After months of waiting, we’ll finally get our first true look at Apple’s new iPhones at tomorrow’s Sept. 12 special event, held at the company’s Steve Jobs Theater on its Cupertino, Calif. campus. The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. local time, or 1 p.m. Eastern.
While new iPhones are certainly the headline act, they aren’t the only thing we expect to see. A Series 4 Apple Watch is heavily rumored, and there have been some rumblings on a new iPad, potentially a follow-up to the Apple TV 4K and even some MacBooks.
Before you fire up your live stream of the Sept. 12 event, better familiarize yourself with what could be making an appearance. Here's the probability of all the devices Apple could announce.
This is a lock, of course. The 2018 batch of iPhones — believed to represent three devices — will be the star of the show tomorrow. We expect the lineup to consist of en entry-level 6.1-inch, LCD-powered device, rumored to be called the iPhone Xc, as well as two OLED models measuring 5.8 and 6.5 inches. They’ll reportedly be called the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, respectively.
The iPhone Xc is likely to feature a design very similar to that of the current iPhone X, albeit with slightly thicker bezels. Face ID should be along for the ride, though rumors point to Apple dropping Touch ID fingerprint sensing for this cheaper model. The iPhone Xc has been pegged to cost $699, just like the current iPhone 8, while the iPhone Xs may start at $799 or higher, and should repeat the proportions of the iPhone X we have now. The range-topping iPhone Xs Max should assume the $999 slot. All three phones are expected to employ Apple’s next-generation processor, likely to be called the A12.
Odds: 100 percent
iOS 12 and macOS Mojave
At WWDC we were treated to early looks at iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. Betas of both operating systems were promptly released after the announcement, and now’s about the time we can expect full releases. That means Apple should have some dates to share about when you can download the new operating systems.
In previous years, Apple has launched the public release of a new iOS version several days to a week after a new iPhone announcement. In iOS 11’s case last year, that was Sept. 19 — exactly a week after the iPhone X event, which took place Sept. 12. As for Mojave, 2017’s High Sierra was available for download on September 25, and there’s no reason to expect the schedule to be significantly different this time around. Both updates should be out well before the end of the month.
Odds: 100 percent
Apple Watch Series 4
Last year, Apple carved out some time at its mostly iPhone-centric September event to roll out upgrades to the Apple Watch, and we expect the same to happen this year. The Apple Watch Series 4 has been rumored to support LTE across all models. The new watches will likely feature ceramic backs for all models and the addition of a new EKG sensor for measuring your heart’s electrical activity.
A leaked press render making the rounds courtesy of 9to5Mac also depicts a notable design tweak in the form of a larger screen. The new display is purported to be 15 percent larger than that of the outgoing model. The added space may be used to allow for additional complications, or tiny widgets, surrounding the face.
Odds: 90 percent
Last year, Apple announced its AirPower charging pad, coinciding with the introduction of wireless charging to the iPhone lineup. The accessory was supposed to launch shortly after the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X, but it’s been a year and we’re still waiting for the AirPower to hit store shelves. All the while, competitors like Mophie and Griffin have been gobbling up Apple’s market for wireless chargers, completely uncontested by Cupertino itself.
In other words, it's been long enough. And that's why we think a launch date will finally be revealed Wednesday. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported in July that sources said the AirPower mat would go on sale by the end of September. If that holds true, the event would be the perfect place to make such an announcement.
As to why AirPower has been delayed, insiders speculate it could have something to do with the complexity of packing the whole base full of charging coils for various different types of devices, so they can receive power no matter where they are placed. The potentially high price of the pad may also be an aspect Apple’s been trying to curb, as some analysts say it could cost as much as $150. Hopefully, we’ll know for certain after tomorrow.
Odds: 90 percent
New iPad Pro
While all eyes are on the iPhone, it’s quite possible Apple could have its most profound changes in store for a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Professional-looking renders of a radical design containing an edge-to-edge display, redesigned Smart Connector and Face ID-enabled front cameras were shared by Steve Hemmerstoffer, a.k.a. @OnLeaks, in early September.
Other rumors suggest the new iPad Pro may have a USB Type-C port in place of the Lightning connector, to allow compatibility with a greater number of accessories as well as faster charging. While there’s little doubt that Apple has something in store for its new tablet, we’re not quite convinced we’ll see the device on Wednesday’s stage, potentially leaving it for an announcement to come later during the fall — perhaps in October.
Odds: 50 percent
New Apple TV
The Apple TV 4K, the latest revision of Apple’s streaming box, debuted alongside the iPhone X and iPhone 8 last September. The Apple TV doesn’t typically see annual updates in the vein of the company’s smartphones — they tend to pop up every other year or so. That makes it unlikely that the company would be so quick to introduce an Apple TV 4K successor before 2019, but Apple may talk up tweaks to its tvOS.
Odds: 33 percent
Wait, Apple still makes Macs?
As with the iPad Pro, the rumor mill is stirring about potential updates to Apple’s entry-level MacBooks, though an event focused on phones might not be the proper venue to share those details. A less-expensive 13-inch model has been bandied about, possibly as a replacement for the aged MacBook Air, while others have suggested a revamp of the humble Mac mini.
Historically speaking, Apple’s computers tend not to share the same stage with its smartphones, especially when stage time is limited. October, on the other hand, does have a precedent for these kinds of unveilings — the 2016 event that introduced the Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro is one notable example — so that seems to be the likelier timeframe for reveals on the Mac front.
Odds: 10 percent
If you’re the gambling sort, the safest bet seems to be new iPhones, a new Apple Watch, the full release of the AirPower charging pad and software updates getting all the attention Wednesday. Meanwhile, iPad and Mac news may have to wait another day.
We’ll be covering the event right from the Steve Jobs Theater and will be following up with our impressions on Apple’s latest hardware from the demo floor.