The next iPhone generation will arrive on Tuesday, September 14th. And it’s not just the new phones that Apple is expected to unveil a new generation of smartwatches and possibly new iPads. Here’s an overview of all the rumors and leaks so far about what’s coming in a few days.
IPhone 13 series
There will be four new models in the familiar configuration, starting with the iPhone 13 mini, through the vanilla model, for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. From what we hear, this is the mini’s last hurray, which next year will be replaced by a Vanilla Max model. But the small flagship still has twelve months to prove its worth to Apple.
The biggest upgrade this generation will be to the display. The two Pro models are expected to have 120Hz LTPO OLED panels, the first iPhones with a high refresh rate screen. That means the vanilla duo will stick with 60Hz this year, but another upgrade could be for all four — an “Apple Watch-like” Always On Display mode. Or this can also be Pro-only, as LTPO significantly reduces the power consumption of a static monitor (hence it was used on the Apple Watch).
Charging will probably also get a speed increase, a small but still. Cable charging will reportedly be bumped to 25W, up from the current 20W. Wireless charging will also be faster, and although the leak did not contain any concrete figures, current models support 15W MagSafe charging, so 20W or even 25W would not be unexpected. However, all of these require new chargers (like this one) and we hear they are getting a little more expensive (Apple is currently selling a 20W charger for $ 20).
Major camera upgrades are not expected until next year, but there will be a few adjustments in 2021. For example, the ultra-wide camera will have an improved lens with autofocus. All four models will have LiDAR, some analysts say, though others claim this will be exclusive to the Pro models.
Image credit: MacRumors
Retailer from Ukraine provided six colorways for iPhone 13 mini: black, blue, purple, pink, white and the special product RED. The phone will have 64 GB and 128 GB storage options according to this list. The larger 13 will have 128 / 256GB, the same for 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max will have 256 / 512GB of storage. There is no mention of the 1TB setting that some analysts have predicted.
A curious new development could make the iPhone 13 work outside cell coverage – a satellite link will allow users to send messages in case of emergency, Ming-Chi Kuo wrote with some clarifications from Bloomberg.
The Apple A15 chipset used in this generation of iPhones will be manufactured on TSMC’s refined N5P node – it promises a modest performance increase of 5% or 10% power saving compared to the A14 chip on the N5 node. If there is a major improvement in one of these categories, it comes from architectural changes and not from the node.
A leak back in August suggested that the iPhone 13 series would be sold on September 17 (at least in China). This was long before Apple confirmed the date of the unveiling on September 14th and sounds pretty likely.
Apple Watch Series 7
The watches decided on size settings of 40 mm and 44 mm back in 2018, but that may be changing – according to a leak, the Series 7 comes in sizes of 41 mm and 45 mm. They will still use the same wrist straps, but the size and slimmer edges may result in larger screens.
Apple Watch Series 7 changes the design with flat sides to make it more similar to iPhones and iPads. The new models can also increase the battery size at the expense of adding new features. As with the iPhone 13, the major upgrades to the watches (such as a body temperature sensor, blood sugar and alcohol sensors) will come over the next few years. However, the currently available sensors should be improved.
Apple Watch Series 7 renders (Source: @RendersbyIan)
This generation should bring an improved Apple S7 chipset with better UWB support. The new chip and the new battery can also lead to better endurance, Apple’s smartwatches are some of the few that can not last 24 hours of normal operation.
A word of warning – while the clocks will almost certainly be revealed at the event, it may take a while to get to the stores. Mark Gurman off Bloomberg reported some production issues that could cause a delay.
iPad mini 6 and affordable iPad: maybe next month
IPad Pros with M1 chipsets are some of the most powerful tablets that money can buy. But they are big and expensive. A compact iPad mini 6 is on the way (judging by the leaks), which will have an 8.4 ”Liquid Retina display running at 60Hz. The tablet measures 206x138x6.1mm and comes in a variety of colors reminiscent of the new iMacs: space gray, silver, rose gold, green and sky blue.
Don’t expect an M1 chipset, but an Apple A14 is much more likely (also known as the iPhone 12 chip). This should make it the first iPad mini to offer optional 5G connectivity. Expected storage options are 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.
iPad mini sixth generation renders (photos:@apple_idesigner)
When part of the design changes, the Touch ID fingerprint reader is also expected to move from the front frame to the side of the slate (it is combined with the power button). The Mini may also support the upcoming Apple Pencil 3, which was talked about months ago.
It’s also an affordable vanilla Apple iPad, but it and the mini will probably not be unveiled on the 14th – expect to see them at an October or even November event instead, probably with new Macs (more on them in one minute). There’s always a chance Apple is pulling one “one more thing” on us, but don’t get your hopes up.
iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15
These are all under public beta testing at the moment, which should be completed with the launch of the new phones, watches and (possibly) tablets. You can read about the new features and check which older devices are supported (long story short, if your iPhone supports iOS 14, it also supports 15).
AirPods 3 maybe, Pro not this year
Put this down as a “maybe” – we’ve heard a lot about the new AirPods 3, though Bloomberg says no new AirPods this year. These may support spatial sound and perhaps even active noise reduction. The current thinking is that these will have hardware similar to the $ 150 Beats Studio Buds (though lacking spatial sound).
What about the new AirPods Pro? Not this year, says Ming-Chi Kuo.
Probably no new Macs
We’ve heard lots of 14 “and 16” MacBook Pros wanting the more powerful Apple M1X chipset and mini-LED screens, though these may not be ready for showtime this month-expect a launch in October or November, says the latest rumor. A new Mac mini (with M1X) is also an option, just not in September.
Contact us again on Tuesday, we will have detailed coverage of all the new devices (and services and whatever else) that Apple unveils at its “California Streaming” event.