Apple’s always tried to be the most secretive immensely-popular company in tech and, largely, its managed to pull it off. This year’s event, taking place on 15 September (that’s tomorrow, if you’re not reading this after the fact), is a strange one. And that’s because nobody’s willing to say for certain whether Apple’s actually going to be unveiling the new iPhone. They’re also not willing to write it off completely, either.
So… what can you expect from Apple’s Time Flies event, which kicks off at 19:00 tomorrow evening in South Africa? The Apple Watch, certainly. But what else is coming down the pipe?
Watch what they do next
Apple’s new Watch Series 6 should be along, quite possibly headlining tomorrow’s event. That’s the most literal interpretation of ‘Time Flies’, according to just about everyone in the industry.
If When it does show up, the Apple Watch Series 6 should feature improvements all-round, and may just launch with a blood oxygen sensor — which is about the only solid rumour doing the rounds. Hopefully, they’ve beefed up the battery but that’s something we wish for every year and don’t get, so maybe it’s a little too much to hope for.
Something in the Air tonight
We might also be privy to the new Apple iPad Air 4, which’ll be markedly different from previous iterations if industry chatter has any truth to it. It’ll launch rocking an edge-to-edge screen, support for Apple’s Magic Keyboard (abracadabra?), USB-C and TouchID. The standard iPad might also be turning up, with a spec bump to an A12 processor and a larger display. But these details are a little less certain than the Apple Watch Series 6. Because, well, Apple hasn’t mentioned then in the event’s tagline. We think?
Entering the ‘Phone zone
Usually, at this time of year, this paragraph goes right on top. Apple’s September events, historically, have been all about the iPhone. Given how much money the company makes off them each year, that’s not surprising. But 2020, the year that keeps on ‘giving’, has thrown this in doubt. Apple’s said to have four different smartphones set to launch before year-end — a 5.4in iPhone 12 and a 6.1in iPhone 12 Max, and then a 6.1in iPhone 12 Pro and a humongous 6.7in iPhone 12 Pro Max. There’s supposed to be 5G, OLED panels everywhere, as well as the addition of LIDAR to the handsets.
But that’s where things break down a little. There is talk of an October event from Apple, dedicated to the iPhones. Which… makes a kind of sense, if Apple’s unveiling four of the things — and those four things are expected to hit stores later than usual as well. But that’s just it. We’re not entirely sure whether they’ll be announced next month or if they’re going to turn up tomorrow. We’d say… a 60-40 split on the handsets not taking the stage.
A few more things
There are a handful of other possible announcements Apple might make, either tomorrow or at a hypothetical October event. Microsoft has launched its Surface Headphone range, and now it might be Apple’s turn to take a shot at the over-ears market. MacRumours claims that we could see the launch of the AirPods Studio, which comes off looking a little like Beats (which Apple owns) but mostly like something Apple would drop whole and breathing into its ecosystem. Given how popular AirPods are, this doesn’t seem so much like a question of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’. We may see them tomorrow but if we don’t see any iPhones, we’ll almost certainly see the cans alongside the iPhone in October this year.
Apple may also introduce tweaks to its subscriptions, by bundling its services together at various tiers for discounted prices. It’s possible Apple will show off its first 14in MacBook with its own internally-made chipset — but it’s not especially likely. And we might also see Apple AirTags, which are smart Bluetooth (probably) doodads that’ll make sure you never lose the things you attached ’em to. But this batch is mostly maybes. There’s no certainty of their presence at Time Flies at all. It’ll be nice to see them — but we’re not expecting them to show up.
Want to watch all the action, as it unfolds? You can watch it all on Apple’s homepage, if you’re feeling traditional but you can also catch it here (at the video embed above) or on YouTube (same link), on the Stuff website as we get the details (if you’re more of a reader and less of a watcher) or on Twitter — because that’s how Apple rolls these days. Even more so in a time of COVID.