With very few exceptions, Apple’s big annual iPhone launch events land with such regularity that you can almost set your calendar by them — and this year is no exception. The season is upon us when Apple is once again poised to unveil its next-generation iPhone lineup, along with new Apple Watch models and possibly even a much-anticipated sequel to its 2019 AirPods Pro.
While there was some speculation that Apple might have chosen to be a bit whimsical and pick September 14 to herald the launch of the iPhone 14, this earlier date is more in line with Apple’s typical fall event schedule. In fact, last year’s iPhone 13 release, which did land on the 14th, was the latest September date that Apple has ever chosen for an iPhone event.
On the other hand, this year’s September 7 date is also the earliest that Apple has ever held a fall iPhone event, matching the announcement of the iPhone 7 in 2016. Except in 2020, where pandemic-related problems forced Apple to push its iPhone launch into October, every iPhone event of the past decade has been held between September 7 and September 14, generally on a Tuesday except where that follows the Labor Day weekend or falls on September 11.
This year’s Apple event, which has the tagline “Far Out,” is being held on September 7, 2022, at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.
As with nearly all of Apple’s media events, a video version of the event will be shared live on Apple’s website. However, this upcoming event marks the first time Apple is also holding an in-person component where members of the press/media will get to see the new gadgets at a physical gathering.
If you’re going to be watching from home, tuning in via the Apple website is one of the best places to watch. But it’s also not the only place where you can tune in.
Apple Event — September 7
Since it’s YouTube, this will work on any device with a modern web browser or the YouTube app. However, if you want to watch on your Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad, Apple will also broadcast the event in its own TV app. It hasn’t appeared there yet, but if past events are any indicator, expect to see it prominently featured alongside your favorite Apple TV+ shows on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.
While nothing is ever certain until Apple’s executives take the stage to show it off, there have been enough rumors and leaks circulating to give us the big picture of what’s coming next week.
Expect Apple to release four new iPhone 14 models. Three of these will be direct successors to the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, likely adopting the same naming standards: a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.
However, this year we expect Apple to change things up a bit, scrapping the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, a size that sadly turned out to be less popular than many hoped, in favor of a 6.7-inch base model to match up with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Most folks have been speculatively calling this the “iPhone 14 Max,” but recent reports suggest Apple could go with “iPhone 14 Plus” instead, sort of as a nod back to the era of the iPhone 6 through iPhone 8.
Of course, this also brings up the point that nobody can be sure yet what Apple will call these next-generation iPhone models. While the safe money is on “iPhone 14,” that’s by no means guaranteed until Apple takes the stage and officially announces it. Apple has surprised us in the past, such as when the much-rumored “iPhone 8” turned out to be the iPhone X. That’s unlikely to happen this year, but we can’t rule it out entirely.
As for the new iPhone lineup, expect the iPhone 14 Pro to be the star of the show, with reports pointing to an always-on display, a 48-megapixel (MP) camera, and a new design that eliminates the notch in favor of a hole-punch front camera design.
The standard iPhone 14 models are likely to be considerably less exciting. The notch is expected to remain, although there’s a possibility they could gain the 120Hz ProMotion display from last year’s iPhone 13 Pro. They’re also rumored to sport what will basically be the same A15 chip as that model, although Apple is likely to give it a new name, much like it does with the Apple Watch each year.
One possibility is that we’ll see an “A16” chip in the iPhone 14 and an “A16 Pro” in the iPhone 14 Pro, with the so-called “A16” chip being a repackaged version of the slightly more powerful five-core GPU A15 used in the iPhone 13 Pro, rather than the four-core version from the iPhone 13.
Despite rumors last year that some significant design changes were coming, the iPhone 14 is unlikely to look much different from its predecessor. Leaked CAD drawings and renders have shown a nearly identical design to the iPhone 13, although Apple will likely offer it in some new colors, as it typically does with each new iPhone release.
We’ll also see the other usual improvements, likely including some general camera upgrades across the entire lineup, likely with at least one or two new computational photography features, and of course, at least a slight boost to battery life and performance across the board.
While Apple’s September events are primarily about the iPhone, we’ll also very likely see the debut of the Apple Watch Series 8. This year, Apple’s annual wearable refresh should also be joined by a new “Series 8 Pro” version designed for more rugged outdoor use. A second-generation version of the Apple Watch SE that first debuted in 2020 is also expected to appear.
Beyond that, Apple may have a few other surprises up its sleeve. These September events revolve around the iPhone and Apple Watch, but Apple often takes the opportunity to announce a potpourri of other products. Some stronger possibilities include the second-generation AirPods Pro and a tenth-generation entry-level iPad.
Apple could also have a couple of wild cards up its sleeve, such as a new HomePod or HomePod mini; with Matter support coming in iOS 16, Apple will almost certainly have something to say about HomeKit and its living room ambitions, but whether that will include any new hardware products is an open question. Maybe we’ll just get some new HomePod mini colors like last year
While there’s a good chance we’ll also see a new M2-powered iPad Pro and possibly even some new Macs this fall, don’t expect those to get any stage time next week. Apple typically unveils these in entirely separate events held in October or November, and it’s even less likely that Apple will want to show off its flagship iPads now that iPadOS 16 has been officially delayed.
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