It's that time of the year when Apple releases their new iPhones. But this year, we're expecting a little more than usual. Here's everything we expect from the company's big reveal this week as well as some things we're hoping for at Thursday's event .
There's almost no doubt the 2018 iPhone range will include three new models.
The iPhone X will most likely be replaced by the iPhone XS - the name makes sense given the expected price tag is likely to tip over $2,000. It will be a point update on last year's flagship model with the next version of Apple's A-series processors as well as a memory update from 3GB of RAM to 4GB. Other potential new features include a third rear camera and coloured bodies (I expect that to be a feature of the lowest cost model, in the same vein as the iPhone 5c) although a rumoured gold-coloured body could be reserved for the premium models.
We're likely to also see the iPhone XS Max - a larger version of the phone which will increase the display size from 5.8-inches to 6.5-inches. The use of the "Max" moniker is a departure from the company's use of "Plus" with previous models.
The more interesting model, I think, is the lower-cost unit. Expected to look a lot like the iPhone X, this entry level model will replace the iPhone X's OLED display with a lower cost LCD and possibly move from the stronger and more resilient stainless steel body to aluminium. 3D Touch is likely to be omitted from the new entry level iPhone.
2018 iPhone X Plus (6.5-inch) and iPhone (6.1-inch) Dummy Models. pic.twitter.com/QrgkT6u0vS
— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) July 29, 2018
With Apple's entire laptop range now going 100% USB-C and their desktop systems also supporting the new standard, I think we can assume the standard charging cable to be USB-C on one end, with the Lightning connector retained - for now. There's little doubt Apple will move to USB-C for the iPhone and iPad eventually, but I expect that move to be completed in 2019.
The European Union has been pushing for phone chargers to become universal and for proprietary connectors to be banned. Assuming that happens, it makes sense for Apple to follow suit, rather than have EU-specific models.
Apple Watch Series 4
While September is usually all about the iPhone, Apple looks like they will be releasing a substantially upgraded Apple Watch, The Apple Watch series 4 is rumoured to have a slightly larger and higher definition display as well as the ability to run more complications on the display. That points to a substantial processor boost and a commensurate increase in battery power in order to keep things running.
— 9to5Mac (@9to5mac) August 30, 2018
The Apple Watch Series 3 was a relatively minor upgrade from it's predecessor where as the Series 2 added water proofing and integrated GPS. So, it seems Apple is moving with their familiar "tick-tock" upgrade cycle where alternate product updates are either major or minor.
As reported a few weeks ago, the iPad Pro will get a substantial refresh with TouchID going the way of the dodo. This means the screen size will increase without adding extra heft to Apple's flagship tablets.
With the "basic" iPad getting an update earlier this year, and the iPad Pro likely to get a display bump as well as the latest Apple processor and some more memory in keeping with the new flagship iPhones, all that remains is for the company to do something with the iPad mini.
I'm a big fan of the iPad mini form factor. It's a great size for reading e-books and, if it supported the Apple Pencil (or the new Logitech Crayon) it could replace a paper-based notebook. If it had a bezel-less display it would also be perfect for watching movies while travelling. The current iPad mini hasn't been updated in over three years so it's ripe for a major refresh. But while I hope Apple will give it some love next week, I doubt it will see any.
iOS 12 Will Be Released To The Public
Apple has released a massive number of beta versions for iOS 12. In previous years, there were perhaps five or six betas for developers following by a couple of release candidates before the final version, called a Gold Master, was put into developer hands.
This year, there gave been over a dozen iOS 12 beta version released.
Apple will be announcing the release of the latest iteration of iOS. iOS 12 includes a bunch of new features including Screen Time for monitoring and managing your online activity, as well as dozens of other tweaks to the the mobile operating system. It's a subtle update to its predecessor with iOS 13 expected to bring a massive update to the rather tired, icon-based home screen.
All The Other Apple Operating Systems Will Be Updated
macOS, watchOS and tvOS have also been going through the beta process with developers as well as with public testers. Those platforms will also go public with updates.
Bye Bye Old iPhones
As well as last year's iPhone X and iPhone 8, Apple still has the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE listed as available products. While the iPhone SE is likely to survive or be updated, we'll likely see the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s disappear from sale and last year's iPhone models retained but at lower prices. I expect the iPhone X to be culled.