For the last decade (with one Covid-shaped exception), Apple has announced new flagship iPhones in September. Right on cue, the company has sent out invites to a ‘Far Out’ event, scheduled for Wednesday 7 September where the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are widely tipped to make their debut.
Yes, in just over two weeks' time, we’ll be introduced to four flavors of iPhone 14, three new Apple Watches, and maybe some unexpected extras from Apple’s wider product catalogue.
In other words, if you’re looking to upgrade, it certainly makes sense to wait a couple more weeks. Here’s what we expect Apple to unveil, thanks to the plethora of leaks and pictures that inevitably accompany an upcoming iPhone launch.
Certain To Appear
That Apple would be planning the iPhone 14 should come as no surprise, but the company is undoubtedly set to shake up the lineup this year, increasing the enhancements of the Pro handsets and killing off the dinky iPhone mini.
Yes, the miniature 5.4-inch iPhone sold poorly over the two generations it was available for, and pretty much every leaker has coalesced around the idea that it won’t be returning this year. Instead, Apple is simplifying things, with two sizes of iPhone — 6.1-inches and 6.7-inches — available in regular or Pro configurations, for a total of four handsets to choose from.
In the past, the difference between Pro and non-Pro iPhones has been modest for most casual users: more camera lenses and a faster refresh rate on the screens (something Apple calls ‘ProMotion’.) But this time around, it seems Apple is intent on the big upsell, with more reasons to go Pro than ever before.
First of all, according to various leakers, only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are set to get the brand new Apple A16 Bionic chipset. The regular phones will reportedly use the same A15 chip as the last generation, which is a big deal as it’s the first time Apple has done something like this.
Only two Pro models would upgrade to the A16 processor, while the 14 & 14 Max will remain the A15. All four new models will likely come with 6GB RAM, with the difference being LPDDR 5 (14 Pro & 14 Pro Max) vs. LPDDR 4X (14 & 14 Max). https://t.co/tHcszIz6gX
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 13, 2022
Secondly, the ProMotion display (the tech that allows 120Hz refresh rates for smooth scrolling) is said to be in line for an upgrade, letting it drop as low as 1Hz. That opens the door for an always-on display, giving you access to the time and notifications without waking your iPhone up.
Thirdly, while the recent Pro models have always had better photography thanks to a 3x telephoto lens, it sounds like the difference is going to be even clearer this time. The iPhone 14 Pro will apparently benefit from a 48MP camera — the first increase in megapixel count since the iPhone 6s took us to 12 way back in 2015.
Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro is set to bid farewell to the divisive ‘notch’ that has housed the complicated Face ID tech since the iPhone X. But what’s due to replace it may prove even more divisive:
iPhone 14 front panels have leaked on Weibo – here are the changes to note:
1) thinner bezels on the Pro models, as reported by other sources
2) aspect ratio is also slightly different on the Pros (19.5:9 to 20:9); this corroborates with 9to5Mac’s report regarding taller displays pic.twitter.com/UtqNcBB9aP
— Saran (@SaranByte) April 28, 2022
None of these upgrades are expected to apply to the regular iPhone 14, but all are set to come at a cost, with the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting an average 15% price rise across the range.
The Pro models will presumably take the brunt of this, but unless Apple has some unexpected upgrades to announce, those looking at the basic iPhone 14 may be better off considering an iPhone 13 Pro, given the chipset is set to be the same.
Unless you fancy the new plus-sized 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, of course.
Apple Watch Series 8
On top of the iPhone 14 family, we’re expecting no fewer than three new Apple Watches. That’s the Apple Watch Series 8, a new and refreshed Apple Watch SE, and a brand new Apple Watch Pro model.
In ascending price order, the Apple Watch SE will be the entry-level model, replacing the 2020 version that’s sold today. This isn’t expected to be a huge upgrade, keeping the same design and merely advancing the S5 chip used in 2020 to the S8 chip expected to debut next month.
The regular Apple Watch Series 8 will also get this new chip, as well as doubling down on the health sensors introduced in recent years with a new temperature sensor. This will warn you about temperature fluctuations to let you know if you’re feverish, but it could also be used for period tracking or for athletes looking to optimize their training.
Finally, there’s the brand new Apple Watch Pro. This comes via Bloomberg’s well-connected reporter Mark Gurman, who believes that Apple will be producing a more rugged, premium device. It will apparently sport a larger “nearly 2-inch display” that’s “more shatter resistant” with a new look to boot. It won’t be cheap, though, with Gurman predicting a price of somewhere between $900 and $999.
Those are the definites, but there’s also the possibility of more to come. It’s just possible we may get a look at new iPads, for example, though Gurman believes Apple will have a separate event in October for tablets.
A new generation of AirPods Pro is more likely, given we haven’t seen the top-end earbuds refreshed since they first arrived in 2019. Leakers have highlighted a few possible improvements here, including a stemless design, built-in fitness features, support for lossless audio, and a charging case with a built-in speaker to find it if misplaced.
Finally, we can’t help wondering if the ‘Far Out’ space branding of the event means we might get a glimpse at the long-rumored Apple VR/AR headset. This has been tipped for next year, but maybe we’ll get an early first look — even if it’s just a teaser trailer.
How to Watch the Apple ‘Far Out’ Event
Apple broadcasts its events all over the world, and the Far Out event is no exception. On September 7, you’ll be able to watch live at 10 a.m. PT on YouTube or the Apple event website. If you have Apple TV, you can also watch live from there.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Alan Martin is a freelance writer based across the Atlantic in London, with bylines dotted across the web and in print. Specializing in technology, games and internet culture, you’ll likely find him running, playing through Spelunky for the millionth time, or cheering on his beloved Derby County.