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Apple iPhone 13 event: What to expect

·Technology Editor
·5 min read
In this article:
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Apple (AAPL) is set to host its annual fall event on Tuesday, and that means the world will get its first official look at the highly anticipated iPhone 13. But Apple isn’t just showing off its latest and greatest smartphone during the Sept. 14 show. The company is also expected to debut a completely redesigned Apple Watch, new AirPods, and even a new iPad.

This is Apple’s biggest show of the year, and there’s always the potential for a surprise or two. Here’s what we’re expecting when Tim Cook takes the stage at 1 p.m. ET.

The iPhone 13

The biggest announcement of Apple’s fall event, as usual, will be its new iPhone. And while this year won’t see a total revamp in terms of design, the iPhone 13 is slated to offer a number of new features that should catch consumers’ attention.

One of the wilder changes Apple is reportedly making for this year’s iPhone is the addition of satellite communication capabilities. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the new iPhone will give users the ability to reach out to emergency services and emergency contacts when they’re no longer in range of cellular connectivity.

The feature is said to be limited to text messages, but, over time, could expand to phone calls. And if satellite 5G connectivity becomes more readily available, it could mean you’d be able to connect to the internet anywhere you go — as long as you’re not blocked by buildings or other obstructions.

As for cameras, the iPhone 13 is said to get a new ultra-wide rear camera with improved low-light capabilities and autofocus mode. There’s also supposed to be a new portrait mode that allows you to add a bokeh effect to videos rather than just photos.

Apple's iPhone 13 event is set to kick off on Sept. 14. (Image: Apple)
Apple's iPhone 13 event is set to kick off on Sept. 14. (Image: Apple)

There’s also the possibility that Apple will shrink the notch at the top of the iPhone 13’s display that holds the FaceTime camera and FaceID sensors. Speaking of the display, Apple is said to be adding a 120Hz screen to the new iPhones, meaning the panel will refresh 120 times a second, making for smoother scrolling and gaming. Naturally, you can also expect to see a more powerful processor, since Apple is keen on giving every new iPhone a better chip.

While the additions to the iPhone 13 might not be as dramatic as those made to the iPhone 12, which was the first iPhone to get 5G connectivity, TECHnalysis Research president Bob O’Donnell told Yahoo Finance Live that the latest iPhone will still be a hit.

“Apple is like a pop band that has a huge hit every couple of years, but they still crank out albums every year,” O’Donnell said. “Not every album is a huge hit, but the fans still love every single one of them and they’re going to go out and buy them.”

BofA Global Research’s Wamsi Mohan, meanwhile, says that the pricing and timing will be the biggest factors for the iPhone 13’s success.

“Most of the iPhone 13 feature set is known, and in our opinion, iPhone pricing is the most important variable followed by timing and cadence of launch and any news on bundling,” Mohan wrote in an analyst note ahead of the Sept. 14 event. “There is some possibility that Apple could raise ASP (average selling prices) for iPhones given the inflationary environment, and this may not negatively impact demand given buy-now/pay-later, and installment plans.”

Apple Watch Series 7

In addition to the new iPhone, Apple is expected to launch the next version of its popular wearable: the Apple Watch Series 7. The new watch is slated to get the biggest physical changes since the Series 4 received an upgrade to its screen sizes.

Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 8/24/21 Atmosphere at the Apple Store in Grand Central Station in New York City.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will feature a larger display than the Series 6, pictured here. (Image: Associated Press)

The latest Apple Watches are expected to get 41mm and 45mm watch faces rather than the current 40mm and 44mm faces. The larger displays will allow for more on-screen content and likely make viewing apps and reading content easier.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is also said to get a completely new design with sharper edges that hew more closely to the design of the iPhone, rather than the rounded edges the watch has had since it was first released in 2015.

The Apple Watch is the best selling smartwatch in the world, and my daily companion for tracking workouts and work messages, so I’m particularly interested in what Apple has cooked up for its latest iteration.

AirPods

In addition to the iPhone and the Apple Watch, Apple will likely debut a new version of its AirPods. There’s still debate as to where these AirPods will sit in the product lineup—they could be entry-level options or sit between the current entry-level AirPods and the Pros—but there seems to be agreement on how they’ll look.

The new AirPods should have shorter stems than the long stems found on the base AirPods, making them look more like the Pros. The next-gen AirPods are also anticipated to have a charging case that’s more in line with the look of the Pros’ rather than the original AirPods.

iPad mini

According to Gurman, Apple could also give consumers a revamp of the iPad mini, something that’s long overdue. The iPad mini is the last iPad to have large top and bottom bezels. The mini will not only get a redesigned body and edge-to-edge display, but it might also get FaceID or Touch ID built into its power button.

Of course, Apple is also coming off of a recent ruling in its court fight against Epic, which calls for the iPhone maker to provide developers with a means to provide consumers with third-party payment options. While it might be a long shot, Cook may provide some context about the ruling at the start of the show.

We’ll be following Apple’s Sept. 14 event live, and bringing you all of the latest information on its announcements as they happen. So stay tuned.

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