The much awaited Apple event is almost here. As the rumor mill has confirmed, the 10th anniversary iPhone will be the star of the show. It doesn’t matter whether Apple calls it iPhone 8, iPhone Edition, iPhone Pro, iPhone X, or just iPhone. Other products expected to be unveiled at the next month’s big event are the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, and the iOS 11.
When will the Apple event take place?
Apple is expected to send out press invites for its September event by the end of this month. The Cupertino company has traditionally held its iPhone events in the first half of September. Last year’s iPhone 7 was announced on September 7, the iPhone 6S was announced on September 9, 2015, the iPhone 6 was unveiled on September 9, 2014.
If you check your calendar, you’ll notice that almost all the iPhone launch events have taken place on a Tuesday or Wednesday. It gives Apple a little over a week to take pre-orders and bring new devices to the market. We can expect the next Apple event to take place on September 5th or 6th. If that doesn’t happen, the other possible dates are September 12th and 13th.
iPhone 8: The biggest highlight of the Apple event
Whatever Apple chooses to call it, the 10th anniversary iPhone will be the star of the show. According to the rumor mill, Apple will be launching three iPhones next month. One is the anniversary edition, and the other two are the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. The latter two will look similar to the last year’s models, though they will have internal hardware upgrades such as a faster processor, and a glass back panel to support wireless charging.
The iPhone 8 will have an entirely new design with a 5.8-inch bezel-less OLED display. Despite sporting a giant 5.8-inch screen, the iPhone 8’s form factor will be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7. The recently released HomePod firmware confirmed the bezel-less display with a cutout at the top that will house the front camera, ear speaker, and other sensors.
The HomePod firmware also revealed that the 10th anniversary iPhone would sport an infrared sensor for facial recognition. It will allow you to unlock your iPhone and authenticate payments simply by looking at it. The face detection technology is code-named “Pearl ID.” It is not yet clear whether Pearl ID would accompany or replace the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The iPhone 8 will also have wireless charging, an upgraded A11 chipset, and augmented reality features. The Cupertino company has made ARKit available to third-party developers to let them build AR experiences into their apps. Multiple leaks have shown that the 10th anniversary iPhone will have a vertically arranged dual camera system on the back.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the anniversary iPhone will be available in limited color options to maintain its “boutique image.” The device will come only in black, while, and a new copper gold color. Recent leaks coming out of China suggest that the copper gold color will be called Blush Gold. It would be launched only in 64GB and 128GB storage options.
Some experts believe that the iPhone 8 launch could get delayed by a few weeks due to technical challenges with new features. Ming-Chi Kuo is confident that the anniversary iPhone would launch in September without any delay. However, it would be available only in limited quantities, according to the analyst. Supplies are expected to improve in October/November.
Even though the Apple event is a few weeks away, German carrier Telekom is allowing customers to reserve their iPhone 8 units. The carrier has put a page on its website that lets you sign up for a ticket that will allow you to be one of the first to purchase the upcoming iPhones.
iOS 11: The heart and soul of iPhone 8
Apple announced the iOS 11 at the WWDC event in June. The operating system has since been in beta testing. We will get to see the public version of iOS 11 at the next month’s Apple event. It will come pre-installed on the upcoming iPhone 7S, 7S Plus, and iPhone 8. Older devices will get the over-the-air OS update a few days after the event.
The iOS 11 brings a number of exciting new features and improvements. Besides augmented reality, it will have a new Do Not Disturb While Driving feature that would mute all the notifications and alerts when you are driving. It will use WiFi or Bluetooth to detect whether you are moving in a car, and then suggest turning on the Do Not Drive mode.
The iOS 11 will also bring peer-to-peer payments service within the Messages app via Apple Pay. You’ll be able to send money to your friends and relatives. The money will go into their Apple Pay Cash account, which they can use to make purchases on the web, in stores, or in apps via Apple Pay. You can also withdraw the money to your bank account.
Apple has also given Siri a major upgrade with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. The voice assistant will make iCloud Calendar appointments based on your activities. It will also be able to translate from English to other major languages such as Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Other features coming with the iOS 11 include an improved Maps app and better music experience.
Apple Watch Series 3
The third-generation Apple Watch is rumored to debut with the iPhone 8 at the next month’s Apple event. The second generation Watch was unveiled with the iPhone 7 last year. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors earlier this week that the Apple Watch Series 3 would look similar to its predecessors. It will be available in 38mm and 42mm sizes.
Kuo has learned from inside sources that the Series 3 Watch will be Apple’s first wearable device to have LTE connectivity. If the report turns out to be true, users will be able to text, stream music, and download apps on their Watch without having their iPhones attached to it. Cellular connectivity for the Watch line has been rumored for a long time.
The analyst believes there will be both LTE and non-LTE variants of the Series 3 wearables. Apple was in talks with all four major US telecom operators to support the LTE Apple Watch. Data plans for the new Watch are expected to work the same way the iPad data plans work. The tech giant has already announced that the watchOS 4 would arrive this fall.
Since the new Apple Watch will only support LTE, countries that still predominantly use 3G networks will not get the LTE Apple Watch. It will be launched in markets with widespread 4G connectivity such as the US, European countries, and China. Little is known about the non-LTE version, though we can expect it to offer more health features and better speed.
The next month’s iPhone event will be one of the biggest events in the tech industry this year. Apple could also confirm the launch date for its Siri-enabled HomePod smart speaker, which the company had teased in June. HomePod is expected to launch by the end of this year. It will compete against Google Home and Amazon Echo, both of which have already built a strong user base.