After months of speculation whether we will receive or notand within the same period as in previous years, Apple has confirmed that it will host – in practice, of course. Last week, the company sent out an invitation for September 15 at 10 a.m. PT (13:00 ET, 18:00 UK). It can be accessed through Apple’s website, its YouTube channel, or through Apple’s events app. Every other year, the headliner of this event would be obvious: a new iPhone. But the mess in 2020 probably necessitated some changes in the composition.
Although Apple has not released an official statement on what to expect, in July the company warned investors that the next iPhone will be delayed by “a few weeks.” A number of outlets, including CNET and Bloomberg, also suggest that we won’t see the iPhone 12 until at least mid-October.
But even with a new iPhone out of the equation, Apple still has a lot to announce on Tuesday. At this event we expect new hardware, software and subscription services.
Hidden clues in the invitation
The line of the label “Time flies” in the invitation suggests that the Apple Watch will be the headliner of this event. But there is also a very clear cue to augmented reality. Clicking on the Safari event logo prompts the event date, 9.15, to appear as an AR animation. This could be a flight sensor that was rumored to be coming to the iPhone this year, such as the iPad Pro 2020. Or it could hint at more ARKit features on the next iPad Air, which is also.
We can dissect the invitation all day, but all we know for sure is the time and date of this event. If 2020 has taught us something, then we really can’t rule anything out. Instead, let’s focus on what we know right now.
Several Apple and iPad watches in preparation
Apple has submitted multiple versions of the iPad and Apple Watch to the Eurasian Economic Commission, as originally reported by the French technology site Comsomac. In the past, queries have provided a fairly accurate picture of what Apple may release next.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to have better battery life for more stable sleep tracking and at least one new health tracking feature. The strongest rumors seem to be about new SpO2 or tracking the level of oxygen in the blood.
Read more: Rumors about Apple Watch Series 6
The other surprise may be a cheaper version of the Apple Watch, probably called the Apple Watch SE, with the same look and feel as the current Series 3. It will probably cost the same, starting at $ 200, but comes with a newer processor.
The latest rumors about the refresh of the iPad Air point to a larger frameless screen and a similar design of the current Pro model. This means flat edges and no start button. Instead of replacing Touch ID with Face ID, rumors point to a Touch ID sensor integrated in the side button. The updated iPad will probably also get an improved processor, as the current Air still uses Apple’s older A10 chip. It can also switch to USB-C instead of a Lightning connector like the iPad Pro. The better processor will allow for more ARKit capabilities, though not as advanced as what you get from the iPad Pro with its lidar depth scanner.
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Software: WatchOS 7 and iPadOS 14 may receive full version
With the release of the Apple Watch 6 and iPad Air in the wild, it would make sense for Apple to release their respective OS updates.
It is impossible to release the final version of WatchOS 7. This update allows you to track the sleep of existing Apple watches (Series 3 or later) and includes a new hand wash feature. Playing iPadOS alone would be complicated in itself because it’s so intertwined iOS 14so Apple can wait to launch the new mobile operating system along with the new iPhone 12 in October.
A new fitness service and package called Apple One
Last year, Apple joined with subscription services such as Apple TV Plus, News Plus and Apple Arcade, and we may not have seen the latter. Apple is rumored to launch a new fitness service with guided workouts aimed primarily at the Apple Watch, but also available for streaming on the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. There are many third-party apps already doing this, but it will be Apple-branded and directly integrated with the Health app, similar to what Fitbit offers with its Premium subscription service, which costs $ 10 a month.
And if all this sounds like a subscription overload, there is a package for it. It is also claimed that Apple is launching a new package of subscription services called Apple One. 9to5Google even found a reference for this, hidden in the code of the version of Apple Music for Android.
Other products that may appear
There is also an opportunity for something else at the end of the virtual presentation. If this is the case, here are a few other products we’ve heard rumors that may come up. In order from least to least likely:
- : Players tracking tiles to track lost items
- AirPods Studio: Earphones called AirPods
- HomePod Mini: Smaller, cheaper HomePod
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- The long-awaited by Apple
Join us live for our review of the Apple event at 9:30 a.m. PT on Sept. 15 on CNET.com and YouTube, along with post-event analysis.