This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference was all about software, so it stands to reason that this year’s September Event will have a big focus on hardware — and not including three new iPhones.
According to a new investor’s note released by Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is set to refresh almost all of its hardware elements before the end of the year. Specifically, Apple is said to bring new versions of the Mac mini, iPad Pro, iMac, MacBook Pro, and the Apple Watch to market. Kuo echoes some sentiments we have heard in the past, which only adds weight to the idea that we will see these new devices sometime soon.
First, Kuo gets out of the way that he expects Apple will put new AirPods and the AirPower wireless charging mat into mass production sometime in the third quarter of this year, which means we could see those accessories launch in the fall.
Meanwhile, Kuo reiterates that Apple is going to launch three new iPhones this year. We will see a successor to the iPhone X, as well as an iPhone X Plus model with a larger OLED display. There will also be a 6.1-inch iPhone, which will reportedly be equipped with an LCD panel and also lack some of the other features, including 3D Touch, that will be available in the higher-priced models.
The Apple Watch is said to be getting a new design this year as well, one that sees Apple adopt a larger display for its popular wearable lineup. Kuo believes that Apple will introduce two new models, one that features a 1.57-inch display and another that offers a 1.78-inch display, both of which will be equipped with a faster heart rate detection feature.
The iMac is said to feature a processor upgrade under the hood, and “significant display performance upgrades”. The Mac mini, the MacBook Pro, and the 12-inch MacBook are all expected to receive upgrades to their processor options.
Interestingly enough, Kuo is changing his tune a bit when it comes to Apple introducing a brand new “low-cost” notebook this year, too. Kuo’s original expectations were that this would fall into the MacBook Air lineup, but that appears not to be the belief now.
Finally, Kuo says Apple will be introducing 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with drastically reduced bezels and a lack of a physical Home button as well. Kuo expects Apple will be adopting Face ID in the iPad Pro lineup this year, effectively dropping Touch ID.
So, a busy end-of-year for Apple. But the question remains: Will Apple be fixing its keyboard situation in the MacBook lineup? That’s basically all I care about at this point. I need a new laptop and I don’t want to switch to Windows, but I may not have a choice come September if Apple doesn’t find a way to improve the keyboard on its MacBook family.