Gather Round: Forecasting Apple’s September 12 Event

Apple’s announced a Special Event that will take place on 12 September 2018. The invite only says: “Gather round” and shows a gold ring, so it’s not really giving much away. However, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect at the event.

iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max & iPhone XC
Rumour has it that Apple’s successor to the iPhone X will be called the iPhone XS. No real surprise there – although apparently Apple wasn’t completely convinced of the name because XS can signify either extra small or excess. And if you say it the correct way – as in 10s – then it sounds like tennis.

Names aside, there will be three versions of this phone, it seems. Two high-end models with OLED screens, one of which will be the Plus (or Max) model, and one cheaper model with a LCD display (the iPhone XC apparently). All three new models will have the notch required for the Face ID technology – which means no more Home button.

iPad Pro
It’s now nearly a year since the iPad Pro was last updated and the expectation is that Apple will be updating the iPad Pro at its September event.

Like the iPhone the new iPad models are expected to use Face ID rather than Touch ID – so we will see no Home button on the new iPad Pro. You can also expect the 10.5in version to be replaced with an 11in model – the screen will be larger thanks to smaller bezels, but there won’t be a significant change in dimensions.

Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple Watch is also expected to be updated. It looks like it will have a larger face, thanks to smaller bezels rather than an increase in dimensions.

The side button and Digital Crown are also expected to be modified so that the watch can be more water resistant.

It will be a year since Apple promised that it would launch AirPower, a wireless charging mat that can be used with iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. Will the illusive mat finally launch? It looks likely (let’s face it, if it doesn’t then it will be embarrassing for Apple!)

iOS 12 & macOS 14
The September event will also see Apple confirm when the latest version of iOS (in this case iOS 12) and macOS (Mojave) will become available to the public in their final form.

The operating systems are currently in beta, having been announced earlier in the year at WWDC 2018. You can expect them to become available to download before the end of September.

Possible new products…
There is a lot in Apple’s pipeline that we expect to see soon, either at the September even, or at a second event in October.

It’s possible that new AirPods will launch alongside the AirPower mat – two years after the Apple wireless earbuds first arrived. Although the rumours point to a more significant update in 2019, with better water resistance.

MacBook Air
The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since 2015 and it looks like Apple will soon discontinue that model. When it does so it looks like Apple will introduce a new 13in Mac laptop at the same price – around £1000/$1000.

Whether this will be a MacBook Air or a 13in MacBook remains to be seen, but it certainly looks like change is in the air.

We expect to see an update to the MacBook soon anyway. It might be that Apple introduced a 13in MacBook to sit beside the 12in version. And if it does, the entry-price of the range could go lower. We expect that the 12in MacBook could see £200 or more shaved off its price, so that it starts at £1000/$1000.

Mac mini
The Mac mini is more unloved by Apple than the MacBook Air, it’s been untouched since 2014. Hopefully it will soon be receiving some attention – the rumours suggest that it will – although it’s possible that we won’t see that update until 2019.

It’s logical that Apple will unveil updates its range of iMacs before the year is out. Like the MacBook Pro they should get more cores – that’s six-core, rather than four-core processors. In fact, we may even see an option with eight-cores!

Plus, 2018 marks twenty years since the iMac was introduced, so a good time for an update, we think.

iPhone SE2
Not so likely but there have been rumours that the iPhone SE could see an update. It is a popular iPhone, being both the smallest and the cheapest handset on offer.

However, the majority of the rumours about a ‘cheaper’ iPhone seem to be pointing to a cheaper version of the iPhone X, and we think that will still be rather pricey. If you are hoping for a new 4in model, then you might be interested that code has appeared indicating that a new handset could ship featuring the older iPhone 7 processor, and this could well be an update to the SE.

HomePod mini
Finally, it’s not quite a year since the HomePod went on sale, so we’re not really expecting anything just yet, but there have been a few rumours suggesting that Apple will launch a cheaper, smaller HomePod.


This article was originally published on the IDG Network and can be found on the Macworld UK website here.