Apple’s iPhone 14 launch event is just weeks away and a slew of new devices are expected to be showcased — not just a new iPhone. We are also looking for three (yes, we said three) new Apple Watch models and even a refreshed pair of AirPods Pro earbuds.
Apple is expected to hold a small in-person event on the Apple Park campus and stream the show online, similar to what it did with WWDC in June. Here’s what we might see at Apple’s hardware-heavy event, expected to take place on September 7, 2022.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get some major upgrades
Apple will of course unveil the brand new iPhone 14 in September, but the standard model probably won’t be the star of the show. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are expected to include most of the new and exciting features.
Three major features are expected in the 14 Pro and Pro Max: an always-on display (a feature Android phones have had for years); a 48-megapixel rear camera with a larger sensor; and a screen that removes the notch in favor of smaller camera cutouts. The phone should also get an improved A16 processing chip. It’s an impressive list of features that Apple could use to justify a rumored price hike.
However, it seems that the standard version of the iPhone 14 will not come with many major changes. The biggest update to the non-Pro model is expected to be the introduction of a larger 6.7-inch display option. Previous rumors from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicate that the iPhone 14 (plus the Pro and Pro Max) may also have a better selfie camera that uses autofocus. In terms of performance, the base iPhone 14 will likely use the same A15 processor used in the iPhone 13 series.
And if you’re a little phone aficionado, I’m sad to say that there probably won’t be a new Mini this year.
Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max would remain the A15. All four new models will likely ship with 6GB of RAM, the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) versus LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022
New Apple Watch Models: Series 8, SE and “Pro”
Apple is gearing up to launch three new Apple Watch models: the Watch Series 8; a refreshed SE; and a new rugged “Pro” model designed for athletes participating in extreme sports.
Let’s start with the Series 8. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the next-gen watch will be equipped with a new S8 chip, but it won’t offer a notable performance upgrade over the S7 and S6 chips. While Apple isn’t expected to have a way to monitor your blood pressure just yet, it may come with a temperature sensor that detects if you have a fever.
Meanwhile, the new Apple Watch SE is expected to replace the budget Watch Series 3. It will likely ship with the same S8 chip, an upgrade over the S5 chip that the 2020 SE model uses. Other than that, it doesn’t look like any other big changes are on the way – it’s expected to keep the same display size as the current SE.
As for the rumored rugged Apple Watch “Pro,” Gurman believes it could come with a larger “almost 2-inch screen” that’s “more shatter-resistant.” It may also have a “strong metal” housing rather than the rubberized exterior hinted at earlier. But don’t expect this watch to be cheap – Gurman expects it to cost somewhere between $900 and $999.
The next generation of AirPods Pro
The AirPods Pro have not received an update since their initial launch in 2019. Now, almost three years later, we can finally see the release of the AirPods Pro 2.
First, expect them to look different. The new AirPods Pro may look like the Beats Fit Pro, possibly with an in-ear wing tip that drops the stem. They could also focus on fitness tracking thanks to the potential for improved motion sensors.
Kuo also hinted at the possibility that the AirPods Pro will support lossless audio, allowing for higher quality sound. This would also make the AirPods Pro 2 the first model to use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) — not even the high-end AirPods Max support it. If the AirPods Pro 2 eventually comes to support the Apple Lossless Audio Codec, it will be interesting to see how Apple manages to get around the limitations of Bluetooth, which generally requires some audio quality compression.
The AirPods Pro 2 charging case may also get an upgrade. It may come with a small speaker that makes a sound when you try to find it through the Find My app. Only the AirPods themselves make noise right now, and adding the capability to the case could come in handy if it ever gets separated from your AirPods.
We may get iOS 16 and watchOS 9 launch dates
We first heard about iOS 16 when Apple announced it in June, and we have a pretty good idea of what to expect based on what we’ve seen from the public beta. Gurman says Apple completed development last week and is likely to launch a final version of iOS 16 within about a week of the iPhone 14 event.
iOS 16 brings a number of new features, including the ability to edit and delete messages, as well as a customizable lock screen. It also introduces repositioned notifications that appear at the bottom of your lock screen and a Live Activities lock screen widget that provides updates on real-time events, such as sports scores or food delivery progress. Oh yeah, and the battery percentage is back… but not in the way you’d expect (or like).
In addition to iOS 16, Apple could also launch watchOS 9 in addition to its three new smartwatches. The watchOS 9 beta has been out for a few months now and will bring quite a few improvements to the Apple Watch. This includes new running stats, medication reminders, sleep phase tracking, passive AFib monitoring, and improved watch face customization.
Is that all?
Looks like this is it for this one certain Apple event, but luckily we won’t have long to wait for another round of new Apple products. Apple is expected to return to its old pre-pandemic schedule of holding an iPhone event in September and then a separate event in October to showcase its new iPads and Macs.
That’s when we can expect a new M2-equipped iPad Pro, as well as an entry-level iPad with the A14 chip. Rumor has it that Apple will also release three new Macs, including a Mac Mini, Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, all with Apple’s M2 chip. iPadOS and macOS Ventura are also likely to arrive around this time.
We’re still waiting for Apple’s long-rumored mixed reality headset, and it would be quite a long shot to expect the company to show it this year. However, it seems that Apple is making some progress. The board of directors reportedly could have tested the device earlier this year, but Kuo predicts the device won’t be launched until January 2023.