After being in a state of turmoil for pretty much the whole year regarding the state of Apple’s upcoming iPhones, it’s finally time for some relief. Apple is hosting an event at 10 A.M. PDT tomorrow. It will be an online-only event just like the previous two Apple events this year—WWDC 2020, and the September 15 “Time, Flies” event.
Online events have become quite ubiquitous due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’ll probably take some before we’ll be able to attend events physically once again. Despite that speculation, people now are rooting more for online-only Apple events than traditional ones, thanks to Apple’s videography and exciting style of presentation.
This is also the first time Apple is conducting separate events to announce new products. The Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad Air 4, and a new 10.2-inch iPad were all announced at Apple’s September 15 event. There was some expectation for new iPhones to make an appearance back then, but that was it. No new iPhones were announced.
Apple is fulfilling those expectations tomorrow at its “Hi, Speed” event. The reason I’m repeatedly highlighting “Hi, Speed” is because it conveys something. Usually, Apple issues event announcements along with a tagline that offers cryptic insights into what the company would later announce at the event. This time, it means 5G. Yes, the new iPhones are supposed to get 5G capabilities. The emphasis on speed (with the capitalized “S” after the comma) may also suggest improvements in performance thanks to the A14 chip that’s gonna power the upcoming iPhone lineup and supposedly, Apple’s first ARM Macs.
But that’s not just what I’m basing this article on. Over the course of this year, we’ve come across numerous leaks and hints that provide a glimpse into what Apple’s upcoming products might eventually end up looking like. That said, here’s what we think Apple will announce at tomorrow’s event.
I’ve already written an extensive post about what the new iPhones may end up looking like in your hands and how you might appreciate some features while having to make do with the ones that you don’t. You should go check that out. I’m going to list out the upgrades anyway.
The iPhone 12 lineup will consist of four new devices. This is different from the iPhone 11 lineup that Apple established just last year, which contains three iPhones. They will include a 5.4-inch iPhone mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max.
All iPhones coming out this year will have an updated design reminiscent of the iPhone 4 and the iPad Pro along with squared edges and a glass back. Furthermore, all iPhones are expected to sport 5G antennas. But, it’s expected that 5G implementation will be inconsistent across the lineup. The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12—which are lower-end models—will only support sub 6GHz bands of 5G, known for coverage over a long-range while lacking in speed. The iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, are expected to support both sub 6GHz and mmWave (faster, but has short range) 5G bands.
There’s yet another implication for 5G in those iPhones. While the higher-end models will support mmWave, it may be restricted to the U.S. models only. Recently, a report from The Telegraph suggested that the UK won’t be able to take advantage of the 5G in new iPhones at all. It’s acceptable, as the world isn’t adequately ready for 5G yet.
Aside from 5G, though, all the iPhones in the upcoming lineup are expected to sport an OLED display. No 120Hz, though.
Of all the upcoming iPhones, the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most anticipated. It’s primarily because both offer a new form factor. The iPhone 12 mini will cater to those looking for a smaller form factor but don’t want to settle for a design that feels like 2015. On the other hand, the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, as a source in a previous Bloomberg report states, will be “one of this year’s most notable improvements.”
A mini version of the HomePod. New “MagSafe” wireless chargers. No AirPods Studio, Apple TV, and AirTags; though.
When Apple launched the HomePod, it wasn’t received very well. That was mainly due to its exquisite price. The HomePod mini will hopefully fix that reputation and pave the way for Apple to compete head-on with other smart home speakers in the market. It’s rumored to cost only $99 and will be 3.3-inches tall. It will also sport an S5 processor, which is the same SoC used in the Apple Watch Series 5.
Apart from that, Apple is also surprisingly expected to announce a revival of its MagSafe brand through a new pair of wireless chargers. According to rumors pertaining to these, the new wireless chargers will be the fastest ones yet, allowing 15W wireless charging. Interestingly, an earlier leak showed images of a circular array of magnets that the iPhone 12 lineup will probably have that could aid the fast wireless charging while also allowing reverse wireless charging.
Tomorrow’s event also won’t cover the rumored Apple-branded headphones dubbed AirPods Studio. Instead, they could be announced via a press release later this month or early next month. However, as per new indication today, it seems there’s a slight chance the AirPods Studio headphones might be announced tomorrow. Don’t count on it, though.
There were talks that Apple would launch its Tile-like trackers which are rumored to be called AirTags at the event as well. However, it seems Apple isn’t unveiling those tomorrow because they lost them. Well, not really. A recent rumor suggested that the AirTags would instead launch in March 2021, which is a relatively long way down the road.
Earlier, Apple used to host its live events and keynotes only on its website. However, it recently started streaming them on YouTube. Since then, there hasn’t been a better way to watch an Apple event.
You can still watch the event via Apple’s website, but let me warn you that it streams somewhat unreliably. On the other hand, YouTube seems to manage live events quite well, with the streams being a few seconds ahead of the live stream on Apple’s website. To top it off, nothing can beat YouTube’s ubiquity. It’s accessible on almost every device you own.
I’ll be embedding the livestream right here. You can, moreover, set a reminder for yourself so that YouTube will pop a notification your way when the event’s about to start.
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