What to expect from today's Apple event: 'iPhone 7,' Apple Watch with GPS, more

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2016
Today Apple will hold its now-annual September event where it is expected to unveil new products, most notably its next iPhone. Here everything insiders need to know about the highly anticipated announcements.




tl;dr: Expect the unveiling of the "iPhone 7," "iPhone 7 Plus," new Apple Watch with GPS, and new Beats products. iOS 10 golden master should also launch Wednesday and become publicly available before the end of the month. New Mac hardware will wait until later this fall.

When and where



Apple's keynote takes place Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. It will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif.

AppleInsider will be there live and will be providing instant coverage, analysis, and hands-on impressions with any new products. Visit our official live stream page, and also follow us on social media:



Count on it: Faster "iPhone 7" with new cameras, without headphone jack






It would take some sort of a cataclysmic event for Apple to not stick to its annual iPhone upgrade cycle. The company's cash-cow product has seen yearly updates for the last 9 years, and the 2016 10th-generation handset should be no different.

All evidence points to the so-called "iPhone 7" ditching the legacy 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. It's believed that Apple will ship the "iPhone 7" with a pair of Lightning-connected headphones in the box, while also offering an adapter for traditional headphones. Eliminating the headphone jack would allow for a waterproof design that could enable thinner form factors.

Water resistance could also be improved with a new haptic feedback home button that will simulate a click when pressed, rather than moving. It's expected that the new home button will operate in a manner similar to the click-less Force Touch trackpad found on recent MacBooks.

Apple is also rumored to be working on its own wireless earbuds with completely separate left and right earpieces, which are expected to be dubbed "AirPods."

There has also been last-minute evidence suggesting that Apple could ship a Lightning to headphone adapter in the box, allowing users to connect legacy headphones without the need to pay extra for a separate adapter.




The most significant upgrades this year are rumored to be in the larger 5.5-inch model, which is expected to boast a unique dual-lens camera capable of capturing more advanced images and, for the first time ever, optical zoom. The smaller 4.7-inch version is rumored to have an improved 12-megapixel camera, but lack the dual-lens design.

Internally, the so-called "iPhone 7 Plus" is also expected to feature more capable hardware in the form of 3 gigabytes of RAM. It's believed the smaller "iPhone 7" will stick with 2 gigabytes of RAM. Apple doesn't usually talk about RAM onstage, so it's likely this won't be mentioned during the keynote.




Both cameras are expected to have improved camera flash and better performance in low-light conditions, as well as a newly improved 3D Touch sensor for pressure sensitive input. The external design is also expected to have reduced antenna lines, but feature the same general construction of the iPhone 6s.

The "iPhone 7 Plus" is also rumored to come in a total of five colors, with two of them new: a dark shade of matte black, and a glossy piano black. Apple is expected to do away with space gray this generation, but continue to offer silver, gold, and rose gold.

For capacity, leaks have suggested the "iPhone 7" will start with 32 gigabytes of storage, and will max out at 256 gigabytes, making them the most capacious models Apple has ever made.

Less certain are rumors that the "iPhone 7 Plus" will feature a magnetic Smart Connector port on the back of the handset. Some leaked parts and schematics have shown the connector above the Lightning port, while others have not featured one.

Also expected: A new Apple Watch with GPS






A year and a half after the first model went on sale, Apple is expected to unveil a second-generation Apple Watch at its Sept. 7 event. The key upgrade this year is rumored to be a GPS radio, which will allow users to measure distance and pace without the need for a connected iPhone.

Leaked parts have also suggested this year's model will feature a slightly larger battery, which could be used to offset the battery power needed for GPS tracking.

Other rumored features include a barometer and better waterproofing than the first-generation model.

Reports have also suggested that Apple could tweak the first-generation Apple Watch with slightly better waterproofing and an improved processor based on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's 16-nanometer process.

Those waiting for cellular data connectivity in the Apple Watch, allowing it to be used fully independent of an iPhone while on the go, will have to wait, however. Rumors claim Apple hoped to introduce LTE to the Apple Watch this year, but current technical limitations prevented it from happening. The company is now said to be aiming for a 2017 launch for a cellular-capable Apple Watch.

Bank on Beats, too






An Apple marketing partner inadvertently sent out an email revealing that new Beats products will be announced at Apple's Sept. 7 event.

It's unknown exactly what Apple's Beats brand may have in the works, but considering the company's established lineup of headphones and speakers, it's safe to say they will probably introduce new models.

Given Apple's expected switch to all Lightning and Bluetooth headphones, it's likely that new Beats headphones would follow that lead. Currently, none of the Beats lineup features Lightning-connected headphones, though the Beats Pill+ speaker that debuted a year ago features a female Lightning port for charging.

Obvious, but worth noting: iOS 10 GM and launch date






Apple already announced iOS 10 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference back in June. It still doesn't have an official launch date beyond this fall.

However, if Apple sticks to their usual release schedules (as it is expected to do), then a golden master build of iOS 10 will likely be issued to developers on Wednesday. The public release of iOS 10 should then follow a week or two later, depending on when the "iPhone 7" becomes available. In years past, new iOS releases have launched the Wednesday before a Friday iPhone launch.

It's also likely that watchOS 3 and tvOS 10 will be released alongside iOS 10.

macOS Sierra is a bit of a wildcard. It could launch alongside the other four platforms. Or perhaps Apple will wait until its new Macs debut.

And about the Mac...

Macs will have to wait, however




MacBook Pro render. | Source: Martin Hajek


Apple's entire Mac lineup is due for updates. That doesn't mean they're imminent.

Multiple reports have indicated that Apple will not, in fact, update Mac hardware at the Sept. 7 event. Between the iPhone, Apple Watch, Beats and iOS 10, it'll be packed enough as-is.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Apple will roll out new Macs in October.

It's been said that the company doesn't want to host two fall events anymore, as it has done in the past, which would mean private, one-on-one media briefings -- under embargo --?will probably occur in October. When the embargo lifts, then the new Macs can launch.

A concept render of the OLED bar.
A concept render of the OLED bar.


Most anticipated is an entirely new MacBook Pro design boasting a dynamic OLED touch bar. The new feature is rumored to display context-sensitive commands, such as playback options in iTunes or word processing shortcuts in Pages. The touch bar is expected to replace the current row of function keys.

Apple is also rumored to bring Touch ID to the Mac for the first time, with a fingerprint sensing power button next to the dynamic OLED function row.

More expensive configurations of the new 15-inch MacBook Pro are rumored to use AMD Polaris GPUs, chosen because they're thin and power-efficient enough. Lower-end 13-inch models and 15-inch configurations are likely to use Intel's integrated graphics.

The MacBook Pro is also rumored to make the switch to USB-C, the next-generation reversible, high-speed port already found in the 12-inch MacBook.

Other Mac-related hardware rumored to be in the works are a MacBook Air refresh and a standalone 5K monitor.

A new MacBook Air could be just a simple processor speed bump. Apple would seem unlikely to introduce major new features, like a high-resolution Retina display, when the 12-inch MacBook serves as the company's flagship thin-and-light machine.

As for the new 5K display, Apple discontinued its Thunderbolt Display in June, having long been surpassed by high-resolution monitors available at much more affordable pricing. Apple could differentiate its rumored 5K display with an integrated graphics card, allowing less powerful machines like the 12-inch MacBook to be able to drive the massive pixel count of an ultra-HD screen.

But again, all of that will have to wait. Sept. 7 is the iPhone's stage.

AppleInsider's own Daniel Eran Dilger will be at the keynote, providing exclusive impressions as Apple makes its highly anticipated announcements. Join us for live coverage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    Two iPhone questions:

    1. Will optical zoom mean the lens moves, as with an SLR camera?
    2. How will Apple provide water-resistance of the Lightning port (that is not possible with the headphone port)?

    Looking forward to Wednesday!
  • Reply 2 of 31

    I have a suspicion that, despite all the rumors/leaks, there is some undiscovered breakthrough buried in the hardware/software. 

    TurboPGTlolliverronnpscooter63teaearlegreyhot
  • Reply 3 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member
    Two iPhone questions:

    1. Will optical zoom mean the lens moves, as with an SLR camera?
    2. How will Apple provide water-resistance of the Lightning port (that is not possible with the headphone port)?

    Looking forward to Wednesday!
    The iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus have had true optical zoom for two years now. The lens does move but you cannot see that externally.
  • Reply 4 of 31
    lkrupp said:
    Two iPhone questions:

    1. Will optical zoom mean the lens moves, as with an SLR camera?
    2. How will Apple provide water-resistance of the Lightning port (that is not possible with the headphone port)?

    Looking forward to Wednesday!
    The iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus have had true optical zoom for two years now. The lens does move but you cannot see that externally.
    This is incorrect. The iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus have had hardware optical image stabilization. They do not have optical zoom.
    TurboPGTchialolliveriqatedobill42mike1nolamacguy
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Is there any expectation of iPad refreshes? New iPad Pro 12 inch model or iPad Air 3?
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Is there any expectation of iPad refreshes? New iPad Pro 12 inch model or iPad Air 3?
    Rumors are pointing to Spring 2017 for updates to the iPad line-up.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,400member
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a MacBook Air refresh announced, possibly along with an iMac refresh, for no other reason than to introduce added Lightning ports and hardware support for new audio codecs, to provide a signal for developers that they will be able to find support for Lightning and wireless protocols across Apple's entire product line in the near future.

    If there's a Mac event in October they might chose to wait as it's such a short time, but if not, there will otherwise be a lot of handwringing about the need for adapters to use Lightning headphones between the iPhone and Macs. 
  • Reply 8 of 31

    Lots of possibilities, considering these...

    Apple acquired:
    • Nov 2013 -- PrimeSense -- gesture/image recognition hardware and software
    • Apr 2015 -- LinX -- camera hardware and software
    • Sep 2015 -- Perceptio -- Machine learning, Image recognition
    • Nov 2015 -- FaceShift -- Motion capture
    • Jan 2016 -- Emotient -- Facial recognition systems

    Apple has acquired PrimeSense, a developer of 3D sensors that allow devices to respond to the environment in three dimensions.

    The company's sensors have applications in other areas, ranging from retail to healthcare, which suggest that Apple has a number of alternatives for deployment of the technology in its own devices. Its Capri sensor is a small-size device designed specifically for integration with mobile phones, TVs, tablets and PCs.

    http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apple/apple-acquires-3d-sensing-technology-company-primesense-3490773/

    Multi-aperture LinX products open the door for real-time applications that use images and distance maps together, such as:

    • Automatic background removal
    • Refocusing
    • High-quality control of autofocus in video mode when one of the cameras is equipped with autofocus (range finder camera)
    • Augmented reality
    • 3D object modeling
    • Distance and Sizing of objects
    • Biometric 3D face recognition
    Perceptio’s goals were to develop techniques to run AI image-classification systems on smartphones, without having to draw from large external repositories of data. That fits Apple’s strategy of trying to minimize its usage of customer data and do as much processing as possible on the device.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-05/apple-acquires-startup-developing-advanced-ai-for-phones

    Apple might use Faceshift for augmented reality, having already acquired Metaio, a German-based augmented reality startup, earlier this year. It might also integrate the motion capture tech into its Metal API, allowing mobile developers to create high definition face capture scenes.

    Other options include facial recognition for additional iOS security, but that would mean utilizing Faceshift technology in a completely new way. Apple already offers fingerprint biometrics through Touch ID, but could offer even more security with facial recognition on the next iPhone.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-acquires-faceshift/


    Note @ 1 min in:


    The acquisition of San Diego-based Emotient comes just over four months after Apple picked up Faceshift, a Swiss company specializing in image-based three-dimensional motion capture. In 2010, Apple purchasedSwedish facial recognition firm Polar Rose.

    Apple's intentions are not immediately clear, but the scale of its ambition seems to be beyond that of the simple facial recognition features built into iPhoto. The company has previously explored security-related uses for such technology.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/01/07/apple-acquires-facial-recognition-expression-analysis-firm-emotient---report


    edited September 2016 tmayiqatedoronnpalominepscooter63argonautjony0
  • Reply 9 of 31
    mac_128 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a MacBook Air refresh announced, possibly along with an iMac refresh, for no other reason than to introduce added Lightning ports and hardware support for new audio codecs, to provide a signal for developers that they will be able to find support for Lightning and wireless protocols across Apple's entire product line in the near future.

    If there's a Mac event in October they might chose to wait as it's such a short time, but if not, there will otherwise be a lot of handwringing about the need for adapters to use Lightning headphones between the iPhone and Macs. 
    LMAO. You're on drugs if you think Apple is adding Lightning ports to Macs. 
    ronn
  • Reply 10 of 31
    Dick,

    You're absolutely right, especially in light of Tim's repeated comments over the past few months about AR being a "core capability."

    Apple's entrance into AR is definitely coming. The questions are form-factor (extension of existing product or something new?) and timing.     
    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 31
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,567member
    Dick,

    You're absolutely right, especially in light of Tim's repeated comments over the past few months about AR being a "core capability."

    Apple's entrance into AR is definitely coming. The questions are form-factor (extension of existing product or something new?) and timing.     
    AR would be satisfactory in many cases handheld on an iPhone screen; see Pokemon which is an app. Apple could support external hardware, but for now, the experience would be limited by performance. Better for Apple to wait until the A series + hardware gives an impressive solution.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,274member
    The teaser invitaiton picture also (kind of?) suggests that the new cameras can shoot in dark conditions. It's clearly picturing a photo taken in the dark. This is in my opinion the field where the current iPhones perform the worst. Taking photos in dimly lit conditions with the current iPhones is just sad. Shooting videos in the dark, however, is disastrous. This would be bigger news for me than zoom stuff. Both would be fantastic.
    ronnargonaut
  • Reply 13 of 31
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,567member

    mac_128 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a MacBook Air refresh announced, possibly along with an iMac refresh, for no other reason than to introduce added Lightning ports and hardware support for new audio codecs, to provide a signal for developers that they will be able to find support for Lightning and wireless protocols across Apple's entire product line in the near future.

    If there's a Mac event in October they might chose to wait as it's such a short time, but if not, there will otherwise be a lot of handwringing about the need for adapters to use Lightning headphones between the iPhone and Macs. 
    It's going to be adaptors.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    palegolas said:
    This is in my opinion the field where the current iPhones perform the worst. Taking photos in dimly lit conditions with the current iPhones is just sad. Shooting videos in the dark, however, is disastrous. 
    That's not an opinion. That's a fact of the world of photography. Have you ever seen the lights that professional photographers and videographers use in night conditions so that the capture doesn't suck? Photography begins and ends with one thing...Light. It is all about light. And there are only so many tricks a camera and lens can do in the absence of light.

    Besides, the iPhone 6 Plus has been taking incredibly low light photos for 2 years now. You just have to use the flash. I'm amazed by the people that complain about poor low light photos and their examples are taken without the flash. As if that is even an option in low light conditions.
    edited September 2016 lolliverDeelronnolamacguy
  • Reply 15 of 31
    TurboPGT said:
    mac_128 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a MacBook Air refresh announced, possibly along with an iMac refresh, for no other reason than to introduce added Lightning ports and hardware support for new audio codecs, to provide a signal for developers that they will be able to find support for Lightning and wireless protocols across Apple's entire product line in the near future.

    If there's a Mac event in October they might chose to wait as it's such a short time, but if not, there will otherwise be a lot of handwringing about the need for adapters to use Lightning headphones between the iPhone and Macs. 
    LMAO. You're on drugs if you think Apple is adding Lightning ports to Macs. 
    In the long run, I think Apple will come out with the USB-C to Lightning cable.  Makes much better sense.  There are more peripherals with the USB-C ports out there than ones who do have the Lightning port.
    TurboPGT
  • Reply 16 of 31
    tmay said:
    tmay said:
    slprescott said:
    Dick,

    You're absolutely right, especially in light of Tim's repeated comments over the past few months about AR being a "core capability."

    Apple's entrance into AR is definitely coming. The questions are form-factor (extension of existing product or something new?) and timing.     
    AR would be satisfactory in many cases handheld on an iPhone screen; see Pokemon which is an app. Apple could support external hardware, but for now, the experience would be limited by performance. Better for Apple to wait until the A series + hardware gives an impressive solution.

    The following device has been available for ~2-3 years:


    It involves third parties:
    1. PrimeSense -- hardware/software
    2. Occipital -- packaging/hardware/software & iOS app
    It can run on A8 and iOS 8.

    Apple owns the PrimeSense IP and has the prowess to make the chips smaller and make them more efficient.  Apple has had 2+ years to do this. If Apple wants to do this, I believe they would implement it within the iDevice as a separate chip -- or even embed into the A10 or M10.

    In that case, hardware won't be an issue.



    https://vimeo.com/98649761

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/07/11/apples-secret-plans-for-primesense-3d-tech-hinted-at-by-new-itseez3d-ipad-app




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEnnbCSbijo

    edited September 2016 SpamSandwichiqatedoargonaut
  • Reply 17 of 31
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,400member
    macseeker said:
    TurboPGT said:
    mac_128 said:
    I wouldn't be surprised to see a MacBook Air refresh announced, possibly along with an iMac refresh, for no other reason than to introduce added Lightning ports and hardware support for new audio codecs, to provide a signal for developers that they will be able to find support for Lightning and wireless protocols across Apple's entire product line in the near future.

    If there's a Mac event in October they might chose to wait as it's such a short time, but if not, there will otherwise be a lot of handwringing about the need for adapters to use Lightning headphones between the iPhone and Macs. 
    LMAO. You're on drugs if you think Apple is adding Lightning ports to Macs. 
    In the long run, I think Apple will come out with the USB-C to Lightning cable.  Makes much better sense.  There are more peripherals with the USB-C ports out there than ones who do have the Lightning port.
    I'm not sure I follow you. Apple already came out with USB-C to Lightning cables. And it makes much better sense for what?

    If Apple sells Beats Lightning headphones, and includes them in the box with the iPhone, it's going to be interesting to push for customer acceptance, when their brand new Lightning headphones won't work on their brand new Mac without an adapter. Can you imagine having to find your Lightning to USB-C adapter just to unplug from your iPhone and plug into your MacBook while in the field? I'm on record here as saying Apple would never let that happen.

    There are clues in the rumored leaks that the new case designs have room to include them. Add to that the elimination of MagSafe as a power method, and then removing the headphone jack in their most popular mobile devices. The Retina MacBook for instance is an ideal companion to the iPhone, and would benefit the most by replacing the headphone jack with a Lightning port. 1) It becomes a primary charging method using the same cable the iPhone uses, leaving the USB-C port free for peripherals. 2) It serves as a natively compatible headphone jack for the iPhone's Lightning headphones. 3) It serves an optional USB 3.0 port leaving the USB-C port free for something else to be used at the same time without a hub. 4) It allows Apple to simplify its adapter lineup by offering Lightning only adapters for common functions like SDXC card readers, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI ports, etc. It also allows a customer to immediately use any Lightning adapters they already own with a new rMB where the single port and prospect of buying a lot of USB-C adapters is a deterrent.

    I don't really see Apple ever switching to USB-C in its iOS products, as  I feel Apple's goal with those products is to eventually eliminate all ports and go completely wireless. It will take a bit longer on Macs which generally need to maintain industry standard compatibility and work with higher bandwidth requirements. The iPad Pro might eventually switch the USB-C as it morphs into a tablet Mac, once Apple drops the Lightning port on all other iOS devices, but that's about it. Why move all of its iOS customers to USB-C and make them replace all their cables and accessories 4 years after doing it with the 30-pin dock? It doesn't make any sense especially if they're going to drop the port altogether once wireless power becomes a practical reality in a few years. And, the iPhone doesn't really need the capabilities of USB-C. Apple's going to catch hell for removing the headphone jack alone, imagine if they replace Lightning with USB-C in the next few years after everyone has started buying Lightning headphones.


    edited September 2016
  • Reply 18 of 31
    Saw this on twitter. Big mistake IMO if Apple ditches headphone jack and makes wireless headphones super expensive.

    Abdel Ibrahim (@abdophoto)
    On latest @atpfm @marcoarment speculates that Apple’s AirPods would cost $100. If what Ive heard is true, they’ll be a lot more than that.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    TurboPGT said:
    palegolas said:
    This is in my opinion the field where the current iPhones perform the worst. Taking photos in dimly lit conditions with the current iPhones is just sad. Shooting videos in the dark, however, is disastrous. 
    That's not an opinion. That's a fact of the world of photography. Have you ever seen the lights that professional photographers and videographers use in night conditions so that the capture doesn't suck? Photography begins and ends with one thing...Light. It is all about light. And there are only so many tricks a camera and lens can do in the absence of light.

    Besides, the iPhone 6 Plus has been taking incredibly low light photos for 2 years now. You just have to use the flash. I'm amazed by the people that complain about poor low light photos and their examples are taken without the flash. As if that is even an option in low light conditions.
    Shoot, everything begins and ends with light. The whole world is a reflection of it. 
  • Reply 20 of 31
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,400member
    Saw this on twitter. Big mistake IMO if Apple ditches headphone jack and makes wireless headphones super expensive.

    Abdel Ibrahim (@abdophoto)
    On latest @atpfm @marcoarment speculates that Apple’s AirPods would cost $100. If what Ive heard is true, they’ll be a lot more than that.
    So now you know better than Apple? Took a while but you finally comported yourself like the rest of us with reasonable opinions.
    edited September 2016
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