The final few days before any big Apple event usually see a lot of fresh speculation; here’s a rundown of the latest rumors as we roll toward the big iPhone reveal during a year of major product introductions.
What we know so far
The main expectations are that Apple will introduce new iPhones, Apple Watch, its Apple tag Tile competitor and (potentially) a souped-up Apple TV.
We’ve looked at all of these before, but here’s a recap:
- iPhone: Three models, including XR replacement (6.1-inch LCD), XS and Pro (5.8-inch and 6.5-inch displays); triple lens cameras, water resistance, fast A13 Matrix processor, Wi-Fi 6 support. New colors may be available. More on the new iPhones here, and some updated speculation gathered below.
- Apple Watch Series 5: OLED screens, improved battery life, new ceramic and titanium models and a new sleep tracking sensor. A little more info is here. An upgraded waterproof version of the AirPods is also possible.
- Apple tag: This small, round tracking device will work with Apple’s Find My system and Bluetooth to enable people to locate tracked devices. This will also feature an AR element, which lets you see your objects on your map using AR. More on this here.
- Apple TV: Equipped with an A12 chip as used in the iPhone XS, with enhanced graphics and audio output for the current crop of high-end televisions. More on this here.
- Apple TV+: We should learn a little more about the company’s self-branded subscription TV channel.
We’ve also heard a few additional claims/speculations in the last few days.
No wireless charging in iPhone
There has been strong expectation Apple would make it possible to charge other devices from your iPhone, just as you can charge an Apple Pencil from an iPad. One of the biggest recent claims is that this isn’t going to happen after all, according to highly regarded Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple Pencil support?
Kuo also claims recent speculation that the devices would support Apple Pencil may be misplaced.
The analyst also tells us the new iPhones will support Ultra-wideband (UWB). This is very interesting in context of another rumor (below), as the short-range technology provides more precise indoor positioning than you get from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The R1 processor
There is speculation the new iPhones will replace the M-series motion co-processor with a new R1 chip (code-named ‘Rose’), which allegedly delivers much more accurate indoor location data, including information gathered through UWB. This is quite interesting when you dig through some older Apple patents.
The debut of SensorKit?
A recent claim suggests Apple is developing a new research tool called SensorKit. This will allow medical researchers to access data gathered by the sensors on Apple devices. Given the R1 chip, UWB support and new Apple Watch sensors, announcement of this tool could also be on the script.
Face ID and Touch ID
We may see Touch ID supported underneath the display in new iPhones in 2020/21, with a low-cost iPhone SE replacement equipped with Touch ID predicted for launch next year.
Opening that third dimension
There’s so much focus on AR and position tracking that it’s hard to ignore that Apple has blacked out the front windows at some of its key stores worldwide.
A weekend claim was that the company has dusted off some old window dressing equipment to create 3D window displays.
That’s interesting, particularly in conjunction with the (AR)twalk exhibitions taking place in some stores and the striking new multicolour lighting effect at its flagship New York store. What could the company be planning?
If Apple doesn’t introduce AR glasses at this event it seems crystal clear it is laying down some of the necessary foundations to do so in the future. I do wonder how useful such devices will be to me as a person who must wear real spectacles. Perhaps Apple is about to revolutionise opthalmology?
The Apple logo
Leaving the most important rumor until (almost) last, there is a claim the new iPhones will sport an Apple logo situated at the center of the device’s glass back.
A final rumor claims pricing may start at $749, $999, and $1,099. The high-end 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max (what a mouthful of a name) will apparently cost $1,299, according to the claim.
How to watch the event
That’s all \ we think we know so far. Tune in later at 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET for the actual facts.
I’ll be sharing my traditional blast of news and observations as it happens via Twitter, so please follow me there.
Apple will stream the launch event online on its website, will make it available through the Apple Events app on Apple TV, and also plans on streaming the keynote on YouTube for the first time. (Embedded below for convenience).