Put down your Pumpkin Spice latte and pick up your iPhone, because it’s almost autumn, and any Apple fan worth their AirPods knows that means it’s also upgrade season. Apple is holding a live event on Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. PT. at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif., and speculation is rampant about the next iPhone, whether an updated Apple Watch update is coming, and all other manner of Apple rumors.
One thing’s as certain as a hair joke about Apple’s well-coiffured software engineering chief Craig Federighi: There will be new iPhones announced at the Apple event. But what more? Here’s what experts predict Apple CEO Tim Cook and company to reveal:
Apple iPhone X will get updated
New Apple iPhones are all but guaranteed, but the devil is in the details, and 9to5Mac has done some excellent sleuthing during the past two weeks. Within hours of the Apple event being announced, the news site revealed two new iPhones were to be unveiled. Coming with 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED displays, the new Apple handsets will reportedly be named iPhone XS.
As for the new iPhones’ storage, speed, color, and other details, there’s remains a lot of guessing, but few guarantees. The new iPhone will likely have a faster chip than iPhone X, possibly a camera spec bump, a bigger battery on the larger handset (and you’ll need more power to drive that bigger 6.5-inch display). IPhone S-models are typically where Apple rewards more patient upgraders with gotta-have features. For instance, digital voice assistant Siri was introduced on the iPhone 4S and Touch ID for unlocking phones using fingerprints to verify identity rolled out on the 5S. Speculation is that Apple may turn on the iPhone’s NFC capabilities so users can bump their phones together to transfer money to each other through Apple Pay. But if I had an Apple Buck for every rumor I’ve heard like this, I’d be a rich man with a dented iPhone.
But if you want a sure bet, here it is: Apple engineers won’t kill the iPhone X’s ugly, camera-and-sensor-packing notch in its otherwise crisp, colorful display—at least not this time around. But, you know the old saying: “There’s an app for that.”
Apple Watch Series 4 will be announced
In addition to breaking the iPhone XS news, 9to5Mac also revealed plans for the Apple Watch Series 4, a big update to the existing models because it is rumored to have a 15% larger screen area, attained by reducing the wearable’s bezel (the dark, non-display area around the screen).
If true, that means there won’t be a round Apple Watch in the foreseeable future, much to the dismay of many holdouts who want a more traditional looking timepiece.
Apple Music will try to drown out the competition
With more than 50 million users (as of May 2018), Apple Music has slowly encroached on Spotify’s turf (and its 75 million users) over the past year. But one of the knocks on Apple’s streaming music service is that it’s not that easy to use, Siri-compatibility aside. Still, it’s worth noting that in recent days Apple has rolled out new features like its Friends Mix music suggestion functionality, as well simply cleaned up its hard-to-flick-through artists pages. These are incremental changes, to be sure, but look for them to make more sense once Apple executives explain the service’s updates, refresh its subscriber numbers, and lay the groundwork for future improvements.
Apple will ‘Air’ out more gear
Announcing a new iPhone is huge news, especially when you consider that in the third quarter, 56% of Apple’s revenue came from iPhone sales. But Apple knows full well that these handsets are portals to other products and services, revenue from which increasingly pads the company’s bottom line. In fact, Apple’s wearables business alone (everything from watch bands to Beats headphones) is equal to that of a Fortune 300 company, according to Cook. Apple’s AirPods, the Tic-Tac box-sized wireless earbuds that iPhone-owners love, are rumored to be next for an upgrade, and revealing it during the iPhone announcement would be the natural time to do it. Among the features allegedly planned is waterproofing, hands-free Siri, and a hearing aid-like listening feature for the hearing impaired, reports CNET.
Earlier this summer, an image leaked of Apple’s iOS 12 beta showing evidence of an AirPod wireless charging case, a potential upgrade that got Apple fans all a-twitter. But in order for that theoretical case to generate any juice, it’d have to be laying atop Apple’s AirPower charging pad, which was announced last year, and still hasn’t been released. That much-awaited product is also a definite maybe for unveiling at the Apple event.
Apple TV will get some shows, at last
This one is less of a guarantee and more of a prediction, but with more deals than a used car lot, Apple simply must announce its content plans for Apple TV—it’s only a matter of time. Still, from deals with Oprah to Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston—as well as scads of other talent—Apple is slowly building the next Netflix, and it’s only getting started. In addition to building a lineup of movies, shows and documentaries, Apple’s subscription video service could lock in users by partnering with other companies, like its deals with Charter Spectrum (to provide its cable boxes) and Verizon (for its 5G wireless television service) suggest. It’s unlikely that those partnerships would be announced during the Apple event, but it is possible. What’s more likely—and needed, frankly—is a look at some of the content the company’s been developing—or at least something to help the world forget about Planet of the Apps.