"Apple Inc. is in full preparation mode for another jam-packed holiday season of device launches," Gurman writes — and given his generally good record around Apple leaks, we have no reason to think he's not right on this.
We don't know if the Sept. 14 event will be a massive product rollout or just the first of many fall releases from Apple. Last year, Apple hosted a trio of events for the Apple Watch and new MacBooks as well as the iPhone 12. Either way, the Apple fall release schedule looks like being a busy one.
Below, we've included a rundown of all the products we can expect to see, as well as their potential features, according to Gurman's latest claims and the other rumors we've heard.
Apple iPhone 13
The main focus of Apple's Sept. 14 event should be the rumored iPhone 13. And as you'd expect, According to Gurman, the iPhone 13 lineup will see slightly fewer dramatic changes than last year's iPhone 12 launch, with Apple reportedly focusing on "upgrading camera features and faster speed, while retaining last year's design."
As has been widely reported, Apple is likely to stick with the same four models introduced with the iPhone 12. The big difference looks like it's going to be a smaller notch on the front display, something we've heard a lot about before.
As for the focus on cameras, Gurman says we're likely going to see "a new video version of Portrait mode dubbed Cinematic Video," improved video recording capabilities in ProRes for the Pro models, plus a new AI-powered filter that could apply various styles/lenses to your photos.
Up until now, rumors have pointed to the iPhone 13 Pro models getting the more significant changes — namely ProMotion technology that allows for a much faster 120Hz refresh rate to be featured on the Pro models. And speaking of screens, Gurman also mentions something Android phones have offered for a while — an always-on display — as an iPhone 13 possibility.
And it will be the iPhone 13, Gurman says, and not the iPhone 12s. In the past, iPhone upgrades that retain the same design as their predecessors have gotten the "S" label, though Apple is apparently pushing forward to a new number this time around.
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple's fall event is also expected to see the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 7, likely at the same time as the iPhone 13. Gurman expects "a bit of a redesign" to Apple's smartwatch, with flatter displays as per previous renders we've seen. He also tips the Watch 7 to come with upgraded screen technology and a faster processor.
The other new feature Gurman teases is called "Time to Run," which would be a variation on Apple's existing "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Fitness Plus subscribers. According to Gurman, we could also see a meditation version of the "Time to Walk" mode, too.
Elsewhere, we've also heard suggestions that the Watch 7 will come with a blood-glucose monitoring feature, although new rumors claim that feature won't show up this time around. Instead, it may take another year for some of Apple's health ambitions to appear in the Apple Watch;
Apple MacBook Pro 2021
Rumors about new MacBook Pro 2021 models have been swirling for months, but as Gurman and others have previously reported, there's reason to think they've been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global chip shortage.
Nevertheless, Gurman believes that the two new models — a MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 and MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 — "should still go on sale by the time the current MacBook Pro [16-inch model] hits its two-year anniversary" in November. That means the laptops could be unveiled during the same fall event as the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch, although it's also possible Apple could hold a separate event for Macs, as it's done in the past — most recently with last year's MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Pro M1 launch.
Gurman didn't go into any detail around the new Macbooks' specs and features, however we've previously seen reports that they could see the return of the SD card reader, the HDMI port and the MagSafe charger — all last featured in the discontinued 2015 models. We've also expecting the laptops both to be powered by a new M1X chipset, while other rumors have included suggestions that they'll have Mini-LED screens, as seen on the iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch).
Apple AirPods 3
Next up on Gurman's list was the AirPods 3, which is rumored to be the new version of Apple's entry-level AirPods.
Apple's latest entry-level wireless earbuds, the AirPods 2, was announced in 2019, but admittedly, wasn't as big of an overhaul, leading to many users opting for the Pro version instead. But if Gurman and others are correct, the AirPods line could be set for its biggest upgrade since its launch in 2016.
According to Gurman the AirPods 3's design will be close to that of the AirPods Pro, mimicking features like the in-ear shape and much shorter stems, but at a cheaper price point. That mirrors previous rumors we've heard about both the design and the pricing.
We'd imagine new AirPods would debut alongside the iPhone 13, so we're counting on this to happen sooner rather than later.
Apple iPad mini 6 & iPad (9th gen)
Again, the iPad mini 6 has long been rumored and again, its arrival is long overdue.
Gurman described the upcoming iPad mini update as the "biggest upgrade ever," reportedly because of far thinner borders and a complete redesign compared to the current model. We've previously seen reports that the iPad mini 6 could get a mini-LED display and resemble the design of the Pro models.
What intrigued us more is that Gurman also expects "a faster ninth-generation iPad coming for students," but he didn't provide any additional details.