On September 9, Apple is holding an event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, where it will presumably unveil its new flagship iPhone, as it has done in years past.
It’s an announcement we’ve been expecting for months; Apple has held press events to introduce its newest smartphone to the world every September since 2012.
But what makes this event different is that analysts and industry watchers are expecting the company to talk about more than just its new iPhones and the updated software that’s launching for it soon.
Next week, there’s a chance we’ll hear about a handful of new devices that give us an idea of what Apple’s product road map will look like for the rest of the year.
Some of these will likely be incremental updates to Apple’s existing products, while others will represent new categories for the company. Apple teased its event with an invitation that reads, “Hey Siri, give us a hint,” hinting that its virtual voice-activated assistant will play a big role in what we’re going to see on stage.
Based on media reports and predictions from analysts, here’s a look at what to expect.
The new iPhone
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Apple’s new iPhone will undoubtedly be the headlining announcement at this event. The company is said to be announcing two new iPhones on Wednesday, which may be called the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The 6S will likely have a 4.7-inch screen while the 6S Plus will probably be larger at 5.5 inches like the iPhone 6 Plus.
A pressure-sensitive screen
The biggest improvement will be the addition of Force Touch to the iPhone’s screen. This is Apple’s pressure-sensitivity technology that the company debuted in the Apple Watch and its new MacBooks. It’s probably going to work differently in the iPhone, as 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman recently reported.
Force Touch on the iPhone will be more about shortcuts since its screen is much larger than that of the Apple Watch. Some analysts have expressed skepticism on whether or not Force Touch will be enough of a draw to motivate consumers to upgrade.
A new camera
The other big addition that’s supposedly coming to the new iPhone is a much better camera. The main camera is expected to come with a 12-megapixel sensor and a five-element lens, which we reported last month. A 12-megapixel camera would be a big jump from the current iPhone’s 8-megapixel camera.
It essentially means the next iPhone will come with a sensor that’s capable of taking in more light, which means image quality will get better. Reports have also said the new iPhone will be capable of shooting 4K video. The front-facing camera is getting some improvements too. It’ll have a 5-megapixel sensor rather than a 1.2-megapixel sensor, according to the usually accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and it’ll likely have a flash.
Other general additions we may see in the new iPhone include a faster processor and a new rose-gold color option. Apple is also said to be using the same aluminum it uses for the Apple Watch Sport for the casing of its next iPhone, which will make it more durable.
Apple will also probably talk about when its next major software update for the iPhone will be released. Apple unveiled iOS 9 in June, but it usually waits until it reveals the new iPhone to say exactly when the update will launch.
A refreshed Apple TV
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Apple hasn’t updated the Apple TV in years, but it sounds like the company is going to announce a new model next week. The most important changes will reportedly include a new design, faster components, a revamped remote control that includes a touch pad as well as physical buttons, heavy Siri integration, its own App Store, and support for gaming.
The software is said to look a lot like iOS 9, which means navigating the Apple TV will feel a bit more like using your iPhone. Gurman notes that Siri will be the primary way you interact with the Apple TV. There will reportedly be a button on the new Apple TV remote that launches a microphone for voice commands.
There’s also some speculation that the new Apple TV will have a passive-listening feature similar to the Amazon Echo, as Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster points out. This means you might be able to activate Siri to execute a command by simply saying “Hey Siri” rather than pressing a button.
Based on reports, it sounds like Apple is going to position its new set-top box as a multimedia entertainment center for your living room rather than as just a streaming device. For instance, one report from Gurman says Apple is going to make sure the box is compatible with Bluetooth gaming controllers. This hints that you’ll be able to download games directly from an app store onto the streaming set-top box.
The Apple TV’s new capabilities will come at a price. The new device is reportedly going to cost $149, compared to the current model’s $69 price.
Siri will be a focus point
As the event’s invitation suggests, we’re probably going to be hearing a lot about Siri at Apple’s event. Siri is expected to be a big part of the Apple TV. Munster, for instance, thinks that you may be able to use it to control any device you have in your home that is running on Apple’s HomeKit framework.
Beyond the new Apple TV, Apple has made it clear that Siri is a big part of the iPhone’s future as well. One of the most notable additions to come with iOS 9, for instance, is Apple’s new version of Siri, which can offer up suggestions about who you want to contact, places nearby that you might want to visit, and more.
We’re bound to hear more about how Siri ties into Apple’s products in new ways at the event.
Apple’s supersized iPad and a new iPad mini
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Here’s one way Apple’s September event may be different than those in years past: The company may introduce new iPads. Usually, Apple holds a second event in October to take the wraps off its new tablets, but Gurman reports that it’s going to happen in September this year.
Specifically, Apple will reportedly unveil its much-rumored iPad Pro and a new version of the iPad mini. The iPad Pro is expected to be Apple’s biggest iPad yet – reports have suggested that it will come with a 12.9-inch screen with Force Touch compared to the current iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. Apple seems to be tackling the enterprise and productivity-focused crowd, as Gurman reports that Apple is making its own stylus and keyboard for it too.
Although Steve Jobs famously hated the idea of using a stylus with a tablet, Apple has tested multiple prototypes for a stylus designed to work with the iPad, as we reported last month. Apple has also been testing its larger iPad since as far back as 2012, we also reported in July.
If Apple does unveil a larger iPad, we can probably expect to see some of Apple’s enterprise partners on stage to showcase how its apps will work on the larger tablet.
The new iPad mini, comparatively, is expected to have a thinner design than the current model and updated internal components.
Some Apple Watch updates
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We probably won’t see a new Apple Watch model just yet, but Gurman reports that we’ll see new watch bands for the current watch. These will probably include sports bands in new colors and possibly a new gold casing for the Sport model.
Apple will also likely talk more about its new Apple Watch software: watchOS 2. It brings significant improvements to the watch, including the ability to run apps natively on the device itself. Apple has previously said that the update will launch in the fall, but it hasn’t said exactly when. We’re expecting to hear an official launch date at the event.