Apple usually announces a buzzy new lineup of iPhones at its hotly anticipated September event. But not this year.
Instead, rumors, as well as hints from the event’s typically cryptic invitation, suggest the company will reveal updates to the Apple Watch and iPad.
As with Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference and most other tech events since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the product launch will be entirely virtual. It will stream on Apple’s website starting at 1pm ET. Here’s what to expect, according to the latest reports.
A new Apple Watch?
Invitations for Tuesday’s event said “Time Flies,” hinting at updates to the Apple Watch.
Though the line will most likely be led by a 6th-generation Apple Watch, Bloomberg reported that new “low-end” models may be in the offing as well.
Other rumors suggest a new watch could add features such as blood oxygen monitoring and longer battery life.
Health updates have become a key selling point for the watch, which has grown into a blockbuster product since it was first released in 2015. Last year, Apple sold 31 million watches, according to Strategy Analytics — more than the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019.
Another new iPad?
Rumblings suggest that Apple may announce a new iPad or iPad Air on Tuesday.
Bloomberg reported that Apple is readying a refreshed iPad Air with an edge-to-edge display. Meanwhile, various rumors indicate that announcements will include a refreshed lower cost iPad model.
It would be Apple’s second iPad launch this year — the company unveiled an update to its iPad Pro line in March. Apple said at the time that it had sold 500 million iPads to date, and the product has remained the top selling tablet for 10 years.
A new iPad would also have competition from one of Apple’s biggest rivals: Samsung released two new tablets last month, the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, which it claims are the “first tablets that support 5G available in the United States.”
iPhone 12 and 5G possibilities
Invitations for Tuesday’s event fueled rumors that it could announce the iPhone 12, too. However, Bloomberg reported that new iPhones won’t launch until October, and Apple previously said new iPhones would ship slightly later than usual this year.
The company has been widely expected to unveil an iPhone 12 with 5G capabilities this fall, which would be the first iPhone to connect to the new, ultra-fast wireless networks being rolled out by carriers.
Analysts expect the 5G iPhone to generate a “supercycle” of device upgrades, potentially prompting millions of people to buy the new device.