September is a very exciting month for Apple fans. We get the latest iPhones and Apple Watch. This is swiftly followed by an October launch of the iPads. In 2020 though, the company may be doing things differently. With the tag ‘Time Flies’, it certainly seems like the September 15th event will focus on the Apple Watch.
Rumour has it that we will see a new iPad Air as well. As for the iPhone, there really is no telling. Nonetheless, we here at FinalBoss have decided to break down the rumours and give you a full overview of what to expect. Strap in, this is going to be a long ride!
iPhone 12 series
Apple is reportedly prepping four iPhones for launch this year. We did see the second generation iPhone SE launch in April this year, so it is unclear if the company will still launch four models, or three in September/October. What we do know for sure is that there will be three successors to the iPhone 11 series – an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. If Apple does launch a fourth device, it could be an iPhone 12 Max, but there’s little detail on that so it seems unlikely.
The iPhone 12 will reportedly have a 5.4” display, while the Pro models will have a 6.1” (iPhone 12 Pro) and 6.7” (iPhone 12 Pro Max) display. The Pro models will supposedly feature LiDAR scanners, as seen on the 2020 iPad Pros. All three devices will come with OLED screens, as well as a flatter iPad Pro-like design, mimicking the iPhone 4. The Pro models might also come with the 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate as seen on the iPad Pros.
Here it is! Official iPhone 12 Pro chassis leak. Confirms mostly same camera with new LiDAR placement, flat sides, magnet cutouts & smart connector-like 5G antenna? This seems to confirm the 6.1 Pro model will get LiDAR too. October can't come soon enough. pic.twitter.com/YifSX7SWxh
— EverythingApplePro (@EveryApplePro) September 11, 2020
Of course, there’s also the huge 5G update. Rumour has it that only the Pro models will support dual-band 5G and mmWave. The most interesting rumour though has to be the one which predicts Apple will drop the EarPods and power adapter from the box. This is mostly seen as an environmentally-friendly move, but it will also help Apple’s bottom line.
As to whether we will see the iPhone 12 series at the September 15 event, the evidence points two ways. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who is often more right than wrong, believes that the devices will not be shown off in their final form at the keynote. It is possible Apple might use its ‘One more thing’ slot to tease the devices, but he believes the iPhone 12 will make its debut in October, as production delays have forced Apple to rethink its schedule.
On the other hand, Apple has made its iPhone 11 launch videos ‘private’ on YouTube. According to Cult of Mac: “Apple frequently sets videos of its older products to private when a replacement product comes to the market. This is done to avoid product confusion in the event that YouTube’s algorithm unearths older videos.” So maybe we just might get a peak at the iPhone 12 after all?
Apple Watch Series 6
There’s no doubt the next generation Apple Watch will be making its debut at the keynote. So what do we know about the wearable? Well for starters, it will keep the same form factor and size options (40mm and 44mm). We can expect a larger battery, given the addition of sleep tracking in WatchOS 6. In August, Abhishek Yadav leaked a 303mAh battery on Twitter, reportedly for the Series 6. This is slightly larger than the Series 5 battery.
Apple is also expected to add microLED display technology to the Apple Watch this year. It will allow for brighter and more energy-efficient displays, but MacRumors reported that Apple would delay microLED introduction. So in terms of hardware, there doesn’t seem to be much difference.
Fitness could get a big boost, Apple will reportedly add a non-invasive blood oxygen monitor like Fitbit and Garmin. 9To5Mac also spotted code that would seem to address the inconclusive ECG readings with heart rates between 100 and 120 beats per minute.
As always, Apple will also keep an older model around as a cheaper option. With the Series 3 having debuted in 2017, Apple may phase it out in favour of the Series 4 or 5. Alternatively, it could still offer the Series 3, but with a processor bump.
The 3rd generation iPad Air arrived in March 2019. Since then, Apple has introduced a new iPad and iPad Pros. There really isn’t much differentiating the iPad Air from the iPad, so this year Apple could change that. Rumour has it the iPad Air will get an iPad Pro like design makeover, with thinner bezels and a rounded edge. That would result in a slight increase in screen size, from the current 10.5” to 10.8” as per iMore.
Adopting the iPad Pro design will also lead to an exciting new change – the removal of the home button. Don’t expect FaceID though, Apple will reportedly move TouchID from the home button to the sleep/wake button. iMore managed to get their hands on a leaked manual, which showed off a much larger sleep/wake button as compared to the current generation. So it seems very likely TouchID will move there, and hopefully be as reliable as it currently is.
iPad Air 4
via 小红书 pic.twitter.com/2jc09uAKUY
— DuanRui (@duanrui1205) August 27, 2020
Apple is also expected to say goodbye to lightning, giving the Air a USB-C port just like the iPad Pro. If that does happen, it is likely that the Air will get support for the second generation Apple Pencil, since the first-gen uses lightning to charge. This is all part of the larger rumour that Apple will eventually phase out lightning, in favour of USB-C on all its devices.
Macworld does not believe the iPad Air will be launched this year. According to reports by China Times and Mydrivers, Apple will launch an updated iPad Air next spring. The China Times report states miniLED adoption as a reason for the date. Given how the company pushed back miniLED adoption on the Apple Watch, it seems safe to say that the tech might not come to the iPad either. So it is very likely we will see the iPad Air on September 15.
Apple also has a bunch of other devices in the works, so it’s more than likely we will see a few of them at the event. Some devices that could make an appearance are –
iPad Mini: Apple last updated the iPad Mini in March 2019, and seeing as how that came after a five year gap, it seems unlikely the device will get any stage time. The company could surprise us however, and push out a new Mini possibly with USB-C, and some of the other features expected to come to the iPad Air.
14” MacBook Pro: A Reddit poster named AppleSeeder claims that Apple will unveil a 14” MacBook Pro, the first generation MacBook with Apple silicon. This however seems extremely unlikely for two reasons. First, Apple isn’t expected to ship its ARM-based devices till 2021 at the earliest, and second Tim Cook did say at WWDC Apple had Intel-based products still in the pipeline. So if a MacBook does make an appearance, it will likely be an Intel-based one rather than an ARM based one.
AirTags: The Tile-like Bluetooth trackers have been in the works for a few years now. Given how Apple leaked AirTag in a YouTube support video, it is very likely the device will make an appearance this year. Nikkie reported that the devices are already in production, and we’ve seen a supposed instruction manual for the device leak on Twitter.
HomePod: Apple’s smart speaker hasn’t been updated at all since its launch in 2017. Despite not breaking any sales records, the company reportedly hasn’t given up on the device just yet. We could see a ‘HomePod Mini’ with a much lower price tag, but there have been no rumours or leaks about such a device.
AirPower: Apple may have declared the AirPower project dead, but leaks say otherwise. The AirTags manual did feature a wireless charger shaped very much like AirPower, so it could be possible that Apple has resurrected the project in secret. With Samsung and Nomad both releasing similar wireless chargers, Apple will be forced to bring back the project somehow.
Apple One: If you love Apple’s subscription services, the company is reportedly working on a way to help you save a few bucks. Code leaking the service was found in the latest release of Apple Music for Android, with the codename Aristotle. Apple will reportedly offer tiers, with the basic package including Apple Music and Apple TV. More expensive tiers will include other services like Arcade and iCloud storage.
So that’s an extremely in-depth look at everything we could potentially see on September 15. As always, there’s really no telling what will happen. Apple could surprise us with something completely unexpected – like a new iPod?
You can catch the live stream from Apple’s website, YouTube page or the Events app on your Apple TV. If you can’t catch the live stream, I’ll be live tweeting the announcements as they go live. Follow @srivi20 on Twitter for the updates.
With 3 years experience in journalism prior to joining the FinalBoss team, Srivats has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for in-depth analysis and technical pieces. From the latest gadgets to major launches announced by the biggest tech brands, Srivats brings you content that keeps you in the know.