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What to expect from Apple's 9th Sept event: new iPhones, iPad, and Apple TV

By James Lu - 8 Sep 2015

What to expect from Apple's 9th Sept event: new iPhones, iPad, and Apple TV

Apple is gearing up for its biggest event ever, which will take place on 9th September at 10AM PST (1AM on 10th September, Singapore time). If you feel like staying up late, you can watch the live stream here. Its new venue, San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, holds 7,000 people, more than twice that of last year's event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts! But what can we expect Apple to unveil?

Intriguingly, when invitations for Apple's event were sent out they included this suggestion to ask Siri for a hint. Doing so gives a variety of cryptic answers, including:

  • "I can neither confirm nor deny that I am not authorized either to confirm or deny that I cannot disclose anything that you would then have to confirm. In any case, I would deny it. Got it?"
  • "The only hint I can give you right now is a hint of lime. And that there's a big announcement on 9 September."
  • "You'll have to wait until 9 September. I bet you were one of those kids who snuck downstairs to open presents early, weren't you?"
  • "You're cute when you're desperate for information."
  • "Why don't you check a rumours blog? That's what I do."

Well, no use there then. Anyway, here's what we think will happen:

New iPhones

For the past three years Apple has announced a new iPhone in September, and 2015 will be no different. In usual Apple fashion, the 6s and 6s plus are likely to be upgrades over last year's 6 and 6 Plus rather than brand new models. 

The phones will almost certainly share the same outward design as last year's models, with the same screen sizes (4.7-inch for the iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch for the iPhone 6s Plus). They may be slightly slimmed down, although one rumor suggests that they might actually be a bit thicker. Why? Possibly to give the phone more structural strength, after last year's Bendgate fiasco. But more likely, to accommodate Apple's new Force Touch technology.

Already in use on the Apple Watch and new MacBook, Force Touch allows users to control their devices by pressing harder or lighter on the screen. For example, you can fast-forward through a video faster with a heavier touch. Some rumors suggest that this technology will be re-named to 3D Touch Display on the new iPhones. Somewhat absurdly, if Apple does announce Force Touch on their iPhones, they won't actually be the first to do. Huawei will have beaten them by a week or so with the Mate S, which was unveiled at IFA 2015 last week.

The Force Touch display on the Apple Watch.

The new phones will be more powerful too, and are likely to boast improved A9 processors. Rumors also suggest that the rear camera will be upgraded to 12-megapixels (up from 8 on the current iPhones). Of course, the new iPhones will be running on iOS 9.

Finally, it looks like Apple will be launching a new color: Rose Gold (although some say Pink is the more likely color), which will go alongside the existing Space Grey, Silver and Gold.

12.9-inch iPad Pro

Rumors have been circulating of a new, larger iPad, with Force Touch, and perhaps a stylus included, and aimed at productivity to battle the likes of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. The new iPad Pro is likely to be around 12.9-inches, with a display made by Samsung or Sharp, which would make it larger than the new Macbook. It is likely to be powered by an A9X processor with 2GB RAM. Some rumors suggest that the larger screen will allow the iPad Pro to have a unique split-screen mode, which will allow it to display two full-sized portrait iPad apps together side-by-side. 

Along with the new iPad, there may be a new iPad keyboard launched, which would fit the idea that the new iPad is designed for productivity.

New Apple TV

Rumors of an updated Apple TV have been circulating for a while now and the existing third generation Apple TV (now four years old) is certainly due for an update. Rumored to be Apple's "...one more thing" at tomorrow's event, the new Apple TV is likely to be similar in style to the existing minimalist box, but with a new touch-based remote control, a new operating system that supports a full App Store, Siri voice control and more storage space for downloading apps. Rumors suggest that the fourth generation Apple TV will come in 8GB and 16GB storage options and be powered by an A8 processor, with the 8GB model reportedly costs US$149 while the higher capacity model will be priced at US$199.

As for Apple's long-rumored content streaming service similar to the likes of Netflix, it looks like it might not launch with the new TV. Apparently, Apple's talks with content providers and TV networks have been moving slowly resulting in a lack of content deals. One major reason for the slow discussions is attributed to the price of content. Apple is said to be considering a package of channels with a monthly subscription of US$40, but appears to be struggling to find the right combination of channels to attract subscribers.

What not to expect

As for things we don't see happening, here's our take:

iPhone 6C

Apple's plastic iPhone 5c, released in September 2013, was not refreshed last year alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that a 4-inch iPhone 6c could be launched in September, however, that now looks unlikely, and rumors have dried up since then. It is more likely that Apple will turn the iPhone 5s into its 'budget' model, possibly discontinuing the iPhone 5c at the same time.

4K iMacs

Apple is also said to be working on a 21.5-inch iMac with a 4k display, but we doubt it will make an appearance at tomorrow's iPhone event. Look for it sometime later this year.

Apple Watch 2

It's unlikely that Apple will launch new Apple Watch hardware so soon. There may be some new finishes available, including a more affordable gold edition, but with the launch of WatchOS 2 making the device more useful, the first version of the Apple Watch isn't obsolete just yet.

Finally, here's a complete list of news and rumors related to tomorrow's event.

Apple iPhone 6s event news and rumors

Man marries his iPhone in Las Vegas!

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