September 7, 2021
Apple to hold Sept. 14 event for new iPhone line, other devices
Apple Inc. has set the date for its biggest product launch of the year: Sept. 14. That's when the company is set to unveil its latest line of iPhones and other products ahead of a critical holiday season.
The presentation, which features the tag line "California streaming," will take place at 10 a.m. Pacific time next Tuesday. Like all of Apple's launches since 2020, the event will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has been readying four new iPhones, as well as Apple Watches with larger screens, Bloomberg has reported. Apple has also been working on revamped entry-level AirPods earbuds and new MacBook Pros. Apple typically holds multiple launches in the fall, so not every new device for 2021 may appear next week. Last year, it held three events across two months.
The fall product season is critical for Apple, with analysts estimating that the company will generate $120 billion in revenue during the holiday quarter. That would be an all-time record.
The new iPhones are expected to have the same 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen sizes as last year's iPhone 12, but the devices will include camera upgrades like a video version of Portrait mode, support for the higher-quality ProRes video recording resolution and more advanced filters system. Also coming to this year's models are faster A15 processors, a smaller cutout at the top of the screen and display improvements like a faster refresh rate.
Apple has also been planning a slew of satellite features for emergencies, such as a mechanism for reaching first-responder services and texting key contacts. While the new iPhone hardware may support the features, they aren't expected to become available until sometime next year.
The new Apple Watches will feature the first redesign to the product since the Series 4 in 2018. The new models will have flatter edges and displays, in addition to a sizable increase to the screen sizes. They'll feature 41-millimeter and 45-millimeter cases, up from 40 and 44 millimeters.
The larger model will also have a screen of about 1.9 inches diagonally, up from 1.78 inches. And it will include a faster processor and updated wireless technology. But the watches have faced production snags, which could result in shortages.
Also coming this fall are the new MacBook Pros, iPads and AirPods. The MacBook Pros will be Apple's first high-end computers to transition over to custom processors. And they'll mark the first redesign to the MacBook Pro since 2016. The new models will include flatter edges and the removal of the Touch Bar strip on the keyboard. They also will offer MagSafe magnetic charging.
The new AirPods will look similar to the AirPods Pro, but lack pricier features like noise cancellation. Apple hasn't refreshed the entry-level earbuds since early 2019, but it released AirPods Max headphones last December.
The company is planning two new iPads for this fall. First, an update to the base iPad geared toward schools. That version will get a faster processor and a thinner design. Second is the biggest overhaul to the iPad mini since the product first debuted in 2012. The new version will have a larger screen and thinner borders.
Alongside the new hardware, Apple will also roll out the previously announced iOS and iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15 and macOS Monterey software updates. Apple typically gives release timing for those updates at these types of product launches.