What a week it’s been. As we’re inching ever so close to Apple’s special media event next week on Wednesday, Sept. 9 in San Francisco, more information has continued to leak out about the products expected to be unveiled at the 7,000-seat Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.
And it’s quickly shaping up to be a huge event with the introduction of four (or more) new products. Here’s what we know so far.
The “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus”
First up, we’ll take a look at the newest version of Apple’s most popular product – the iPhone. The new handsets, expected to be called the “iPhone 6s” and “iPhone 6s Plus,” will maintain the same form factor as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Even so, Apple will use stronger 7000-series aluminum and offer a new rose gold color option.
But the real changes are inside.
Along with a faster, A9-series chip, Apple is doubling the amount of RAM to 2GB which will be a great improvement.
On the camera front, the rear sensor will apparently be able to capture up to 12-megapixel images and even 4K video. The front camera will also see a significant upgrade into a selfie powerhouse with possibly a 5-megapixel camera, 1080p video capture, and the ability to use the screen as a flash.
Unfortunately, Apple will start both handsets with a puny 16GB base model. Apple will also offer a 64 and 128GB version of both phones.
The on-contract pricing structure will also stay the same as in 2014. That means the “iPhone 6s” models will cost $199, $299, or $399 ($649, $749, or $849 retail). The larger “iPhone 6s Plus” versions will cost $299, $399, or $499 ($749, $849, or $949 retail).
Another big feature will be the introduction of Force Touch technology originally introduced in the Apple Watch. As you probably remember, the technology can tell the difference between a longer press and a short tap. Apple will use Force Touch to make a number of actions quicker and easier. For example, using the Maps app, a longer press on a destination will automatically begin turn-by-turn directions.
If Apple sticks to the same release calendar as in previous years, the handsets could hit the market on Friday, Sept. 18.
A next-generation Apple TV
Apple is also expected to introduce a major upgrade to its Apple TV with a fourth-generation device.
While Siri support and universal search will be major features, Apple is also apparently ready to make a strong play for gamers.
The new device will allow users to download games directly from the App Store. And the games can be played with the revamped remote control. Thanks to Bluetooth technology, included motion sensors will allow gamers to do things like use the remote as a steering wheel for racing games.
And along with support for Bluetooth 4.2 technology, the box will also feature 802.11ac networking for the fastest possible connection.
It will retail for $149 and be available sometime in October.
The long-rumored “iPad Pro”
The biggest surprise will apparently be the long-awaited “iPad Pro.”
While we’ve not heard any firm information about pricing, Apple is planning to start preorders for the device in late October for a November arrival.
By unveiling the “iPad Pro” two months before it hits the market, Apple is more than likely giving time for developers to create apps specifically for the larger tablet, which is expected to feature a 12.9-inch screen.
The tablet should also offer Force Touch technology, larger stereo speakers, and other features geared toward users looking for a MacBook replacement.
Late word also says that Apple could be introducing its own stylus and keyboard to bring extra functionality to the device.
A new iPad mini, and maybe even a less expensive gold Apple Watch
And let’s not forget about the Apple Watch. An interesting new report from The New York Times today says that Apple could introduce a less expensive gold version of the wearable device at the event. We’re also expecting a host of new color options of the popular Sport Band.
A fourth-generation iPad mini is also expected to get some time on stage on Wednesday. It will feature a faster processor capable of running all of iOS 9’s multitasking features.
Speaking of software, we should also be hearing firm release dates for the final versions of iOS 9 and WatchOS 2. The latest version of OS X, El Capitan, is also in beta testing, but it could be sometime later in the fall before that software is released to the public.
All of the software updates will be free.
Two things we’re not expecting are a third-generation iPad Air and a so-called “iPhone 6c.” The tablet is expected to arrive sometime next year. The outlook on an updated version of the colorful iPhone 5c is murkier, though. That handset may never see the light of day.
Make sure to keep it here at AppAdvice all next week, including on Wednesday, when we’ll be providing live coverage of the entire event and its aftermath. While we know some of what Apple is planning to unveil, I’m sure there will definitely be some surprises. We can’t wait.
What new Apple product are you most excited about?