On September 14, the new iPhone generation will be released. Apple is expected to introduce a new smartwatch generation, as well as maybe new iPads, in addition to the new phones. Here’s a rundown of all the rumors and leaks about what’s coming up in the next few days.
The iPhone 13 series
Starting with the iPhone 13 small and progressing through the vanilla model to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, there will be four new models in the familiar configuration. According to our sources, this will be the mini’s final outing before being replaced by a vanilla Max model next year. The tiny flagship, on the other hand, still has a year to establish its worth to Apple.
The display will be the most significant change this generation. The two Pro variants are rumored to have 120Hz LTPO OLED screens, making them the first iPhones with such a fast refresh rate. That means the vanilla duo will stay at 60Hz for the rest of the year, but all four might get a “Apple Watch-like” Always On Display feature. LTPO considerably reduces the power demand for a static screen, thus this may be Pro-only as well (which is why it used on the Apple Watch).
Charging is certainly getting a speed bump as well, albeit a minor one. The current 20W of wired charging will supposedly be increased to 25W. Wireless charging will be faster as well, and while the leak didn’t give any specific figures, current models enable 15W MagSafe charging, so 20W or even 25W wouldn’t be out of the question. All of them will, however, necessitate new chargers (such as this one), which we’ve heard will be more expensive (Apple presently sells a 20W charger for $20).
Although major camera enhancements aren’t expected until next year, 2021 will see a few tweaks. The ultra wide camera, for example, will get a new lens with autofocus. Some analysts indicate that LiDAR will be available on all four versions, while others claim that it would be limited to the Pro variants.
The iPhone 13 small comes in six color options: black, blue, purple, pink, white, and the limited-edition Product RED. According to the ad, the phone would come with 64GB and 128GB of storage. The bigger 13 will offer 128/256GB of storage, while the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will have 256/512GB. There is no mention of the 1TB option that has been predicted by certain analysts.
A strange new development might see the iPhone 13 working outside of cell coverage – a satellite link will allow users to send messages in the event of an emergency, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, who added some explanations from Bloomberg.
When compared to the A14 chip created on the N5 node, the Apple A15 chipset used in this generation of iPhones will be constructed on TSMC’s refined N5P node, which claims a small 5% performance gain and 10% power savings. If one of these areas sees a significant improvement, it will be due to architectural modifications rather than the node.
According to a leak from August, the iPhone 13 series will be released on September 17th (in China at least). This was well before Apple confirmed the September 14 launch date, and it seems reasonable.
Apple Watch Series 7
The Watches settled on 40mm and 44mm size options back in 2018, but that may be about to change – according to one leakster, the Series 7 will come in 41mm and 45mm sizes. They will still use the same wrist straps, however, the size bump and slimmer bezels may bring larger screens.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will change up the design with flat sides to make it more similar to the iPhones and iPads. The new models may also increase the battery size at the cost of adding new features. Like with the iPhone 13, the major upgrades to the Watches (e.g. a body temperature sensor, blood sugar and alcohol sensors) will arrive in the next couple of years. The currently available sensors should be refined, however.
The Apple S7 chipset should be upgraded this generation, with stronger UWB support. Apple’s smartwatches are among the few that can’t survive 24 hours of normal operation, so the new chip and battery should help with that.
A word of caution: while the watches will almost certainly be introduced at the event, it is possible that they will take some time to arrive in stores. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported on potential production concerns that could cause a delay.
iPad mini 6 and affordable iPad: maybe next month
The iPad Pro models with M1 chipsets are among the most powerful tablets available. They are, however, enormous and expensive. According to rumors, an 8.4-inch Liquid Retina display with 60Hz refresh rate is in the works for the iPad mini 6. The tablet will be 206x138x6.1mm in size and will be available in a range of hues inspired by the new iMacs, including space gray, silver, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
But don’t expect an M1 processor; instead, an Apple A14 is more plausible (aka the iPhone 12 chip). This one should be the first iPad mini to provide 5G connectivity as an option. 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB of storage are expected.
The Touch ID fingerprint scanner is also believed to be moved from the front bezel to the side of the slate as part of the design modifications (it will be combined with the Power button). The mini could possibly support the Apple Pencil 3, which has been rumored for months.
There has also been speculation of a cheap vanilla Apple iPad, but it and the mini are unlikely to be shown on the 14th; instead, look for them to be unveiled in October or November, most likely alongside new Macs (more on those in a minute). There’s always the possibility that Apple will surprise us with “one more thing,” but don’t get your hopes up.
iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15
These are all undergoing public beta testing at the moment, which is set to conclude with the launch of the new phones, watches and (possibly) tablets. You can read about the new features and check which older devices are supported (long story short, if your iPhone supports iOS 14, it supports 15 too).
AirPods 3 maybe, Pro not this year
Put this one down as a “maybe” – we’ve been hearing a lot about the new AirPods 3, but Bloomberg says no new AirPods this year. These may support Spatial Audio and perhaps even active noise cancellation. The current thinking is that these will have similar hardware to the $150 Beats Studio Buds (which lack spatial audio, though).
What about new AirPods Pro? Not this year, says Ming-Chi Kuo.
Probably no new Macs
We’ve been hearing plenty of 14” and 16” MacBook Pros that will feature the more powerful Apple M1X chipset and mini-LED displays, though these may not be ready for showtime this month – expect an October or November launch, say the latest rumors. A new Mac mini (with M1X) is also a possibility, just not in September.
Check back with us on Tuesday, we will have detailed coverage of all the new devices (and services and whatever else) that Apple unveils at its “California Streaming” event.