Biggest Apple Event Yet: How to Watch and What to Expect

Apple will finally take the wraps off its long-awaited 10th anniversary iPhone today at a media event in Cupertino, starting at 1pm E.T.

CEO Tim Cook will showcase new devices inside the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Theater overlooking the sprawling Apple Park headquarters, which just opened in April.

Here’s a quick summary of what we’re expecting to see at next week's event, followed by a closer look at each potential announcement.

What to Expect

How to Watch Apple's Sept. 12 Event

Apple will kick things off at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Sept. 12. If you can't be at the company's Cupertino headquarters for the big reveal, you can at least be there in spirit by watching Apple's live stream. If you're on a laptop, tablet or phone, just head to Apple's website for a streaming feed of the event. The live stream uses Apple's HTTP Live Streaming technology, which requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 9.0 or later, a Mac with Safari on macOS El Capitan or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

Apple's invitation to its Sept. 12 event. (Credit: Apple)

(Image credit: Apple's invitation to its Sept. 12 event. (Credit: Apple))

You've got another option for following along if you have an Apple TV. Just tune in to that streaming device's Apple events channel and you can watch a live feed. Just make sure you've got a fourth-generation Apple TV or a second- or third-generation model running the 6.2 version of the Apple TV software.

What will you see should you tune in? Here's a rundown of the expected announcements.

iPhone X

The build-up to the 10th anniversary iPhone announcement has been intense, to say the least. Rumor has it that Apple is ditching bezels for an edge-to-edge OLED display with no physical home button. The new phone, which could cost close to $1,000, is also expected to feature facial recognition for unlocking the phone and authenticating payments, wireless charging, improved cameras for augmented reality apps, smarter image processing software and a virtual home button like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8. And now it looks like we know what the new phone will be called — firmware leaks point to a device called the iPhone X.

MORE: iPhone X Rumor Roundup

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Apple is also reportedly making incremental improvements to its popular iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The new models won’t cost as much as the iPhone X though they will lack its cutting-edge features. Still, expect wireless charging, camera enhancements and faster performance from the new A11 chip. Because of those changes, Apple is likely to call those phones the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

Apple may ship these more modest updates first, with a new report claiming that the iPhone X will arrive later in the year.

Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE

We’re hearing that the Apple Watch is being freed from the iPhone with a cellular modem when the Series 3 debuts in September. An LTE Apple Watch would require a data plan, so Apple has reportedly locked in deals with major wireless carriers, including T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.

Apple waited 18 months between the launch of the original Apple Watch and last year's Series 2 update, so it's possible Apple could push the new version of the watch in 2018. But unveiling new watches this fall would give Apple something else to sell during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

4K Apple TV

Apple is reportedly slated to refresh its streaming set-top box with new hardware capable of streaming 4K content. The updated Apple TV will sport a faster processor that will position it on an even playing field with rivals like Roku. Apple is also rumored to be working on a more capable TV app that can pull in shows from apps that offer live-streaming.

HomePod and Other News

Apple already took the wraps off its upcoming HomePod speaker during its developer conference in June. But we could be in for a return performance from this $349 Amazon Echo rival, in which Apple reveals more features and talks about how it might integrate with any of the other devices unveiled at this show.

Speaking of previously announced product announcements, expect iOS 11 — also previewed at the Apple developer conference — to get some stage time, as Apple talks up how its updated mobile operating system will work with the latest iPhones. We'll likely hear about when iOS 11 will be available for download, and don't be surprised if macOS High Sierra gets a ship date, too.

Finally, Apple may be planning a modest AirPods update that features a charging case with a more visible status light to be released alongside the iPhone X.

We’ll be on the ground bringing you all the news from the event, so mark your calendars for 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern.

Image Credit: Apple