What to expect from Apple’s Sept. 10 iPhone event

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

On Sept. 10, the world will turn its eyes to Cupertino, California, for the debut of Apple’s (AAPL) latest iPhones. We’re expecting three new smartphones, as well as updates to the Apple Watch, AirPods, iPad, and MacBook.

This year’s event could be one of the biggest yet for Apple in terms of the number of announcements. But the main draw, despite slowing smartphone growth, will be what kinds of improvements the tech giant makes to the iPhone itself.

Analysts aren’t expecting Apple to add 5G connectivity to the iPhone until 2020, which could hurt sales this year, as consumers might decide to hold off on purchasing new phones until next year.

But there are plenty of rumors and reports surrounding this year’s big show, so I’m breaking them down for you in one single, convenient place. Here’s what to expect from Apple’s Sept. 10 event.

  • Three new iPhones, including two “Pro” models with a third camera lens for ultra wide-angle photos

  • Improved battery life and reverse wireless charging

  • New Apple Watch casings using titanium and ceramic

  • Water-resistant AirPods

  • New iPads

  • A new 16-inch MacBook

iPhones updates

You can expect Apple’s three new phone models to roughly line up with the current crop, made up of the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, in terms of size and pricing.

However, the XS and XS Max successors will come with a Pro moniker, ditching the line’s long-running numerical naming convention, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, who cite anonymous sources. The iPhone Pros are also said to get a new three-lens camera setup on their backside rather than the current two-lens setup, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal report.

The new third ultra wide-angle lens will add the ability to capture ultra wide-angle images, to go along with the standard wide-angle lens and telephoto lens.

Various renderings of the phones show a square box in the top left corner of the phones with the three lenses and flash. It’s a drastic departure from the current two-lens setup, and it may upset some design-oriented users who could find it unsightly. Similarly, some users were bothered by the notches on the front of the XR, XS, and XS Max that house the phones’ Face ID cameras.

This Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, photo shows the iPhone XR, left, that has a single lens, and the iPhone XS Max that has two lenses, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Speaking of which, the latest iPhones are also said to get improved Face ID cameras, according to Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources. Face ID is a spot-on system, but due to the alinement of the Face ID camera, you can only unlock your phone at certain angles.

The next generation of Face ID camera, though, is said to capture a wider image of your face, allowing you to unlock your phone from a greater number of angles. So now you’ll be able to unlock your phone while it’s sitting on your desk, rather than having to pick it up to unlock.

The new FaceID sensor will be able to better limit the impact of invisible light on the camera, creating a better user experience, according to MacRumors, which cites an analyst note by Ming-Chi Kuo, who frequently offers accurate predictions of the Apple’s product plans.

As is usual for Apple, the new iPhones should also get the company’s latest and greatest mobile processors. The current iPhones are sporting A12 Bionic chips, which means we’ll likely see A13 chips in the phones set to debut on Sept. 10. The new iPhones are also said to get improved water and scratch resistance capabilities.

The new iPhones look as though they’ll get some sweet battery capabilities, too. In addition to larger batteries that offer increased battery life, 9to5Mac reports the iPhones look like they’ll allow you to wirelessly charge other devices. So you’d ideally be able to place your wireless charging AirPods on the back of your iPhone, and the phone would power them up.

Samsung offers a similar capability through its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10 models.

New AirPods and Apple Watch

We just got a new version of Apple’s AirPods back in March that sported wireless charging capabilities, and improved connectivity. Now, according to Bloomberg, Apple is set to roll out a new pair of AirPods that offer noise-cancellation technology, as well as water resistance.

Apple watches are displayed during an event to announce new products at Apple Headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Noise cancellation is already available in competing earphones, and water resistance would make the AirPods more useful if you get caught in the rain while listening — or if you’re a particularly prodigious sweater like I am. That said, I wear my AirPods while running, and haven’t run into an issue with sweat damaging them, so I’m not entirely sure how much more water resistance Apple can add to the headphones.

Then there’s the Apple Watch. It’s unclear if this year’s version of the best-selling smartwatch will be a full upgrade from Watch Series 4 to Series 5, or if we’ll mostly just see software updates to Apple’s watchOS operating system. So far, the closest thing to a leak we’ve seen regarding the watch has come from iHelp BR, which noticed mention of ceramic-backed and titanium-backed Apple Watches in Apple’s watchOS beta software.

That could mean we’ll see updates to the watch’s outer casing rather than a top-to-bottom revamp of the wearable.

iPad and MacBook

Finally, Apple’s iPad Pros, according to Bloomberg, are said to be getting similar upgrades to the iPhone Pros including improved processors and cameras. There will also be an updated entry-level iPad.

As for the MacBook, 9to5Mac points to analyst Kuo’s note of a new 16-inch model coming to stores. Bloomberg reported that the new MacBook would have a footprint similar in size to the current 15-inch model, but with thinner bezels that allow for the larger display size.

We’ll be live at Apple’s campus bringing you all of the latest news as it breaks. So stay tuned to see if these predictions come to fruition.

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