September is here, and in the world of technology that means one thing: an Apple Event. As has happened for the past four years, Apple will hold an event to show off it’s newest device. This year, we’re expecting to see new iPhones and Apple Watches.
This Apple event promises to be interesting. Apple generally has an in-between iPhone hold the place between major updates, like we saw last year. However, this year, it appears Apple may be changing that steady generational march. The iPhone we expect to see today is likely to be a minor update, just like last year. Apple is also rumoured to be updating its Apple Watch for the first time, leaving watchers of the company with no history to lean on.
As we always do, this.is.IONS will cover the event live and you can follow along too. Check back here on September 7th for our liveblog and near nonstop coverage. For now, here’s everything we except to see Apple unveil.
We’re absolutely going to see a new iPhone with a new number. A new number, instead of a letter attached to last year’s number, usually means a brand-new design. This year, it seems that Apple is merely tweaking its design: improving a few things, and seemingly laying the foundation for some big changes. Here’s how that breaks down:
If you like the iPhone 6, you’re in for a treat, because the iPhone 7 is going to look basically the same. The biggest rumoured difference is a cleaner overall look, with some – but not all – antenna lines disappearing from the back of the device. Its a small change, but this mockup suggests the difference made is substantial.
This is not a new ‘feature’, actually its the opposite, and it’s quickly turning into the big story surrounding the iPhone 7. Apple is widely expected to remove the headphone jack from its devices – a long-standing standard jack since consumer electronics became a thing. This means all future headphones will have to be either wireless or use a Lightning port. There are both upsides and downsides to Lightning headphones, and if you have a ton of devices that already use a 3.5mm headphone jack, like everyone on the planet, you’re going to likely be a little ticked off. Is Apple shooting itself in the foot here?
Without the headphone jack, Apple will likely offer a way to listening to music. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says we should expect new EarPods that connect via Lightning instead of 3.5mm for all new devices, as well as a headphone-to-Lightning adapter for those of us still using the worldwide standard. Other, less reliable, rumours suggest we may see Wireless EarPods (called ‘AirPods) at the keynote, but don’t expect thesis to pan out.
Apple is expected to add a second camera to the back of iPhones, meaning higher-quality photos and zoomed-in view. Huawei’s P9, for example, uses a second black-and-white camera for better detail and sharpness. LG’s G5 has a similar second camera. Bloomberg says Apple will have a second camera offering a zoomed-in view.
The second camera is expected to only show up on the higher-end iPhone model (likely called the iPhone 7 Plus). The smaller iPhone 7 may get some camera updates, like image stabilization which has been on the Plus line for the past couple years.
Finally. Apple is finally going to stop offering a 16GB sized model and have 32GB be the low end for iPhones. Kuo, who has a strong track record, went so far as to suggest Apple may actually double all of it’s models in it’s pricing tiers. That means the iPhone would be offered with 32, 128, and 256GB of memory. Thats a big deal, and finally means there’d actually be room to shoot 4K video.
Goodbye Home Button?
Apple is expected to make an interesting change to how we use iPhones: no clicking Home Button. According to 9to5Mac, the new Home button will be pressure-sensitive and use haptic feedback to make it feel like its a button. Its a neat trick Apple has had success with on its MacBooks.
Back in Black
After years of wondering what the hell “Space Gray” is, the iPhone 7 is allegedly going to come in actual black again. Well, Blacks. Kuo says the iPhone 7 will come in two new colours: Dark Black, and Piano Black. Surprised? Don’t be. Apple likely wants to match its iPhones with it’s Apple Watches, which come in two different shades of black. Mac Otakara has a photo of some seemingly leaked SIM trays that may offer a look at the new colors.
The new iPhone will be thinner, faster, more ram, new processors, etc, use of the word of ‘magical’ etc etc etc. No 3.5mm jack means the iPhone 7 could be better resistant to water. Kuo even suggests meeting IPX7 certification, like the Apple Watch. Kuo had other predictions, some we disagree with, but you can read here about his thoughts on processors, camera, flash, speakers, new sensors and more
There are always some doubtful rumours that show up and are super unlikely. This year, rumours cropped up that the iPhone 7 would have wireless charging, a ‘smart’ connector, dual SIM trays, even come in blue. These could be true, but no real evidence has popped up, so take these with a grain of salt.
This September 7th will be almost two years to the day since Apple showed off the Apple Watch. A lot has changed, all via software updates, and this is the first hardware update and will likely reflect changes made via software updates. Apple has already taken a step back from making the Watch a communication device, and made moves towards it’s use as a fitness device. Here’s what we expect:
There’s no real sign Apple is going to significantly change the design this year. Or next. But we could see new bands, so, yay?
The biggest feature we’re likely to see is GPS. It may not sound like a big deal, but GPS could really help runners and fitness buffs, since they can track themselves without having their iPhone on them. Anything that could make the Apple Watch a self-contained device is a plus by us.
A Speed bump isn’t super exciting. Every new Apple product comes with a speed bump. This wouldn’t be news if the first Apple Watch wasn’t so damn slow. An updated Watch should be nice and zippy.
More rumours have suggested the Apple Watch 2 would have a bigger or better battery, better waterproofing, a barometer (?? really?) and even more options for things over Wi-FI. Another rumours suggest the Apple Watch 2 would have a camera. An early report from 9to5Mac last year said Apple was heading in that direction, but we haven’t heard or seen anything since. Since Apple is moving to fitness or messaging, this may have been an idea that has since been scrapped.
iPhones and Apple Watches are really the big story here. Besides them, Apple will likely announce a release date for iOS 10 – which would likely be a few days after the keynote, or a few days before the iPhone 7 drops into stores. WatchOS 3 may come out at the same time, but Apple could hold it back depending on Apple Watch 2 shipping dates. MacOS Sierra will likely be mentioned.
No rumours have suggested Apple has been planning any other hardware updates for September 7th. There could be some new spec bumps or surprises, and several Apple products are overdue for an update.
- The iPad Pro, was announced at this event last year
- The iPad Air hasn’t been updated in two years
- The iPad mini which was last updated after this event last year
- The MacBook Pro, which has been rumoured to get a slimmer design and a touchscreen strip above the keys.
- The MacBook Air, Bloomberg reports, is being updated with USB-C
- The Apple TV had its new version announced at this event last year
Chances are most of those, if not all, are on hold until later this year or next. Word usually leaks out ahead of the event, and no one seems to have heard a thing. That could mean we’ll see another Apple Event in October or November.