Every September, Apple takes the wraps off new iPhones. You can almost set your watch by the annual event.
But the number of devices the Cupertino company announces has grown beyond its best-selling product. Now you can bet we’ll see more than just a couple new iPhones on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
Here’s what to expect from Apple this week.
Three New iPhones
Apple has not one, not two, but three new iPhones in store this year, if rumors prove true. Unlike last year’s launch, which also see three new phones, this year’s lineup will share the controversial notched display that Apple reserved for the 2017 iPhone X.
The iPhone XS, XS Max (or XS Plus) and the iPhone 9 will reportedly sport the same design, but in varying sizes and materials. The 5.8-inch XS and 6.5-inch XS Max are expected to have OLED displays and dual-lens cameras, while the 6.1-inch iPhone 9 will reportedly have an LCD screen and a lone rear-facing lens. All three phones will be built on Apple’s next-gen A12 processor, which will make them more powerful than past iPhones.
The lower-priced iPhone 9 is rumored to cost $750; the iPhone XS is expected to be $899; and the supersized iPhone XS Max or Plus will top out at $1,000 for the base model.
We’re also hoping for a few surprises from Apple to convince us that an upgrade is worth it.
Time for New Apple Watches
The iPhone’s screen-to-body ratio dramatically improved with last year’s iPhone X, as Apple shrunk the bezels. Now the Apple Watch is expected to get the same treatment, with a 38mm and 42mm Series 4 with a much larger display in the same size case.
Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the smaller Apple Watch will have a 1.57-inch screen, up from 1.31 inches, and the larger model will have a 1.78-inch screen, up from 1.54 inches. Potential Apple Watch buyers hoping for a circular screen will likely have to wait — Apple is reportedly sticking to the rounded square design every Apple Watch has had.
Aside from a refreshed display, we’re also expecting Apple to add more health and fitness features to the watch. Some we already know are included in watchOS 5, such as automatic workout-tracking and one-on-one fitness challenges. But new hardware could include new sensors that track metrics not currently available on the watch.
iPad Pro, Perhaps?
Apple could use its September event to refresh the iPad Pro with brand new 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will apply its iPhone X design to the 11-inch iPad by slimming down the bezels and adding a notch to extend the display. The new version could also ditch the headphone jack and home button, which means Face ID will be used to unlock the device, replacing Touch ID.
But Apple might save the iPad overhaul for an October event, as the company has done in the past. This time around that event could also include a new MacBook Air.
Secret Hope: Sporty AirPods
Apple started selling AirPods almost two years ago, and despite their rocky launch, the wireless earphones have become a huge hit. But it’s time for a refresh, and rumor has it that Apple could debut AirPods 2 at its September event.
What we really want is a pair of fitness-focused AirPods that can survive sweaty workouts and rainy days. (The first-gen version isn’t rated for any level of water resistance.)
Apple is expect to redesign the AirPod charging case so it can be wirelessly charged, just like the iPhone X. This would make sense, given that the AirPower mat will be able to wirelessly charge multiple devices at a time (if it ever goes on sale).
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Apple would add a hands-free Siri feature and noise cancellation to its next-gen AirPods. Just be prepared to pay more for AirPods, as Apple says recent tariffs imposed on China are forcing the company to raise prices.
Apple will almost certainly tout the new features coming in iOS 12, watchOS 5 and macOS Mojave, as well as tease release dates for the public versions of those software upgrades.
We’re also hoping the AirPower charging mat will finally get a launch date, a full year after Apple announced it was coming.
Follow along with us on Wednesday as we report all of Apple’s announcements from Apple Park in Cupertino.