Apple will host its annual iPhone-centric event Tuesday, September 14th, and it will be completely digital, just like last year. We have heard rumors for months about the event, so we know what to expect.
The event will feature the unveiling of the new iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 models, as well as new Apple Watch bands. The AirPods 3 could be available, and other products such as new iPads or the M1X MacBook Pro models are on the horizon. However, Apple is rumored not to be holding many events in the coming months so this event may have a greater focus on iPhones.
Based on what we have heard, this guide highlights all that we expect to see at September's event.
In 2021, Apple will release four iPhones, including a 5.99-inch iPhone 13 mini and a 6.99-inch iPhone 13 Pro. A 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max is also coming out. It sounds very similar to the iPhone 12 line.
We expect the iPhone 13 models to be nearly identical to the iPhone 12 models. There will also be very few design changes. The new models could be a bit thicker and may come in new colors. Rumours of a darker graphite grey shade and bronze, along with a pink shade, have been confirmed.
Some of the most significant design changes coming to the camera include a lower side button, volume, and mute buttons. The iPhone 13 Pro will feature a larger camera bump, while the iPhone 13 mini will have diagonally arranged lenses. The camera bumps will be thicker but the individual lenses will protrude less.
We expect a smaller Face ID button on the front with the speaker moving towards the top edge. We haven't been able to find reliable information on Face ID.
Rumours suggest that the iPhone 13 Pro models will get a 120Hz ProMotion display. This will finally bring the iPhone up to par with the iPad Pro. This new low-power LTPO backplane tech will enable this, which could also allow for an always-on display similar as what is available on current Apple Watch models.
The iPhone 13 models will feature a 5-nanometer A15 chipset inside. It's also expected to offer faster performance and efficiency improvements, which will increase battery life.
Qualcomm's X60 modem, which will provide faster 5G connections speeds and better coverage, will be available to users. Apple is also expected to offer super-fast mmWave connectivity in more countries. WiFi may be supported by iPhone 13 models that support the latest WiFi 6E specification.
Apple may be using larger batteries in the iPhone 13 models. This might increase battery life but the Pro models might have a shorter lifespan due to the 120Hz refresh rate and always-on display. Although wired charging may be faster than wireless charging, support for up 25W is available. Reverse wireless charging is also possible but this has not been confirmed by reliable sources.
The camera technology is improving every year. Rumours suggest that all new iPhones will get updated features. The iPhone 13 Pro will see the most significant improvements, and it is expected to be comparable to the iPhone 13 Pro Max with a better zoom lens.
Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro will have larger sensors to enhance photos in low light conditions. The Ultra Wide camera on these models will also feature autofocus and a wider f/1.8 aperture to make low-light photography easier. For better stability with the Wide camera, the sensor-shift stabilization option that is available on the Pro models of the iPhone 13 will be added to the whole lineup. The Ultra Wide camera on the Pro models may also have sensor-shift stabilization.
The new cinematic video mode, similar to Portrait mode, will be available for video. Apple has added ProRes support to its Pro models. This is the equivalent of ProRAW. The built-in filters for cameras will be more precise and can be applied to people and objects rather than being overlaid across the entire image. Night Mode will also be enhanced with better colors and new features that allow you to recognize the night sky.
iPhone 13 models will support 1TB storage, an increase from the previous 512GB limit.
Rumours of an under-display Touch ID and a portless design were floating around, but these are not real and we don't expect them to happen. We have a dedicated iPhone 13 roundup that provides more information about what's in store for the iPhone 13.
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch will not receive any new health features this year. However, it is receiving the first redesign since 2018. The Apple Watch Series 7 will be more in line with the iPhone 13 than the iPhone 13, as it has the same flat-edged design. This is a significant change from the curved edges that the Apple Watch had since 2015.
Apple Watch Series 7 will be available in new sizes, 41mm and 45mm, instead of 40mm and 44mm. This will result in larger displays and thinner bezels. The watch will also feature a new lamination technique that makes the display more visible to the surface of the watch.
There are new color options that may be available, including a green shade that could replace or join the last year's blue. There are mixed rumors about whether the Series 7 will be thinner or thicker due to the new design. We'll just have to wait and see.
The Series 7 will include an updated S7 chip. Because it is smaller, it allows for more components such as a larger battery. A new wireless connectivity option is planned, along with an upgraded version of the U1 Ultra Wideband chips.
Apple has created new Series 7-exclusive watch face designs to match the larger displays. These include a Modular Max, Continuum, and a world time watch face. Apple will also unveil new features for "Time to Run" (and "Audio Meditations") that will be used in conjunction with the "Time to Walk", which was introduced earlier this year.
Apple Watch Series 7 has been reportedly having difficulties scaling up mass production. We expect an Apple Watch Series 7 introduction at the event. However, it could be delayed or only available in very limited quantities compared to the iPhone 13.
We have a dedicated guide to the Apple Watch Series 7 that combines all we know so far about it.
Apple's most affordable earbuds will be updated in 2021. We are less certain that it will arrive at the September event than with the iPhone or Apple Watch. The AirPods 3 will be given a redesign with a more AirPods Pro look when they arrive.
We expect an AirPods Pro design that has shorter stems. There are mixed rumors about whether the new AirPods Pro will retain the current silicone tips. However, it looks like they will be a tipless hybrid between the AirPods Pro and the current AirPods.
This case is smaller and more compact than the AirPods Pro, and it is also more similar to the AirPods Pro.
A new internal hardware is possible with an updated wireless chip. We could see increased range and improved battery life. AirPods 3 will not have AirPods Pro features such as Noise Cancellation but they will still be the most affordable AirPods.
Apple is expected release iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 just days before the new iPhone models become available.
We could see software updates launched on the 22nd if the iPhone models are announced and launch on the 14th.
If Apple follows last year's timing, then some software updates may be released as early as the 15th. Apple will inform us on the event day about the launch dates of the software.
If Apple continues to follow its recent releases, macOS Monterey could be released a little after iOS 15 or its sister updates. We may not see Monterey until September or October.
To be announced later this year
Apple hosted events last year in September, October, November and December. It was an autumn event extravaganza. We are counting on multiple events to succeed this year.
2020 was a unique situation due to the iPhone delay. We may only see two events this year but there is always the possibility of three. Here are some possible sights at events that were held in November and October:
MacBook Pro - Apple is developing an updated version for the MacBook Pro in sizes 14 and 16. The new MacBook Pro will feature thinner bezels, a larger screen and a redesigned chassis. This will be the first time that MagSafe connectivity has been reintroduced over USB-C. Apple also plans to bring back the HDMI port, as well as the SD card slot. The Touch Bar will be replaced by a row function keys on the new MacBook Pro models. This redesign is a return to the MacBook Pro model from pre-2016. The upcoming MacBook Pro models will feature a new "M1X", which is an upgrade to the M1.
Apple is currently working on an upgraded version of its MacBook Pro. It will be available in sizes 14 and 16. The new MacBook Pro will feature thinner bezels, a larger screen and a redesign of the chassis. This will be the first time that MagSafe connectivity has been reintroduced over USB-C. Apple also plans to bring back the HDMI port, as well as the SD card slot. The Touch Bar will be replaced by a row function keys on the new MacBook Pro models. This redesign is a return to the MacBook Pro model from pre-2016. The upcoming MacBook Pro models will feature a new M1X chip, which is an upgrade to the M1. Mac mini - Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple is developing a Mac mini with an M1X chip. The new Mac mini will replace current Intel Mac minis and it will be available "in the coming months."
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple is developing a new Mac mini with an M1X chip. The new Mac mini will replace current Intel Mac mini models and it is expected to be available "in the coming months." iPad 9 - A new low-cost iPad 9 is in development. It's expected that it will launch before the year ends. The Home button will still be present, but the 10.5-inch display will be updated. It could also be lighter and thinner than previous models. A faster A-series processor is also possible.
A new low-cost iPad version is in development. It's expected that it will launch by the end of this year. The Home button will still be present, but the 10.5-inch display will be updated. It could also be lighter and thinner than previous models. A faster A-series processor is also possible. iPad mini 6: Apple is making major changes to the iPad mini 6. It will be getting an all-display redesign. It will be identical to the iPad Air's Home button, but it may also have a Touch ID power switch.
How to Watch
The iPhone 13 event will begin on Tuesday, September 14, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple will stream the event live on its website as well as on YouTube.
MacRumors will provide live coverage on MacRumors.com as well as through MacRumorsLive's Twitter account.