New phones, new watches, a new-look iPad and a HomePod Mini? All the new products Apple set to unveil
Thursday - 06/09/2018 03:55
WE’VE rounded up all the rumours and predictions to reveal the shiny new gadgets Apple is expected to announce next week.
APPLE’S annual iPhone launch event is confirmed for September 13 AEST at its Californian HQ.
The fruity tech firm will use the Steve Jobs Theatre at its new Apple Park campus to show off a host of new gadgets — including three possible new iPhone models.
Here’s all the shiny new loot we expect to be unveiled in just a few days.
THREE NEW IPHONES
Apple is almost certainly going to unveil a trio of new iPhones that retain the iPhone X’s notch.
They’re expected to include:
iPhone XS — a straight iPhone X successor, with the same 5.8-inch OLED display, Apple’s new A12 bionic processor, and its updated iOS 12 mobile software.
iPhone XS (plus) — the biggest iPhone ever, with a 6.5-inch OLED screen on a body tipped as the same size as last year’s iPhone 8 Plus, which was only able to pack in a 5.5-inch display. Experts say Apple will ditch the “Plus” moniker, meaning both high-end blowers will be dubbed iPhone XS — just to confuse us all.
iPhone 9 — a more budget device with a 6.1-inch screen that uses a cheaper LCD display and could be available in seven different colours. It’s unclear what this handset will be called.
All three phones will pack the Apple A12 Bionic chip, which will likely be nippier than the A11 found on the 2017 iPhones (itself 25 per cent faster than its predecessor, the A10).
We’re also expecting performance gains from iOS 12, the next major version of Apple’s iPhone software.
Apple has boosted performance and app loading times with the update, so your next iPhone should feel much faster to use.
It seems like Apple is sticking with the popular (but expensive) OLED screens for at least two of this year’s iPhone models — compared to just one in 2018.
OLED screens can display a wider range of colours, and have improved contrast (so brighter whites and darker blacks).
They’re expensive to make, inevitably driving the cost of your phone up.
In terms of Apple’s release strategy, the two OLED models are predicted to hit stores on September 21. Supply chain hiccups mean the budget LCD iPhone could be delayed until October.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 4
Another dead cert for September 13 AEST is the new Apple Watch 4.
Apple’s current smartwatch was unveiled the same time last year (it was released on September 22) and the same could hold true for the new model.
Rumours suggest a 15 per cent larger screen, bigger battery, maybe an official sleep tracking app, and EKG tech.
EKGs (or ECGs or electrocardiograms) boast more in-depth information than the standard heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch 3, by using electricity currents to gauge your heart’s behaviour.
Meanwhile, Apple could achieve that bigger display by trimming down on the bezels (the Apple Watch 3 has some noticeable borders that could be jettisoned on its successor).
That of course means more information squeezed onto the digital face. And all of this with barely a change to the size.
Apple’s smartwatches have historically come in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm, and two types, GPS and GPS + cellular — expect the same this time round.
Lastly, there’s watchOS 5 with improved health-tracking perks, a new walkie-talkie feature, and a Podcast app.
Aside from the larger display, the biggest design departure could be the introduction of solid-state buttons that sense touch instead of clicking or moving up and down.
More excitingly: does that circle on the invite indicate a new model with a round face? There’s not long till we find out.
NEW IPAD PRO
Apple already released a cheaper iPad this year for students and teachers. But it could be saving its big gun for the main event.
Judging by the stunning renders we’ve seen, the new iPad Pro will pack an edge-to-edge display, ditching the home button, and giving you more screen without much (if any) increase in overall size.
Clues from inside the iOS 12 code also point toward FaceID: the tech found on the iPhone X that unlocks the phone by scanning your face.
That also likely means Animoji and Memoji — Apple’s cute emoji avatars that mimic your facial movements in messages and (soon) group video calls.
With no mention of pricing and models, our best bet is to examine past trends.
The 2017 iPad Pro comes in two sizes: 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch with more dosh tacked on for extra like added storage (up to 512GB) and Wi-Fi plus cellular connectivity.
Ultimately, that means that the top of the range 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 512GB storage and Wi-Fi and cellular costs a whopping $1719 from the Australian Apple store.
Whether or not we’ll see a price hike like we did with the iPhone X remains to be seen.
Apple HomePod Mini
The bronze circle on the Apple invite has some guessing a new cylindrical smart speaker is on the way — though it could just be a nod to the disc-shaped Apple Park campus.
Both Apple’s chief tech rivals boast a range of AI-powered audio gadgets — Amazon’s Echo range currently spans a handful of products and Google now boasts three gizmos (the Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max).
A HomePod Mini would naturally be the next smart speaker from Apple, offering a cheaper alternative to the $A499 original.
If the rumours turn out to be true, it will pack Apple’s love-it-or-hate-it digital assistant Siri under the hood.
And, if you believe the reports coming out of China, it will be a Beats branded gadget.
It will obviously be smaller than its bigger sibling, but it could borrow its cylindrical design with fabric mesh exterior (only with more colour options, if we’re lucky).
That would ultimately mean a reduction in audio quality — the original HomePod was praised for its stellar sound, but cost-reduction will inevitably impact its defining feature.
Finally, will it break free of Apple’s ecosystem to give us access to Spotify alongside Apple Music? Don’t get your hopes up.
EVERYTHING ELSE APPLE COULD UNVEIL
iPhone SE 2 — this follow-up to Apple’s dinky 2016 iPhone SE with a 4-inch screen is rumoured to pack more display and even FaceID.
AirPower — announced around a year ago, Apple’s wireless charging pad should work with both its new iPhones and 2017 models, the Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, and AirPods.
New Macs and MacBooks — Apple released a new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro in July, but we could still see a new MacBook Air with Retina Display, new iMacs and a new Mac Mini on September 13 AEST.
AirPods — rumours suggest a higher-end pair of Apple’s wireless earbuds are in the works with noise-cancellation, water resistance and wireless charging.
Beats over-ear headphones — rumblings of wireless headphones with Beats branding emerged in February, with no word since then.
Streaming service — Apple has been pouring millions into high-profile shows and music documentaries which are all expected to live inside its own Netflix rival.