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Apple Watch 6 and iPad Air 4 killer upgrades confirmed right before Apple Event

Apple Watch 6 and iPad 4 killer upgrades confirmed right before launch
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch 6 and iPad Air 4 will be the stars of the show at the Apple September 15 event — but the upcoming iPhone 12 won't be at the party. 

The Wall Street Journal confirms that tomorrow's product launch will debut the Apple Watch 6 and the iPad Air 4. The Series 6 watch will have a faster processor, a blood oxygen meter and Apple Watch sleep tracking. Meanwhile, the new tablet will look like an iPad Pro but cost less. The releases will be accompanied by software updates iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and watchOS7 this month. 

The Apple Watch is one of the company's bestselling devices and has amassed a 55.5% market share in the global smartwatch market. The new Series 6 will come in the same 40mm and 44mm sizes as the current models. Along with the Apple Watch 6, Apple is reportedly releasing a lower-cost version called the Apple Watch SE, to compete with the likes of cheaper models from Fitbit and Garmin.

The new watchOS 7 has been in beta testing over the summer, and if Apple follows its usual process, it will release the software update a few days before the new watches ship.

The iPad Air 4 represents the first update to the tablet since the relaunch of the product in March 2019. The new model will look like the iPad Pro (no more home button), but use a slower processor and lack some features. However, it'll cost just $499, making it a lot cheaper than the iPad Pro. The WSJ speculates, "A new mid-tier iPad could continue to juice Apple sales as consumers look for devices to help them work and learn from home." 

In addition to the Watch and iPad upgrades, Apple is reportedly unveiling an Apple One bundle combining its news, music, streaming TV and gaming services into one single subscription. The company may also preview a new HomePod speaker, the over-the-ear AirPods Studio headphones, AirTags device trackers and the first Apple Silicon MacBooks. 

The big elephant-sized hole in tomorrow's event, though, is the exclusion of new iPhones. The WSJ confirms that Apple plans to announce four new iPhone 12 models, all with 5G connectivity, in October. That is the latest the company has rolled out iPhones, and it's possible that the iPhone 12 Pro could ship as late as November, as Apple uses a staggered launch to deal with production deals caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.