The release of the next generation iPhone 7 is only weeks away now, but the Californian company could also be preparing several other hardware products for one of its most exciting release windows ever. With multiple iPhone 7 models expected, this will be a prolific and important time for the consumer electronics giant, so what exactly can we expect from Apple in September?
Multiple iPhone 7 models
Of course, the iPhone is not only the critical release for Apple, but also one of the highlights of any technology year. The market-leading smartphone has firmly established itself as an iconic device, and one that continues to deliver over 60 percent of Apple revenue.
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Nonetheless, the relentless success story of the iPhone has, if not stalled, slowed down slightly In recent years, a Apple has already predicted that it will shift less iPhone units during 2016 than the previous calendar year; the first time that this has occurred in the history of the smartphone.
This has led many analysts to suggest that Apple will be relatively conservative when manufacturing the iPhone 7, instead saving more revolutionary aspects of its smartphone technology for an iPhone 8 release next year. 2017 will be the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range, and it is thought that Apple will have something special up its sleeve to acknowledge this landmark.
Nonetheless, there will be some significant changes to the Apple smartphone in 2016, with the most notable and highly publicized being the removal of the headphone jack. This concept hasn’t been universally popular, but it is one that would allow Apple greater flexibility in design, possibly leading to a slimmer iPhone 7.
Apple is also seemingly toying with the idea of introducing a third model of the iPhone 7 in 2016, with the iPhone 7 Pro being hotly tipped by some market observers. This phablet-sized model of the iPhone 7 range would be an upmarket version of the iPhone 7 Plus, and possibly the only variant of the series to receive a dual-camera setup.
There remains some debate over whether or not this will be the case, with Apple expected to beef up the photographic capabilities of the iPhone range when the iPhone 7 is unveiled. Additionally, there will be significant spec upgrades, although the screen resolution of the device is expected to stay at full HD for the phablet models.
Apple has yet to confirm the release date of the iPhone 7, but an AT&T retail leak suggests that the Cupertino-based company may release the next generation smartphone on September 23. Other sources disagree with this conclusion, though, with infamous leaker Evan Blass instead suggesting that the iPhone 7 will land one week earlier on September 16.
Apple Watch 2
The other major device slated for a September unveiling is the second generation of the Apple smartwatch, the Apple Watch 2. Apple has already made good ground in the smartwatch marketplace, but the feeling persists that the original smartwatch still failed to deliver enough of a raison d’être in order for consumers to consider it is an essential purchase.
Despite offering numerous customizations for the original Apple Watch, the smartwatch has not been significantly updated since it arrived back in April 2015. This means that Apple has had almost 18 months to work on improvements for the smartwatch, and some are certainly needed considering some of the criticisms which have been levelled at the original device.
WatchOS 3 has been in testing all through the summer, but yet there are still question marks regarding precisely what this new version of the software and hardware will deliver. It had been strongly suggested that Wi-Fi connectibility would ensure that the next generation Apple Watch 2 would be considerably more independent than its predecessor. But there are no doubt that Apple will be able to deliver this with the Apple Watch 2, and that the smartwatch will still be very much dependent on being paired with an attendant iPhone.
Nonetheless, Apple is expected to include GPS in the Apple Watch 2, ensuring that this smartwatch is far more capable of delivering the health-tracking functions which were intended for the original smartwatch. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also suggests that the next Apple Watch 2 will benefit from a barometer for altitude tracking, stronger water resistance, a larger-capacity battery and a faster processor.
This should be a nifty update to the Apple smartwatch concept, and it will be interesting to see what sort of market penetration the Apple Watch 2 achieves.
It is also believed by some that Apple will update its hugely successful MacBook range in 2016. The MacBook Pro is surely due for an upgrade, with a recent Bloomberg article suggesting that a new laptop complete with fingerprint reader, an OLED control strip and USB-C will appear at some point soon.
However, the September unveiling of this device may be too soon, and we may only see the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7 at the Apple event scheduled for September 7. There have been some very exciting specifications linked with next generation Macs in general, not least the whisper that a standalone 5K screen will be included. But don’t expect these to launch alongside the iPhone 7.
Finally, software always has a role in the September unveiling events of Apple, and this year will undoubtedly see iOS 10 appear. WatchOS 3 should also be released alongside this mobile operating system, so within a week or so we should have a much greater idea about the capabilities of these next generation devices via the operating system specifications.