Apple may break from tradition and delay the announcement of its next-generation iPhone 12 until October, due to coronavirus and travel restriction delays.
The firm is holding a virtual event from Apple Park in Cupertino, California from 18:00 BST on Tuesday where new devices and services are expected to be revealed.
Rumours suggest that Apple will unveil the new iPad Air and Watch Series 6 at the event, as well as details of the new Apple One subscription service.
This is the time of year Apple usually confirms new iPhones – it was September 12 last year – but the firm said new iPhones won’t be available until next month, fuelling speculation that it could hold a separate standalone event in October.
Production delays in China, travel restrictions worldwide and related issues linked to measures designed to slow the spread of coronavirus are behind the delay.
Rumours have suggested that Apple is set to release four new iPhone 12 models, including a ‘Mini’ iPhone with a 5.4-inch screen, but not until October.
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Apple has announced a major launch event for next Tuesday where the firm could unveil the iPhone 12. The tech giant’s website shared a new post in its upcoming event section that reads, ‘Join us from Apple Park. September 15, 2020, at 10am PDT’
With details of the new iPhone models likely delayed until next month, Apple is expected to spend Tuesday’s event focusing on a range of other products.
New aspects of iOS 14 and the latest release of watchOS and iPadOS are expected to be unveiled – including new augmented reality technology.
The invitation to the event, featured on the Apple website, is an ‘augmented reality Easter Egg’ – floating in front of you when visiting the site on an iPhone.
One of the major new developments rumoured to be included in the next generation iPad Air is a TouchID sensor incorporated into the On/Off button.
This would allow Apple to remove the home button and create an ‘all-display’ design similar to the iPad Pro or iPhone 11 – without the added cost of FaceID.
The next generation tablet is also expected to take other features from the iPad Pro including replacing the lightning port with a USB-C connection.
This would allow for charging with USB-C cables used in most high profile Android devices, the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro.
There may also be a new iPad Magic Keyboard released alongside the new tablet.
Apple Watch Series 6
The latest version of the Apple Watch – Series 6 – is expected to feature the same exterior design as the previous generation smartwatch released in 2019.
However, rumours suggest the new wearable device is likely to include battery and power performance improvements due to a new ‘system-on-a-chip’.
There are also likely to be improvements to the water resistance of the watch, faster WiFi and mobile data and a new blood oxygen monitoring system.
This would add to the health and fitness features on the device – alerting users if their blood oxygen levels drop below a healthy threshold to get help quickly if they are suffering from a respiratory or cardiac problem.
There are also rumours the wearable device could get some mental health capabilities such as showing breathing exercises if it detects a panic attack.
Apple may also launch a new cheaper Watch option to replace the Series 3 – possibly a modified version of the Series 4 but without the ECG app and ‘always-on display’.
Continuing its push into the services sector, Apple is rumoured to be launching a new ‘all-in-one’ subscription service called Apple One.
It will provide a lower cost bundle of the various Apple subscription services such as Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple News and iCloud storage plans.
It would allow customers to subscribe to a combination of these packages for a single price, rather than requiring users to have multiple subscriptions.
The firm is also rumoured to be working on a Peloton style fitness subscription service linked to the Apple Watch and delivered over iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.
Apple may also finally launch its new AirTags technology – these are tile like Bluetooth tracking devices that let you use software to hunt for missing keys, wallets, cameras and other valuable.
They will be small circular devices with built-in bluetooth and ultra-wideband support notable for its ability to make it easier to focus in on specific positions.
They are likely to have stickers so they can be attached to items you might lose and need to track at some point in the future.
Apple was rumored to have something great in-store for the public today and the hashtag ‘appleevent’ began trending on Twitter early Tuesday morning with thousands anticipating the big reveal. Many believed it was a new Apple Watch Series 6 and an iPad Air
Rumours that Apple is developing item tracking tags — as popularised by Tile — first surfaced in September last year when MacRumors released leaked screenshots of an item-tracking sub menu being developed for the ‘Find My’ app. The product has reportedly been given the code-name ‘B389’ during its development and will potentially be sold under the name ‘AirTags’
Another rumoured product that could be announced at this event are Apple’s branded wireless over the ear headphones that use AirPod technology.
They are expected to include active noise cancellation to minimise ambient background noise, equaliser adjustments through iOS or macOS and neck detection that would pause what you’re listening to if you move them to your neck.
Rumours predict they will cost about $349 with Watch-band style customisable straps between the two ears.
Concept Creator created renders of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max models for LetsGoDigital, based on ‘known information’
While it is unlikely Apple will release details of the new iPhone 12 at this event, a number of rumours have circulated surrounding the upcoming device.
There are expected to be four new iPhone 12 models – mirroring the iPad range – including a Pro, Pro Max, standard and Mini version.
All four new iPhone 12 models will support 5G, according to The iPhone 12 Pro models are also expected to have other AR functions building on its Memoji avatar capability, which allows users to create animated versions of themselves from within the Messages app.
The round edges of the four iPhone 12 models will give way to more straight lines for a ‘whole new look’, while the phones could be getting even thinner.
Apple One bundles will include music, gaming, cloud storage and other Apple services in a range of combinations and price tiers, as a rival to Amazon Prime. Pictured, Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing the Apple TV+ last year, which would be included in Apple One
The iPhone 12 Pro Max are said to be only 7.4mm, almost 10 percent thinner than the 8.1mm-thick iPhone 11 Pro Max, LetsGoDigital reports.
All the iPhone 12 models will be equipped with an A14 Bionic chip processor and come with OLED displays.
They will be offered in four colors – Silver, Space Grey, Midnight Green and a new ‘Navy Blue’.
The Apple iPhone 12 is hotly anticipated and will support 5G wireless technology.
In locations where the necessary infrastructure is already established, these 5G enabled handsets will offer superior download speeds.
The development will see Apple catch up to its Android-based rivals, whose latest offerings have all featured 5G capable handsets – such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro.
HomePod and Wireless Charging Mat
The HomePod, Apple’s answer to Amazon and Google’s smart speaker devices hasn’t sold well since it launched but the firm is rumoured to be working on a smaller, more affordable version – due to launch this year.
Specific details haven’t been revealed but it is likely to include two tweeters among the speaker system and Siri.
The other potential device that could be announced on the day – either in person or via a press release – is the wireless charging mat scrapped in 2019.
All of the above are rumours, Apple hasn’t confirmed anything specific about the announcement beyond the fact iPhone 12 won’t be released until October.
The event is due to stream online through iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and on the Apple website at 6pm BST – led by CEO Tim Cook.
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