Apple — one of the world’s most valuable public companies — is set to host its second major product launch event of the year on September 14, during which it is expected to roll out a suite of eagerly-anticipated gadgets.
The company is expected to announce the latest series of 5G-enabled iPhones, new AirPods and major upgrades to the Apple Watch through an online event, titled California Streaming. Held at the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California, it will also be live streamed on the company’s website due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In April, Apple rolled out a range of products, including its long-awaited AirTag, a redesigned iMac desktop, an iPad Pro with 5G connectivity and a smart TV.
Apple does not confirm the names of the products it is planning to launch before official events.
But it has traditionally unveiled its iPhones in September every year, apart from last year when the pandemic delayed the launch.
Based on industry chatter and leaks so far, The National looks at what the iPhone maker may introduce to the market on Tuesday.
Latest iPhone 13 series
Apple is expected to launch three smartphones under its coming iPhone 13 series — iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The company is likely to improve night mode photography in all new phones to attract more professional users.
The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro will have a screen size of 15.5 centimetres, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max will come with a 17cm display, according to industry insiders. This will be the second 5G-enabled series from Apple after the iPhone 12 line-up that was launched in October last year.
An economical handset to attract budget customers
Apple could launch an improved version of its low-cost handset, the 11.9cm iPhone SE, which will also have 5G compatibility as it seeks to attract more budget-orientated users.
The company launched the first iPhone SE for $400 in 2016. The cheaper iPhone has posted strong sales in emerging markets such as China and India, with the company selling nearly 30 million units in 2016. But it stopped manufacturing the handset in September 2018.
Its second version was launched in April last year at nearly $420. A less-pricey handset could help the company to increase its market share and meet its sales targets, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic hits discretionary spending.
The company, which shipped nearly 206 million iPhones last year, is expected to deliver 231 million devices this year and 240 million next year, according to investment bank Haitong International Securities.
What new tech can you expect in iPhone 13 series?
Analysts say the new iPhones will have minor software upgrades and they are not expecting disruptive features. According to popular predictions, the new iPhones could come with satellite technology to let users communicate with first responders in case of any crash incident, or any other emergency.
The iPhone 13 phones will come with low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who closely follows the company, said in a research note to investors.
He said Apple is “optimistic” about the use of satellite technology through iPhones. The company has had a dedicated team working on this technology for several years and it has been exploring merging this with its iPhones since 2017, according to a Bloomberg report.
New Apple Watch 7
The new smartwatch, called Apple Watch 7, is not expected to get a major software update, but will see some hardware changes. It is expected to come with flatter edges and larger displays of 41 millimetres and 44mm, nearly 1mm more than the Apple Watch 6 variants.
The next major health upgrade in the form of a body temperature sensor is likely to be added in the smartwatch next year, according to a Bloomberg report.
How do I watch the event?
Apple’s event will start at 9pm UAE time on Tuesday. Viewers can tune in through apple.com
You can also watch the event on YouTube and through the Apple TV application on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
When can consumers buy new Apple products?
Industry experts predict that consumers will be able to place pre-orders for new Apple products from September 17, and expect deliveries by the end of this month. Early excitement could help the iPhone maker boost its sales during the US Thanksgiving and holiday shopping season, since it will have enough time to distribute its devices by then.