The wait is over, Apple has finally sent out invites for its September event. It will take place on 10 September at 10a.m. (Pacific Time) at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. For folks in Singapore, the date you want to mark on your calendars is 11 September and the time is 1a.m..
The invite shows a multicoloured Apple logo and the tagline "By innovation only." It's all very vague but let's try to guess what we will see at the event, shall we?
This is a given. September has always been about iPhones and this year shouldn’t be any different. Unlike other manufacturers who have multiple phone launches a year, Apple only does one major launch a year and so it will be an understatement to say that everyone is eager to see what Apple has been working on the in the past year. Now what can we expect?
Three new models ― Although the iPhone XS and XS Max didn’t sell as well as expected, the world still expects two flagship-class devices from Apple. Besides, an excuse can be made that the poorer than expected sales were in part due to larger political forces at play. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, has been well received and Apple will likely continue with its strategy of releasing a “cheaper” alternative to its flagship-class phones. Therefore, I think Apple will stick with three new models this year. Maybe that multicoloured Apple logo in the invite means more colour options.
Improved photo-taking and video recording ― The iPhone has always been great at taking photos but a strong case can be made that certain Android phones have now surpassed the iPhone. Rumours point toward a triple-lens setup on this year’s flagship iPhones and I concur. Hopefully that tagline — By innovation only — means a much improved camera system because Apple really needs to make a statement on this front.
There’s been little news about Apple’s Apple Watch plans and if you think about it, it’s not difficult to see why. The current generation Apple Watch is easily the most accomplished smartwatch you can buy. Design and build quality are first-rate and its functionality and feature set is off the charts, and it can even do ECG. It’s hard to see what else Apple could bring to the mix.
I don’t think a major redesign is on the cards seeing that they did update the model last year by bumping case sizes up and reducing thickness. Furthermore, any new model must be able to accommodate Apple’s current crazy large range of straps ― else they’ll have to suffer the wrath of numerous Apple Watch owners who have invested in extra straps.
Rumours say there will be new titanium and ceramic models but it’s hard to say at this point if these refer to all-new models or just new versions. It's worth noting that Apple has never made a titanium Apple Watch before. That said, it’s a material that’s well suited for watchmaking. Titanium is very light and has the benefit of being hypoallergenic. These are two properties that lend themselves well to a watch that is focused on fitness and everyday wear. Besides, that new Apple Card is also made out of titanium.
We have precious few details surrounding Apple’s two new services. These were announced in March and so far, we have only seen a handful of trailers for Apple TV+ and next to nothing for Apple Arcade. This upcoming event would be a good time to talk about these new services in greater detail.
Of great interest would be pricing, particularly after Disney announced that it would bundle its new subscription service, Disney+, with ESPN+ and Hulu for just US$12.99. Granted, this bundle probably won’t mean much to local viewers but it will be intriguing to see how Apple intends to respond with its pricing for Apple TV+.
First of all, assuming that Apple announces the new iPhone and Apple Watch, it makes sense that they would want them to have most of the limelight. Even if Phones now account for less than half of Apple's business.
Secondly, Apple has, on a couple of occasions, held special events in October to announce new MacBooks. Specifically in 2016 when they introduced the current generation of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and last year with the MacBook Air. So it won’t be unusual for them to hold another event so quickly after the iPhone. But perhaps more importantly, if the rumoured 16-inch MacBook Pro does indeed get the major makeover that many said it would, then it would make sense for it to get its own event for Apple to show it off to its fullest.
Also, the iPad has been a bright spot in Apple’s sales books this year and it’s logical to assume that they would want to go down this path by giving iPads their time in the limelight. If Apple does announce a new A13 chip at the September event, it makes perfect sense for them to wait until October to follow up with a more powerful A13X chip in October with new iPad Pros.