Apple’s “California Streaming” is this week, and we expect a lot of hardware.
Apple just sent out invites for the iPhone 13 event. The keynote will be entirely virtual and live-streamed tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 10 am PT. The invites, seen above, have the tagline “California streaming.” As is always the case, Apple fans and media attempt to decipher the invite for hints and an underlying theme. I’ll leave any sleuthing of the invite to others.
While others try to figure out the invite’s meaning, I have a good idea of what we should expect to see Apple announce. There will, of course, be a new iPhone model — likely called the iPhone 13 — new AirPods, Apple Watch Series 7, and the official release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. There’s also a chance we’ll see a pair of new iPads announced, or Apple could hold them for an October event where a new MacBook Pro would make its debut as well.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest iPhone announcement, including when to tune in, where to stream it, and all of the hardware we expect to see Apple announce next week.
When is the iPhone 13 keynote?
Apple’s iPhone 13 event will take place on Sept. 14, 2021. The live stream will start at 10am PT, 1pm ET.
How to watch
Apple will stream the event on its website or through the Apple Events app on Apple TV. The event will also be streamed on YouTube, which we’ve embedded above for you to watch the event.
Now that you know when and where to watch Apple’s next major event let’s talk about what we expect. Starting with the star of the show: the iPhone 13
Apple’s next iPhone will make its debut on Tuesday. We expect the new phone will be called the iPhone 13. The new iPhone should look similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup but with a smaller notch at the top of the screen where the Face ID sensor array is currently housed. Earlier this year, there were some rumors and speculation that Apple would bring back a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but instead of putting it in the sleep/wake button, it’d be under the display — similar to what Android phones have had for the last few years. There were also early reports that Apple could ditch any sort of charging port altogether. However, neither of those seem likely this year.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has used his weekly Power On newsletter to cover what he expects to see in the iPhone 13 based on information from his sources. Right now, the gist of the iPhone upgrade is this: Smaller notch, 120Hz refresh rate for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, an always-on display similar to the Apple Watch is a strong maybe, and upgraded camera features.
More specifically, the camera will now have the ability to capture video using a portrait mode-like feature where the background is blurred by the camera system adding depth between the subject and the background. Gurman claims the feature will be called Cinematic Video.
There will be four models of the iPhone 13, likely to be called the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
We have a more thorough roundup of all the iPhone 13 rumors and expected features for your reading pleasure.
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple has continued to update and innovate its smartwatch alongside the iPhone every year, and this year we expect to see the Apple Watch Series 7 announced. According to Mark Gurman, the Series 7 will feature a brand new design — a first for the Apple Watch — with flatter edges on the sides, and the overall size will increase by 1mm. That means instead of 40mm and 44mm sizes; the Series 7 will come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, as is the case right now.
An obvious side effect of the larger footprint will be a bigger display that will allow Apple and app makers to show more information on the watch face.
It’s unclear if the change in sizes means that current watch bands, something Apple Watch users tend to invest heavily in, will remain compatible or if users will have to buy new bands. The last time Apple increased the size of the Apple Watch, the bands remained compatible, so let’s hope that’s the case once again.
Don’t expect any new health-related hardware in Series 7, according to Gurman.
It’s been rumored that Apple has had a pair of the entry-level AirPods ready to go for quite some time, but for whatever reason, the release keeps getting pushed back. There’s no better time to announce a new pair of AirPods than with a new iPhone as we head into the holiday shopping season.
I expect Apple to bring some AirPods Pro-level features to the entry-level wireless earbuds, such as active noise cancelation or spatial audio. At least, that’s what I hope Apple does now that the company is facing more competition when it comes to completely wireless earbuds at the low end. Samsung’s recently released Galaxy Buds 2 have all of the same features as the AirPods Pro but cost $100 less.
Over the last few weeks, there had been speculation that Apple would only hold a single event this fall. Still, over the weekend, Mark Gurman reported that he now expects Apple to hold a second event, likely in October, where the company will announce two new iPads and a new MacBook Pro.
A big maybe: iPad and iPad Mini
The base model iPad is due for its yearly refresh, and previous reports have claimed the iPad Mini is getting a new design to match that of the iPad Air. If Apple holds true to its previous pattern for the base iPad, there won’t be any major design changes. Instead, the updates will focus on performance improvements by bringing the internal specifications current.
As for the iPad Mini, it should see a major update to its design. The home button will finally disappear, with Apple instead using a Touch ID fingerprint reader in the sleep/wake button on the side of the iPad Mini, which will now feature flat edges. With the home button out of the way, the display will take up the majority of the front of the tablet. With slimmer bezels, there is some speculation that the size of the display — currently 7.9-inches — could increase for the first time on the iPad Mini.
We’ll have plenty of coverage surrounding the announcements next week. In the meantime, what are you looking forward to Apple announcing next week? Let us know in the comments below.