Apple has sent out invitations for an event scheduled for Sept. 9 in Cupertino, California, and it looks like it’s going to be a big one. From rumors about multiple iPhone 6s to murmurs of new iPads and even reports of the fabled iWatch, it looks like this mystery event could be one of the biggest Apple has hosted in a long time.
We’ll be on the ground in Cupertino live-blogging the proceedings and offering commentary on the products Tim Cook and company unveil. But until then, here’s a taste of what we expect to see from Apple on Sept. 9.
Two new iPhones
An artist’s mock-up of the iPhone 6. We’ll find out how accurate it is on the 9th!
Apple is widely expected to unveil not one but two new versions of its iPhone 6, a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. So what can you expect from these new iPhones?
For starters, the phone’s sizes will be significantly larger than the current iPhone 5s, which measures 4 inches diagonally. For comparison, Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, has a 5.1-inch screen.
The vast majority of Android and Windows smartphones on the market today offer displays that are larger than 4 inches, and it looks like the folks at Cupertino are moving in the same direction.
According to reports, the iPhone 6 will sport a slimmer, more rounded design than the iPhone 5s and a higher display resolution, meaning that photos, videos, and webpages will look sharper. Speaking of the iPhone 6’s screen, rumors indicate that the next iPhone may use what’s called a sapphire crystal display, making the screen more durable and crack resistant.
There has been much talk about whether Apple has enough sapphire crystal on hand to produce displays for all of its 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal indicated that Apple might equip only its high-end models with crystal displays.
9to5Mac, meanwhile, reported that analyst Matt Margolis believes all 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models will get crystal sapphire displays, while only some 4.7-inch models will get them. The remaining 4.7-inch iPhones, Margolis claims, will receive normal Gorilla Glass displays, which make up current iPhone screens.
Beyond their displays, the two iPhones are also expected to receive more powerful A8 processors than the A7s found in the iPhone 5s, which could give the next-generation iPhone a significant performance boost.
There are also rumors that the iPhone 6 will get an improved M7 co-processor that, in addition to measuring motion as it does in the iPhone 5s, will, according to 9to5Mac, include a barometer and an air pressure sensor.
The folks at VentureBeat say the next iPhone will also have a near-field communication, or NFC, sensor that will allow owners to make wireless payments from the handset. Of course, we expect the iPhone 6 to sport a Touch ID fingerprint sensor just like the iPhone 5s.
Beyond their hardware, both iPhone 6 models will come loaded with Apple’s iOS 8, which sports an updated interface and Apple’s new HealthKit platform for use with fitness and health apps. Speaking of which …
Apple’s iWatch is practically a thing of legend at this point, but it’s looking more and more likely that the fabled smartwatch will make its debut Sept. 9. Little is known about how the iWatch will look or what kind of features it will have, but reports point to a 2.5-inch rectangular display.
Another artist’s representation of the iWatch. This is probably not what the iWatch will look like.
Other rumors indicate that the watch could pack as many as 10 sensors, which would work with iOS 8’s aforementioned HealthKit. The iWatch could also include a heart-rate monitor, as well as the ability to measure how much UV radiation you’re absorbing from the sun.
Above all, it looks as though the iWatch will be every bit as stylish as Apple’s iPhone. Cupertino poached luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer’s vice president of sales and retail, Patrick Pruniaux, back in July, at which time he said Swiss watchmakers had better keep an eye on Apple.
Though less likely to appear at the Sept. 9 event than the iPhone and iWatch, Apple may also roll out a new version of its iPad Air. The iPad Air 2 is expected to get a faster processor similar to the A8 chip that is going into the iPhone 6, as well as a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
According to Business Insider, the iPad Air 2 could also get an improved camera sporting an 8-megapixel sensor rather than the 5-megapixel sensor found in the current Air.
Reports also indicate that Apple is working on a massive 12.9-inch iPad Pro that would be geared toward businesspeople, though that tablet is largely expected to make its debut in early 2015, rather than at the Sept. 9 event. Still, with Apple, you never know what you’ll get.