Apple is gearing up for its annual September product launch event where it is expected to unveil the next generation of the iPhone and Apple Watch.
What do we know about the event?
Apple holds its cards close to its chest when it comes to the release of its new devices. Last week it sent out cryptic invitations to an “invitation-only event” in San Francisco at 6pm on September 7.
The Silicon Valley giant is known for lacing its invitations with clues regarding its events. For example, in 2014 it added a shadow to the stalk of the apple on its logo that was reminiscent of a sun dial, hinting at the launch of a smartwatch.
This time is no different. Fans have speculated that the dots on the invite look a bit like lens flare, the slightly blurred bright spots that sometimes appear on pictures taken in low light.
The invitation clue has led to speculation that the iPhone section of the launch will focus on iPhone photography. Apple is expected to release two new phones with much better cameras next week, which could feature a marked improvement in low light.
What features will the iPhone 7 have?
The handsets make up the tenth generation of Apple’s smartphone, and are expected to come in two sizes, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch 7 Plus. It will probably look fairly similar to its predecessor, but without the two antenna bands across the back of the device. It could also come in an additional colour, with glossy black the bookies’ favourite.
The most anticipated features of the handset include an upgraded camera, with a “dual-lens” system on the iPhone 7 Plus, a pressure-sensitive home button, and a faster A10 processor.
One of the more controversial expected updates is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. It is not yet clear what will replace the EarPod headphones that come with the iPhone at the moment, but the company could introduce a set of Lightning EarPods or wireless “AirPod” headphones.
Some less certain suggested features include a better battery, a system that makes the phone waterproof and fast charging.
When will it be released and how much will it cost?
For the last two years Apple has publicly released the iPhone two weeks after unveiling it at the San Francisco event. A leaked retail schedule from US phone carrier AT&T confirmed this with the suggestion that it will go on sale September 23.
But prominent leaker Ev Blass said Apple could bring the date forward and release the new products on September 16.
Reports have suggested that supplies of the iPhone 7 could initially be limited, meaning that the devices could sell out fairly quickly.
The starting price for the iPhone 7 could differ from previous years thanks to currency fluctuations and the possibility that Apple will ditch the 16GB model. If Apple keeps prices in line with the last two years, we can expect the iPhone 7 to start at £539 and the 7 Plus at £619.
What about the Apple Watch 2?
Alongside the iPhone, Apple is going to launch the second generation of its Watch, according to reports. The upgraded Watch is expected to have GPS connectivity, a faster processor and a better battery.
That’s all we’re expecting Apple to release at this event, but the company is rumoured to be planning another product launch for October. At the follow-up event it will probably release a new range of Mac computers.
The updated MacBook Pro could have a “Dynamic Function Row” that will replace the function keys on the keyboard with ones that change depending on how you’re using the laptop, according to Bloomberg. It is also expected to have a faster processor and the option of a more powerful graphics card.
Apple could also release updated MacBook Air laptops that have USB C ports, and iMac with a faster processor and new graphics card, and a 5K screen.
Will there be a new iPad?
As Apple released the scaled-down version of the iPad Pro in March, it is unlikely that it will release another version of the tablet this Autumn. But Bloomberg reports that the company could release new software features for the device at the beginning of next year, including Apple Pencil improvements and compatibility with more apps.
Next year the company could release an iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen, instead of the current 9.7-inch, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.