What to Expect From the September 7 Apple Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Series 8 and More
Apple's annual iPhone-centric fall event is set to begin on Wednesday, September 7, and unlike last year, there will be an in-person component with members of the media invited to test out new devices. We've been hearing rumors about the next-generation iPhones for many months now, so we know the ins and outs of what to expect.
This guide highlights everything that we're expecting to see (and some more distant possibilities) at the September event based on rumors that we've heard so far.
The biggest change to the iPhone 14 is the elimination of the 5.4-inch iPhone mini, which is being discontinued due to lackluster sales. The iPhone 13 mini will be the last iPhone at the 5.4-inch size, but there are still four iPhones coming this year.
Apple is replacing the 5.4-inch iPhone with a larger 6.7-inch model, so we can expect to see the 6.1-inch iPhone 14, the 6.7-inch "iPhone 14 Plus" or "iPhone 14 Max," the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. For much of the rumor cycle, the standard 6.7-inch iPhone in the works was assumed to be called the iPhone 14 Max after the Pro Max naming scheme, but rumors now suggest that it could instead be called the iPhone 14 Plus.
Aside from the new size, the standard iPhone 14 models are going to look almost identical to the iPhone 13 models, with most of the changes reserved for the more expensive Pro models. There will be no design changes and the Face ID notch will remain, nor are the iPhone 14 models expected to adopt ProMotion technology.
In fact, rumors suggest the iPhone 14 and 14 Max aren't even going to get an updated A-series chip, and will continue to use the A15 that was in the iPhone 13 models. The iPhone 14 models are more of an iPhone 13S refresh, but there are a few new features that are coming.
The iPhone 14 models are getting the upgraded Ultra Wide camera that came to last year's iPhone 13 models, and they'll also have an upgraded front-facing camera with wider f/1.9 aperture and autofocus capabilities.
We're expecting 6GB RAM, up from 4GB, and all of the iPhone 14 models are rumored to feature an updated Snapdragon X65 10 Gigabit 5G modem from Qualcomm. The X65 modem enables some satellite connectivity features, so there have been rumors that Apple is going to implement satellite-based emergency features that will let users send texts in emergency situations and report major emergencies in areas where there is no cellular coverage.
WiFi 6E support is coming, and there's rumored to be a new purple color that will join black, white, red, and blue. Pricing is expected to stay the same, starting at $799.
While minor changes are coming to the standard iPhone 14 models, the Pro line is getting a much more significant update. The 6.1 and 6.7-inch sizes aren't changing, but Apple is rumored to be getting rid of the notch.
Rather than the notch, Apple is implementing a pill-shaped cutout and a hole-punch cutout, both of which will house the front-facing camera and the TrueDepth system needed for Face ID. Though these are two distinct cutouts, Apple plans to combine them into one long pill-shaped notch using software.
The space between the two cutouts will be blacked out when the iPhone is in use, making the cutouts indistinguishable from one another. With this design, it will look like one cutout rather than two different-sized cutouts, which will make for a more streamlined look.
Rumors suggest that Apple will use the space between the cutouts for microphone and camera indicator lights, but the area between the cutouts will otherwise be black and will appear as a single cutout.
The iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to include a 1Hz to 120Hz ProMotion display, which will enable a long-awaited Always-On Display function that's expected to work similarly to the Apple Watch always-on display.
The front-facing camera will feature the same wider f/1.9 aperture and autofocus capabilities as the regular iPhone 14. There will be a larger, more prominent camera bump to accommodate a new 48-megapixel Wide lens with a 21 percent larger sensor that supports higher-resolution images and 8K video recording, marking one of the biggest camera updates we've seen on the iPhone line in years.
The telephoto lens will be upgraded from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens, and we could also see improvements to the Ultra Wide camera. 6GB RAM is expected, the same as the iPhone 13 Pro models, and we are counting on a faster Snapdragon X65 10 Gigabit 5G modem, WiFi 6E, and up to 2TB storage space. A new purple color could join the graphite, gold, and silver options.
With so many upgrades, the iPhone 14 Pro models could have a higher starting price, with Apple perhaps increasing prices by approximately $100. If that happens, the iPhone 14 Pro would start at $1,099 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max would start at $1,199, but no specific details on pricing are known at this time.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to look like the Apple Watch Series 7, with no notable design changes. Apple will continue to offer 41 and 45mm size options, and the S8 chip inside is expected to offer the same performance as the S7.
What we may get is a new temperature sensing feature that's able to detect changes in body temperature. To start with, it'll be used for fertility planning, but future versions of the Apple Watch could alert you if you have a higher than normal body temperature.
Measuring body temperature from skin is not as accurate as getting a core body temperature reading so the Apple Watch Series 8 is not likely to provide a specific temperature number, instead just monitoring changes over time.
Car crash detection may make it into the Apple Watch Series 8, with the feature mirroring fall detection. The accelerometer would detect a spike in gravitational force and would then alert emergency services if necessary.
There could be updates to activity tracking, though what specifically we don't know, and Apple is working on an updated low power mode. The updated low power mode would allow more functions to work while battery life is being preserved, rather than simply limiting all features.
Apple Watch Pro
Alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 models, Apple is planning to launch a higher-end "Apple Watch Pro," though it may sport a different name. The "pro" version of the Apple Watch will have an updated design that Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has described as an "evolution of the current rectangular shape."
It will be larger than the current 45mm Apple Watch Series 7, and will feature a display that measures in at two inches diagonally, up from the 1.9-inch diagonal screen size of the 45mm Apple Watch. The display will have a resolution of 410 x 502, and the extra display area could be used to show additional fitness metrics on a single screen.
The Apple Watch Pro isn't just a higher-end version of the Apple Watch, it's also more rugged and is aimed at those who need more protection for extreme sports and other intensive activities. It will be made from a titanium alloy that is better able to hold up to abuse, and it will have a shatter resistant display.
Because the Apple Watch Pro is expected to be larger than the Series 8 models, it will accommodate a bigger battery and could thus support longer battery life for longer workout times. With the low power mode, it could even last for more than one day before needing to be recharged.
Aside from the new design and the larger body, the Apple Watch Pro is expected to include all of the same features as the Series 8. It will be more expensive, perhaps priced somewhere in the range of $900 to $1000.
Apple Watch SE
A new version of the affordable Apple Watch SE is in the works and is expected to debut alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, but there's no word on what new features it might include. We can perhaps expect a faster processor and an always-on display, a feature originally introduced with the Series 6.
The AirPods Pro haven't been refreshed since their 2019 launch, but a new version is in the works for 2022. While there has been uncertainty about when the new AirPods Pro will launch, a late rumor from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says they will be appearing at this week's event.
Early rumors suggested that Apple might go with a smaller, stemless design, but more recent information has indicated a design that's similar to the current design with silicone ear tips and a stem.
The charging case is rumored to have speaker holes so it is able to play a sound when the AirPods are lost, and that will go along with improved Find My integration. The AirPods 3 acoustics will bring improved sound, and there's going to be an updated H1 chip with self-adaptive noise cancellation capabilities.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the AirPods Pro will feature support for Apple Lossless (ALAC) audio. No AirPods have Lossless audio support because the AirPods function over Bluetooth, so for the AirPods to play higher-quality Lossless audio files, Apple would need a non-Bluetooth solution.
Apple is rumored to be transitioning to USB-C across its product lineup, but this year's AirPods Pro are expected to continue to feature a Lightning port.
While new iPhones, Apple Watch, and AirPods already should make for a jam-packed event, there also new iPads in the works, but it is not clear if Apple will introduce these devices at the September event or save them for a second event that could potentially happen in October.
Apple is developing a new low-cost iPad, which could have an updated design that brings it more in line with the iPad mini 6. Rumors and leaked renders suggest the tablet will have flat edges and rounded corners, though it will continue to have a Touch ID Home button and thicker bezels than other iPads.
It will include a 10.5-inch display, a USB-C port, a faster A14 chip, a single-lens rear camera, 5G connectivity, and a front-facing camera, but no headphone jack. Pricing is expected to remain affordable.
The 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are expected to see a refresh this year, and the main update will be a faster M2 chip. The M2 chip was first used in the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it will bring speed and efficiency improvements over the M1 in the current iPad Pro models.
There were rumors that the 11-inch iPad Pro might get a mini-LED display, but it doesn't sound like that's going to happen because of cost issues and supply constraints.
The iPad Pro is rumored to feature a version of MagSafe wireless charging much like the iPhone, perhaps through a larger glass Apple logo that could facilitate the charging feature. Reverse wireless charging is also a possibility, so the iPad could be used to charge other devices as well.
Rumors of a new Apple Pencil have popped up here and there, but it's not looking like we're going to get a refreshed Apple Pencil this year as there hasn't been new information on that front for quite some time.
How to Watch
The iPhone 14 event will take place on Wednesday, September 7 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple will live stream the event on its website and on YouTube.
For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage of the event both on MacRumors.com and through the MacRumorsLive Twitter account.