The next gadget-announcing Apple Event has been officially confirmed for Tuesday September 15, and we’re expecting several new devices to be revealed. Here’s everything we know, and everything we suspect, about the event.
Like WWDC 2020, the September Apple Event is online-only, and will start at 10am PT / 1pm EST / 6pm BST (4am AEDT on September 16 in Australia). Though Apple hasn’t confirmed where to watch it yet, precedent suggests it will be livestreamed on Apple’s website and YouTube.
After rumors of an event on September 8, Apple confirmed the date of September 15 with a cute augmented reality logo in the invite emailed to press. It’s already led to some speculation (blue color in phones? Smooth higher refresh rate screens?), along with the event’s tagline, Time Flies:
See you in 7 days! #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/zDXneII5diSeptember 8, 2020
That isn’t yet confirmed though, so there’s every chance Tim Cook will utter the word “iPhone” on stage. ‘Time Flies’ may be the subtle hint that only the Apple Watch 6 and other devices (perhaps the iPad Air 4, as has been rumored) will be announced though so here’s what we’re expecting to see.
Apple Watch 6
We’d heard multiple rumors that the Apple Watch 6 would be revealed in early September, but on the date we expected to see it revealed, Apple announced the Time Flies event instead. Fair enough – and with a name like that, we can assume we’ll see the smartwatch unveiled on September 15.
We’re not expecting the Apple Watch 6 to drastically differ from its predecessor, but rumors do suggest a few features that could come to the smartwatch. Most likely is an SpO2 sensor to track oxygen levels in blood, which several other wearables in 2020 have come with like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
More outlandish predictions include a patent that suggests the wearable could get a Touch ID fingerprint scanner within the display. Another rumor hints that the watch could even come with a temperature sensor.
iPad Air 4
Rumors suggested the iPad Air 4 would debut in September alongside the Apple Watch 6, and we’re expecting it to be revealed at the Apple Event. Of all the devices that could launch, this is what we’re most expecting after Apple’s next smartwatch.
While we aren’t expecting drastic improvements on the iPad Air 3, the iPad Air 4 could ditch the Lightning port for USB-C and expand from a 10.5-inch screen size to an 11-inch display – both moves that mimic the latest iPad Pro.
Other possible features include switching from Touch ID in the home button to Face ID for biometric authentication – and potentially doing away with the home button entirely, though leaks disagree on whether that will happen.
Based on rumor, the iPad Air 4 could get four stereo speakers and pack the same A14-equivalent chipset as will appear in the iPhone 12.
Since Apple typically reveals its range of iPhones in September of previous years, we expected the iPhone 12 to be on deck to get announced at the Time Flies Apple Event. But that might not be the case.
Gurman elaborated on his claim in a Bloomberg report, explaining that the phones won’t even launch until October. The iPhone 12 will have a new design, updated cameras, and 5G support, per the Bloomberg report.
Rumors and leaks over the past months have outlined what we’re expecting in Apple’s next flagship phones, including a metal case with squared-off edges we haven’t seen since the iPhone 5S, but was recently re-introduced in the latest iPad Pro models.
We’re also expecting four different iPhone 12 models – two cheaper and fewer-featured devices akin to the iPhone 11 (coming in 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch screen sizes), and two pricier versions (in 6.-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes) that will likely be the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. We anticipate one or both of the more expensive models to be 5G-capable, but not the more affordable pair.
We’ve been expecting the Apple AirTags for some time, and since they weren’t revealed at WWDC 2020, the September Apple Event is the next chance we’ll see Apple’s take on Tile-like tracker accessories. It might have been the plan all along, as a leak suggested a dedicated AirTags app would be part of iOS 14, which may be released following the show.
We’ve heard some rumors of how the devices will work – much like Tile, you’ll allegedly be able to track an AirTag (and ergo, whatever it’s clipped to, like keys or a bag) through an iOS app.
But rumors point to other tracking capabilities, like AR capabilities that let users point their cameras around to find digital balloons, which represent misplaced AirTags that are in range of your iPhone. But what if it’s out of range? The rumored ‘Lost Mode’ uses other iPhones as a mesh network to ping the lost AirTag.
iOS 14, watchOS 7 and iPadOS 14
The new phone software – iOS 14 – will likely come out in September that compatible iPhones (the iPhone 6S and newer) will be able to run. We’re likely to hear an exact release date for the new software on September 15, too.
Apple has confirmed iOS 14, watchOS 7 and iPadOS 14 at its WWDC event earlier in the year. If previous years are anything to go by, we’re likely to see all three updates land before the end of the month and we may hear exact release dates on Tuesday.
We may entirely be wrong in our predictions above, and we may be surprised by something entirely different at the event.
So far, it looks almost certain we’ll be seeing a new Apple Watch and a new iPad at the event but it may be that Apple has plans to unveil something else entirely instead.