In just a few days from now, Apple will be unveiling the 2018 iPhone XS, the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max, and the 6.1-inch budget LCD iPhone on September 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater. While the unveiling of new iPhones is a given, Apple might have some surprise in store for us as there’s plenty of other new hardware products it can unveil at the event.
What to Expect at Apple’s September 12 Event
So, ahead of Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ event, let’s quickly roundup of what we expect the company to unveil and what one should expect from the event to keep one’s expectations in check.
- iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max
- Apple Watch Series 4
- AirPods 2
- iOS 12, watchOS 5, macOS Mojave Release Date
- New iPad Pros? Retina MacBook? Refreshed Mac mini?
The highlight of Apple’s September 12 event is undoubtedly going to be the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max. The former is an upgrade of the 2017 iPhone X and feature faster internals and improved camera. As a report had claimed earlier, this year’s iPhones are going to be an ‘S’ upgrade and focus more on performance improvements and camera enhancements rather than bringing something new to the table.
As for the iPhone XS Max, it will be a bigger version of the iPhone XS featuring a massive 6.5-inch OLED display. Other specs of the handset are going to be the same as the regular iPhone XS, though it will also come with a bigger battery which should allow it to offer better battery life as well.
Both phones are expected to feature an improved and faster version of Face ID that will also work in landscape mode. They are also rumored to come with 4GB RAM, up to 256GB storage, and retain all other features found in the iPhone X including wireless charging, fast charging, and water-resistance. Apple is also expected to bundle an 18W USB-C charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable with the 2018 iPhones to allow users to experience fast charging right out of the box.
The iPhone XS is expected to carry a starting price tag of $800, while its bigger brother, the iPhone XS Max, will start from $999. They both will be available in Silver, Black, and Gold colors.
2018 iPhone XS Features:
- Same design as existing iPhone X
- Improved Face ID with faster unlock times
- Faster internals with more RAM
- Improved dual-camera setup
- Improved battery life
- Fast charging
- Estimated price ~$899
2018 iPhone XS Plus Features:
- Same design as iPhone X
- Bigger display
- Face ID
- Faster internals with more RAM (4GB)
- Improved dual-camera setup
- Will offer better battery life over iPhone X
- Fast charging
- Estimated price ~$999
6.1-inch LCD iPhone
Alongside the two new iPhone XS, Apple will also unveil a budget LCD iPhone at the event. While this iPhone will sport the same design as the iPhone X, it will have slightly larger bezels and make a few other compromises to keep its price in check. This includes switching to an LCD display, lowering the amount of RAM to 3GB, a single camera setup at the rear, and a maximum storage of up to 128GB. The handset will come with Face ID though.
The handset is expected to do particularly well in developing and price-sensitive markets like parts of Asia, China, and others. Apple is rumored to add dual-SIM capabilities to the device which should help the handset do particularly well in markets like China and India. It is expected to carry a starting price tag of $699.
LCD iPhone Features:
- Same design as iPhone X with a few compromises
- Slightly inferior build quality and thicker surrounding bezels
- Face ID
- 3GB RAM
- Single camera at the rear
- Dual-SIM functionality in limited markets
- Estimated price ~$600-700
Apart from three new iPhones, Apple is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 4 at the event. A leaked marketing image of the wearable confirms that it will come with an edge-to-edge display. Other expected improvements include a faster and more efficient processor and improved battery life. To take advantage of the bigger display, Apple will also be unveiling some new watch faces for the Apple Watch Series 4 which will feature up to 8 different complications.
As a part of its Series 4 launch, Apple is also expected to unveil new watch bands for the wearable as well.
Almost two years after its launch, Apple’s AirPods continue to remain extremely popular among consumers. This year, Apple is expected to unveil a refreshed version of the AirPods with a better wireless chip and a splash-resistance design. The upgrades are going to be modest in nature, but considering how well the AirPods are already doing, I doubt anyone is going to complain.
At its ‘Gather Round’ September 12 event, Apple will provide users with more details about iOS 12 and unveil some new features of the OS specific to its 2018 iPhone XS lineup. The company will then also announce the release date of iOS 12 which should likely be September 18. The company is expected to take a similar step with watchOS 5 and announce some new features for it which will be exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 4 alongside its release date.
As for macOS Mojave, Apple will presumably only talk about its release date at the event — if at all it decides to talk about it.
Apple is working on a refreshed iPad Pro lineup featuring thinner bezels, Face ID, and faster internals. The company will ditch the home button on its upcoming iPad Pro lineup and adopt Face ID. And just like its iPhone lineup, the company will also give the 3.5mm headphone jack the boot.
By ditching the home button and switching to thinner bezels, Apple will be able to expand the display size on the smaller 10.5-inch iPad Pro to 11-inches without increasing its dimensions. As for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it will continue to sport the same display size, with the smaller bezels helping in reducing the overall footprint of the device. Other notable improvements for the 2018 iPad Pro lineup will include TrueDepth camera at the front, Face ID with landscape support, and faster internals.
Apple is also working on a Retina MacBook and Mac mini refresh. The former is a budget MacBook Air replacement from Apple which will reportedly feature Intel’s Kaby Lake chip and a Retina display. As for the Mac mini refresh, not much is known about it except that Apple is reportedly working on one.
Apple’s September event has traditionally always been about iPhones, the Apple Watch, and iOS, so it is unlikely that we will see Apple unveil its 2018 iPad Pro lineup at the event. My bet is that Apple will unveil these products in a separate event in late October.
What are your expectations for Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ September 12 event? Are you expecting the company to unveil its 2018 iPad Pro lineup at the event?