Apple’s iPhone 14 launch event is just days away and a slew of new devices are expected to be showcased – not just a new iPhone. We are also looking for three (yes, we said three) new Apple Watch models and even a refreshed pair of AirPods Pro earbuds.
Apple is holding a small in-person event on the Apple Park campus and will stream the show online, similar to what it did with WWDC in June. Here’s what we might see at Apple’s hardware-heavy event, scheduled for September 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get some major upgrades
Apple will of course unveil the brand new iPhone 14 in September, but the standard model probably won’t be the star of the show. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are expected to include most of the new and exciting features.
Three major features are expected in the 14 Pro and Pro Max: a customizable always-on display (a feature Android phones have had for years); a 48-megapixel rear camera with a bigger sensor; and a screen that removes the notch in favor of smaller camera cutouts.
Speaking of the cutouts, a report of MacRumors indicates that the camera and speaker have separate cutouts when the screen is turned off, but will form one long pill shape when turned on. A tipster told 9to5Mac that Apple will use the extra space between the two cutouts to more prominently display the privacy indicators for the camera and microphone, which users may be able to take advantage of to learn more about what’s currently accessing them. 9to5Mac also said that Apple can optimize its Camera app for its Pro devices by moving some of its controls, such as the flash and autofocus button, to the top of the screen, while others are located directly below the cutout.
The phone should also get an improved A16 processing chip and possibly two new colors: blue and deep purple. Rumor has it too support for a faster 30W charger (but the phone itself probably won’t come with USB-C just yet), as well start with 256 GB storage, a jump from the 128GB floor that previous Pro and Pro Max models have. There are also rumors that the Pro line have slimmer bezels and larger batteries. It’s a solid list of new features that Apple could use to justify a notorious price hike for its more expensive iPhones.
However, it seems that the standard version of the iPhone 14 will not come with many major changes. The biggest update to the non-Pro model is expected to be the introduction of a larger 6.7-inch screen in the iPhone 14 Max – if it’s called that. Alleged phone packaging from Apple’s factory indicates that the company plans to swap the “Max” branding on the standard iPhone model for “Plus,” a name Apple hasn’t used since the iPhone 8 Plus.
Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max would remain the A15. All four new models will likely ship with 6GB of RAM, the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) versus LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022
Apart from that, rumors from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicate that the iPhone 14 (plus the Pro and Pro Max) may also have a better selfie camera that uses autofocus. In terms of performance, the base iPhone 14 will likely use the same A15 processor used in the iPhone 13 series. And if you’re a little phone aficionado, I’m sad to say that there probably won’t be a new Mini this year.
There are also rumors that the iPhone 14 will come with satellite connectivity, something that users can take advantage of in emergency situations without cellular service. There were rumors of satellite connectivity for the iPhone 13 last year, and in February satellite company Globalstar acquired 17 new satellites “to provide continuous satellite services to the potential customer,” which some speculate is Apple. The branding of the event “Far Out” could also indicate this possibility.
New Apple Watch Models: Series 8, SE and “Pro”
Apple is gearing up to launch three new Apple Watch models: the Watch Series 8, an updated SE and a new rugged “Pro” model designed for athletes who participate in extreme sports.
Let’s start with series 8. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the next-gen watch will feature a new S8 chip, but it won’t offer a notable performance upgrade over the S7 and S6 chips. Although Apple is not expected to record a way not to check your blood pressure yetit can come with a temperature sensor that detects if you have a fever, as well as fertility tracking features.
Meanwhile, the new Apple Watch SE is expected to replace the budget Watch Series 3. It will likely ship with the same S8 chip, an upgrade over the S5 chip that the 2020 SE model uses. Other than that, it doesn’t look like there are any other big changes ahead – it’s expected to keep the same display size as the current SE.
As for the rumored rugged Apple Watch “Pro”, Gurman believes it could come with a larger “almost 2-inch screen” that is “more shatter-resistant”. It may also have a “strong metal” housing rather than the rubberized exterior hinted at earlier. A report from the based in Japan Mac Otakara adds more color to these rumors, noting that the Pro model could have a flat-edged screen with a larger 47mm case, an increase over the 41mm and 45mm sizes of the Apple Watch Series 7 It may not even fit older watch bands.
While we don’t expect the first variant of this watch to come with satellite connectivity, Gurman predicts a future model of the Pro watch could have satellite features, something the company has reportedly discussed internally. Even without the satellite features, don’t expect this watch to be cheap – Gurman expects it to cost somewhere between $900 and $999.
The next generation of AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro haven’t received an update since their initial launch in 2019. Now, nearly three years later, we can finally see the release of the AirPods Pro 2 at the Far Out event.
First, expect them to look different. The new AirPods Pro can look like the Beats Fit Pro, possibly with an in-ear wingtip design that drops the stem. They could also focus on fitness tracking thanks to the potential for improved motion sensors.
Kuo also hinted at the possibility that the AirPods Pro will support lossless audio, allowing for higher quality sound. This would also make the AirPods Pro 2 the first model to use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) — not even the high-end AirPods Max support it. If the AirPods Pro 2 eventually comes to support the Apple Lossless Audio Codec, it will be interesting to see how Apple manages to get around the limitations of Bluetooth, which generally requires some audio quality compression.
However, reports from MacRumors and 9to5Mac suggest that Apple might take a different approach. Apple may be working on adding Bluetooth 5.2 support instead, which uses a new codec that should transmit audio more efficiently, allowing for higher quality audio or less battery use. A recent submission with the Bluetooth SIG product database indicates that Apple may be considering adopting the technology for the AirPods Pro, and 9to5Mac says it saw references to the technology in iOS 16’s code.
The AirPods Pro 2 charging case may also get an upgrade. It may come with a small speaker that makes a sound when you try to find it through the Find My app. Only the AirPods themselves make noise right now, and adding the capability to the case could come in handy if it ever gets separated from your AirPods.
We may get iOS 16 and watchOS 9 launch dates
We first heard about iOS 16 when Apple announced it in June, and we have a pretty good idea of what to expect based on what we’ve seen from the public beta. gurman says Apple completed development last weekand the company is likely to launch a final version of iOS 16 within about a week of the iPhone 14 event.
iOS 16 brings a number of new features, including the ability to edit and delete messages, as well as a customizable lock screen. It also introduces repositioned notifications that appear at the bottom of your lock screen and a Live Activities lock screen widget that provides updates on real-time events, such as sports scores or food delivery progress.
Oh yeah, and the battery percentage is back… but not in the way you’d expect (or like). Thankfully, Apple can find a way to squeeze the old battery percentage indicator — which shows the battery icon and percentage side by side — into the iPhone 14 Pro’s status bar now that we’re expecting a notch-less design.
In addition to iOS 16, Apple could also launch watchOS 9 in addition to its three new smartwatches. The watchOS 9 beta has been out for a few months now and will bring quite a few improvements to the Apple Watch. This includes new running stats, medication reminders, sleep phase tracking, passive AFib monitoring, and improved watch face customization.
Is that all?
Looks like this is it for this one certain Apple event, but luckily we won’t have long to wait for another round of new Apple products. Apple is expected to return to its old pre-pandemic schedule of holding an iPhone event in September and then a separate event in October to showcase its new iPads and Macs.
That’s when we can expect a new M2-equipped iPad Pro, as well as an entry-level iPad with the A14 chip. Rumor has it that Apple will also release three new Macs, including a Mac Mini, Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, all with Apple’s M2 chip. iPadOS and macOS Ventura are also likely to arrive around this time.
We’re also still waiting for Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset, and it would be a bit of a chance to expect the company to show it this year. However, it seems that Apple is making some progress. Recent trademark filings indicate that Apple is investigating the “Reality” branding for its new headset, which the board of directors reportedly got to test earlier this year. Kuo predicts that the device will not launch until January 2023.
And remember that rumored iPhone subscription we heard about earlier this year? There is apparently a possibility that it could be launched by the end of this year according to Gurmanpotentially giving you the option to pay a monthly fee to “lease” an iPhone or iPad.
Update Aug 24, 12:05 PM ET: Updated to confirm Apple’s event is on September 7.
Update August 29, 11:29 AM ET: Updated to add new rumors about Apple’s upcoming devices.
Update August 31, 5:47 PM ET: Updated to add additional iPhone 14 rumors.
Update August 31, 6:19 PM ET: Updated to add more information about the iPhone 14 cutout.
Update Sept 4, 3:44 PM ET: Updated to add more iPhone 14 and Apple Watch rumors.