At Apple’s “Far Out” event next week, expect significant upgrades to the iPhone and Apple Watch lineups. While last year’s iPhone 13 was mostly a minor update (aside from fast ProMotion screens and Cinema Mode on Pro models), the latest rumors indicate that the iPhone 14 will be a significant step forward. The notch on the iPhone 14 Pro may finally be gone! We could get higher-resolution cameras! We’re also curious to see what Apple means by its cryptic invite and star-studded imagery. Even if you don’t intend to upgrade, half the fun of these launch events is guessing what Apple has in store. Let us speculate!
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro
Once again, four iPhone models are expected, but the lineup will most likely differ from previous years. Not long after the iPhone 13 was released, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the iPhone 14 would be a “complete redesign,” the first major update since the iPhone X in 2017. Furthermore, Apple may be abandoning the iPhone Mini, a phone we’ve always wanted to love, but the short battery life has been a stumbling block. Instead, Apple is expected to release a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max or Plus with the same hardware as the standard iPhone 14.
While this is bad news for fans of small devices, the majority of consumers are moving toward larger screens. After all, Apple can’t let Samsung have all the fun. Similarly, Apple may be following in the footsteps of Samsung (and virtually every other Android phone manufacturer) by introducing pin-hole front cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro models. While early leaks suggested two separate cut-outs — a circular one for the camera and a pill-shaped one for the FaceID sensor — MacRumors claims (with Gurman’s support) that they’ll be unified by software as a single pill-shaped cut out. (See illustration above.) Furthermore, according to 9to5Mac, Apple is using the space in the middle of the cut-out for its privacy notification dots.
Apple appears to be saving the majority of its significant updates for the Pro iPhones. According to 9to5Mac, they could have always-on screens. That could work well with iOS 16’s revamped lock screens, which now allow for widgets and far more customization than before.
However, a report claims that only the Pro models will be equipped with Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip. The standard iPhone 14 models may continue to use last year’s A15 processor (which is still plenty powerful). That makes sense as a cost-cutting measure, especially since chips and other components are still in short supply. However, this is the first time Apple has introduced a significant performance gap between its iPhone models. (This is especially surprising given that Apple was able to fit the A15 chip into the tiny iPhone 13 Mini.) Most consumers will not notice the difference, but having a more powerful chip would undoubtedly be a big selling point for Pro models.
Typically, Apple has used camera technology to distinguish between standard and Pro iPhones. That does not appear to be changing anytime soon. In addition to the upgrades listed above. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple intends to increase the wide camera on the Pro to 48 megapixels, a significant upgrade from the 12MP cameras on which the company has relied for years. Kuo recently claimed that the iPhone 14 Pro ultra-wide sensors will have larger pixels and improved low-light sensitivity. The base iPhone 14 is expected to get the iPhone 13 Pro’s six-element ultra-wide camera.
And what about the “Far Out” text on Apple’s event invitation? Apple has completed testing on satellite connectivity for the iPhone 14, which was also rumored to arrive ahead of the iPhone 13’s launch, according to the always-busy Kuo. Despite the fact that the hardware is in place, Apple is reportedly still working on partner agreements to enable that connectivity. And, while the idea of satellite support seemed far-fetched a year ago, it makes more sense now that T-Mobile and SpaceX have teamed up to provide emergency satellite support via StarLink. (There’s some good news for iPhone 13 owners: Kuo claims those phones also have satellite hardware built in.) However, don’t expect to be FaceTiming via satellite anytime soon.
Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Pro
Like the iPhone, all eyes will be on an Apple Watch “Pro” next week. According to Bloomberg’s Gurman, the new model could have a larger 2-inch screen, a more durable titanium case, and battery life of up to two days thanks to a new “low power” mode. If all of this is true, the Apple Watch Pro will be much larger than the current Series 7 model. With all of its new hardware, Gurman claims it will be the most significant redesign of the Apple Watch since the Series 4 in 2017. Don’t get your hopes up for a round design; it appears that Apple is simply evolving its current rectangular style.
The new temperature sensor rumored for the Apple Watch Series 8 is also rumored for the Apple Watch Pro. It may notify you if you have a fever and advise you to see a doctor or use a dedicated thermometer for a more accurate reading. It may also be useful for period and fertility tracking apps. The Series 8 isn’t expected to differ significantly from last year’s models in terms of design. It may use the same dual-core S7 chip as the Series 7, though some higher-end models may have a better display.
AirPods Pro 2
Given that the AirPods Pro have been on the market for nearly three years, it’s high time Apple released a sequel. Gurman claimed last year that the AirPods Pro 2 would have a stem-less design similar to Google’s Pixel Buds, but a new report from MacRumors suggests that the AirPods Pro 2 won’t look much different than the original. Instead, leaked renders show a new case with speaker holes (to help with alerts for the “Find My” app) and a strap slot. The latter is an outlier for Apple, but it could be useful for attaching an AirTag. (Better yet, Apple, incorporate that into the case!)
In terms of sound quality, Kuo predicted earlier this year that the AirPods Pro 2 would support Apple’s Lossless Audio (ALAC), which could be appealing to audiophiles. (Let’s not get into the feasibility of hearing any differences on small earbuds.) The new headphones may also include an updated H1 chip and driver improvements similar to the AirPods 3. But don’t get your hopes up for any health-tracking features, as Gurman recently stated that they will not include heart-rate or body temperature sensors, as previously rumored.
Read more; GOOGLE SVP SAYS ANDROID IS GETTING SATELLITE PHONE TECH
Apple usually saves the most important iPad news for its second fall event, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we heard something about the entry-level model next week. The 10th-generation iPad is expected to include a USB-C port, bringing it up to speed with the rest of the family, and it may get a speed boost with the A14 Bionic chip. Expect no major design changes, as Apple isn’t particularly fond of the entry-level iPad these days. Prepare for thick bezels and a home button once more. However, according to 9to5Mac, it may finally get 5G support as well as a revamped front-facing camera.