The tech giant’s upcoming virtual event is scheduled for Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. PT. Although people won’t know exactly what Apple has in store until Tuesday, they expect to see the iPhone 13, Apple Watch 7, and maybe even the AirPods 3. Users could also get a glimpse of the iPad Mini 6 and ninth-generation iPad later this year.
Apple has had two events in 2021 so far. The first event was in April, where they displayed new iPad upgrades, colorful iMacs, AirTags trackers, a purple iPhone 12, and more.
Then, two months later, it held the annual WWDC, developers event, where users got a first look at iOS 15, macOS Monterey, also known as MacOS 12, WatchOS 8, and iPadOS 15.
“Based on conversations with our Morgan Stanley Apple supply chain research colleagues, we expect the fall of 2021 to be another busy period of product launches, with the iPhone 13 family, the Apple Watch 7, AirPods 3, new iPads, and new MacBook Pros with M1 all expected to be released before year-end,” Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note last week.
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What Apple could launch on Tuesday?
Apple’s most important product is the iPhone, accounting for half of Apple’s 2020 sales. The company has announced new models every September since 2012, until last year when iPhones were revealed in October.
In 2020, Apple released four iPhone models: a smaller $599 iPhone 12 mini, the $829 iPhone 12, the higher-end $999 iPhone 12 Pro and the $1,2099 iPhone 12 Pro Max. All of the iPhone 12s came with 5G connectivity and a new, more squared-off design.
“Investors expect iPhone 13 to be a more ‘evolutionary’ product cycle with fewer significant technology upgrades compared to iPhone 12,” Huberty wrote.
Apple has released new Apple Watch models every September since 2016. It’s a key product in Apple’s wearables business, which accounted for 11% of Apple’s 2020 sales.
Gurman reports that the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature these flatter sides like the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPhone 13 – and, for the Apple veterans, iPhone 4 and 5.
This new design will also bring about a bigger screen – it’s not yet clear if this will mean a wider device overall or if slimmer bezels will accommodate this. An increased resolution will afford more space for apps on the screen too.
The display is expected to move up from 1.78in to 1.9in and the overall watch size – based on the height of the watch – moving up from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm.
As with all new Apple Watch launches, you can expect a faster processor for this latest entry – allowing for speedier navigation and for Apple to continue to build on its health and fitness tracking features.
There’s few details on the new tracking features that may crop up on the Apple Watch Series 7. Blood sugar monitoring and body temperature sensors are planned features for future Apple Watch models but don’t expect them to have made it to the Series 7.
AirPods are a key component of Apple’s wearables business, which accounted for over $30 billion in annual revenue in 2020, a 25% increase over the year before.
Although the product is growing in importance to Apple, the company hasn’t launched new AirPods since October 2019 when it introduced the higher-end AirPods Pro with a new design and noise canceling. The most recent regular $159 AirPods, without noise-canceling, were announced in March 2019.
If Apple announces new iPads, it will emphasize how important the product has become for the company as the Covid-19 pandemic forced people to work and learn from home and driving a boost in computer sales.
In the three quarters reported so far in Apple’s fiscal 2021, the company has reported $23.6 billion of iPads revenue, over a 39% increase from the same period last year.
Apple also updated the chip in its least expensive iPad, a $329 tablet which it simply calls iPad, at the same event. Those are due for a refresh this fall, though it’s unclear if that will happen on Tuesday or at a second event. But the iPad Mini, last refreshed in March 2019, is most overdue for a refresh.
The iPad Mini could be getting a redesign by the end of the year to make it look more like its siblings, according to Bloomberg. The report said it won’t have a home button and will have a more square design like Apple’s iPad Air and Pro. That means it could have a fingerprint reader in the power button like the iPad Air, or a Face ID like the iPad Pro.
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And everything else…
Awaiting users could see some brand-new devices from Apple this year. This includes the possibility of an Apple competitor to the Amazon Echo Show that would fuse an entry-level iPad with a speaker, a soundbar equipped with a built-in Apple TV similar to Roku’s soundbar, and an Apple augmented- or virtual-reality headset.
If you’re looking for more about the latest from Apple, you can take a look at the iPhone 13’s release date. You can also check out how the iPhone 13 could compare to the iPhone 12, whether it’s still worth it to buy an iPhone 12 or iPhone 11, and everything coming in iOS 15.