iPad Air, affordable Apple Watch, 'AirPods Studio,' small HomePod predicted for fall
Apple is reportedly readying a bevy of new products for its annual fall iPhone event, including a fresh iPad Air with edge-to-edge display, affordable Apple Watch entry and a pair of branded luxury headphones.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg adds its voice to a cacophony of rumors regarding Apple's plans for "iPhone 12," saying the company has put in orders for at least 75 million 5G handsets this year. That figure could reach 80 million units in 2020, according to the report.
Echoing rumblings that have circulated since last December, Bloomberg says Apple will field four new iPhone models this fall, each boasting OLED screen technology and 5G connectivity. Standard "iPhone" variants will come in 5.4-and 6.1-inch sizes, while a "Pro" lineup consists of 6.1- and 6.7-inch options, the latter of which will sport Apple's LiDAR Scanner.
Employees testing the new devices say the 6.7-inch screen is one of the year's "most notable improvements," sources said, while others note 5G networks are not greatly improving data speeds. The report further corroborates recent rumors that a dark blue color choice will replace last year's Midnight Green.
Apple also plans to launch a new iPad Air model that borrows its design from the company's iPad Pro lineup. Though the report fails to offer details on the device, a supposed leak last week suggested the redesigned tablet shifts Touch ID to the power switch, negating the need for a home button. Those claims follow predictions from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in May pegged Apple to debut a 10.8-inch iPad version, as well as a revamped iPad mini, late this year.
Bloomberg sources also said Apple's first branded over-the-ear headphones, dubbed by media as "AirPods Studio," will launch this fall. Again, Kuo was first to deliver word of the device years ago, saying in 2018 that the product will benefit from an all-new design and high-end audio components. Subsequent rumors claimed the headphones will cost around $350.
A pair of new Apple Watch lines are also on the way, the report said. As usual, Apple is preparing a successor to the current Apple Watch Series 5, but is at the same time working on lower cost hardware to replace the aging Apple Watch Series 3. The more affordable variant, previously rumored to integrate a plastic chassis, is said to be a play at a market currently dominated by Fitbit.
Also in the works, according to Bloomberg, is a cheaper, smaller version of HomePod that will build on the existing smart speaker's audio and Siri capabilities. AirTags, Apple's take on Tile-like location trackers, is also on the docket.
Finally, a next-generation Apple TV with a faster processor for gaming and higher quality video. Interestingly, the report claims the company is developing a feature similar to Find My iPhone that will help users locate the set-top's new remote. The report does not make clear when the new Apple TV will ship, saying only that it could launch in 2021.
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