What to expect from Apple's iPhone 14 event on September 7
Apple's "Far Out" event is on September 7. Beyond the new iPhone 14, here's what to expect from September's Apple event — and beyond.
Regular as clockwork, Apple takes time in the fall to launch a swathe of new products intended for consumers to buy during the following holiday shopping period. As a very lucrative time of year for the company, Apple puts a lot of effort into its fall events, showing off as many new items as possible.
While primarily centered on its iPhone product line, Apple does take time to look at other complementary products and services.
Here's what you can expect from Apple's fall 2022 effort.
When will launch events take place?
Apple's usual cadence for its fall launches is to hold at least one special event, with at least one taking place in the September of that year. You must return to 2011 to encounter a year without a September event.
The September launch usually won't be the only one, as over the last ten years, there have been seven October events and one November event.
As Apple has held October events in 2020 and 2021 as part of a slickly-produced pre-recorded video stream prompted by COVID-19, it seems probable that there will be at least two events in the fall lineup.
Apple reportedly recorded elements of its presentation in early August.
While other fall events cover many different Apple products, with later events generally handling Mac-related subjects, the iPhone usually dominates the September event. The exception for the last decade was 2020, when the September event focused on the Apple Watch and iPad lines, while October dealt with iPhones and HomePod mini, and November was the Mac month.
While Apple usually waits until two weeks into the month for its September event, it has already confirmed it will be doing so on September 7.
That still leaves some room for interpretation for the October event. With Apple generally leaving a one-month gap, an early October event is possible.
As for whether there could be a third, that would depend on how Apple's product lineup is presented in the September event, as well as if Apple leaves any obvious lineup gaps in the October one.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max/Plus
The biggest story each year is that of new iPhone models. However, the story for 2022 may be one talking about a lack of updates, rather than of ground-breaking changes.
For the iPhone 14, Apple is expected to bring out two models as usual, but with a big shift in size. Instead of an iPhone and iPhone mini, there will instead be the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max.
On September 5, a leak relating to cases also suggested the iPhone 14 Max name may be wrong, and it could actually be called the iPhone 14 Plus. This would be Apple's first time of using the suffix for hardware in five years, last doing so for the iPhone 8 Plus.
Rumors and supposedly leaked diagrams point to models having 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, echoing the sizes of the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Despite the larger size, the Max model will share the specifications of its non-Pro stablemate.
What will change on the outside could be the camera bump, which could be made to be smaller.
Internally, it seems that Apple could be sticking to the same A15 chip for its non-Pro lineup instead of upgrading to an A16, but it could still have some processing improvement. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the RAM of the standard models could jump from 4GB to 6GB.
Other features that may stay the same can include a lack of ProMotion, the return of the notch, the Lightning port, and the same 12MP camera system. That said, there could still be some improvements.
For example, the iPhone could gain Center Stage support for video calls. The Macro mode from the iPhone 13 Pro lineup may also make the jump for 2022.
A late August report claimed that there could be a key improvement, in terms of power. A 30W fast charging capability has been touted, a significant jump from the 20W of the iPhone 13.
On the more outlandish side, long-term rumors of Apple introducing satellite service to its devices floated again in late August, after SpaceX and T-Mobile said they would bring satellite internet to cellphones. However, Apple has reportedly already handled hardware development for the feature back in the days of the iPhone 13, and that only signing up with a partner scuppered its introduction.
For colors, claims include green, purple, blue, black, white, and red will be on offer.
Apple's use of a space theme could point to actually introducing the feature in its hardware in 2022, and if so, the iPhone 14 stands a good chance of getting it.
There has also been speculation that one other change could be the price. In July, it was speculated that supply chain cost increases will be passed onto consumers, which could increase the base cost of models by as much as $100.
While the September event will almost certainly involve iPhones, it seems that most eyes will be watching the changes in the Pro models, not the iPhone 14.
As for when to expect the iPhone 14 to actually ship, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts it could launch earlier than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. The claim is an extrapolation from Apple's positive Q3 2022 outlook from its July results.
Kuo also reckons that announcing and shipping the iPhone as soon as possible could minimize the impact of any risk to demand prompted by a global recession. However, Kuo didn't offer when the actual release could take place.
If you want a case for the iPhone 14, the previously-mentioned September 5 leak advises Apple will offer a wide variety of colors to choose from, possibly as many as 16 to choose from.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
The Pro lineup of iPhones get the most significant upgrades each year, and for 2022, that probably remains the case.
Once again, rumors point to two models, consisting of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, complete with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays. Leaked diagrams indicate they should be practically the same size and shape as the year-ago models.
The first noticeable change from the iPhone 13 lineup is the display, as rumors indicate Apple will switch to an always-on version. Such a feature will provide at-a-glance details for users without waking and illuminating the entire screen, saving battery.
That display will also apparently switch out the notch for a pill-and-hole cutout, significantly reducing how much of the display is wasted by the onboard TrueDepth camera array.
However, late August rumors say that Apple may not go with the pill-and-hole motif, and instead switches to a long i-shaped cutout instead. it would serve the same purpose as the pill-and-hole, except there would be a small screenless gap connecting the two sections.
The cameras may also get a massive upgrade, with the use of a 48-megapixel wide camera sensor. The change could result in the ability to record 8K-resolution video and create more detailed 12-megapixel images using a process called pixel binning.
A connected September 5 image leak claimed to show a case for the iPhone 14 Pro covering the iPhone 13 Pro, and indicating two things. First, that the camera bump of the iPhone 14 Pro could be bigger than its predecessor, and second, that the camera lenses can be much bigger, playing into the idea of Apple using bigger sensors overall.
Rumors propose that the A16 could be reserved just for the Pro line, which will provide a performance increase over the A15 non-Pro models, despite having identical 6GB memory allocations.
The Pro lineup should also get the same 30W power boost and supposed satellite service as its non-pro counterpart. On the subject of color schemes, the Pro line will apparently be sold in green, purple, silver, gold, and graphite.
The proposed $100 increase for the non-Pro models may also appear in the Pro range, if only for consistency. However, Apple may still seek to avoid the sticker shock associated with a starting price of $1,099.
If true, this could really work in Apple's favor. Analysts firmly believe that pent-up demand for iPhone upgrades, as well as fewer changes to the iPhone 14 lineup, should push consumers to buy the iPhone 14 Pro range instead, and with the Pro Max the biggest beneficiary.
As for when it will arrive in consumer hands, analyst Kuo's comments suggest it could be earlier than the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 releases, but there's little to really go on for that.
The timing is also backed up by another report, claiming Apple has finished developing what will be the version of iOS 16 that will be released to consumers.
Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Pro, and Apple Watch SE
A good contender for launch alongside a new iPhone, the Apple Watch Series 8 can expand the Apple Watch range into three variants, bringing out a Pro version alongside the standard and Apple Watch SE.
Leaks say the standard edition will not get much in the way of a redesign and will appear to be similar to the Apple Watch Series 7 in many respects. This includes aluminum and stainless steel cases in 41mm and 45mm sizes.
However, there have also been claims of a third size, with a larger display resulting in an Apple Watch with a size of about 47mm. This third one may be the supposedly rumored "Pro" variant.
Anticipated to be more rugged than usual, the Pro model will be more capable of use in sports and fitness, complete with a more durable casing, possibly titanium. The durability could come at a cost, with one report claiming the Pro model could start from around $900.
On September 4, the pricing claim was reiterated, with it starting at $900 and potentially going over $1,000.
As part of the design, the Pro model could have some design cues taken from the iPhone 13, such as a flat display and an updated exterior design.
If a September 5 render is true, the Apple Watch Pro could have a protrusion out the right-hand side of the main 49mm body, raising and encompassing the Digital Crown. However, while this is the first time that such a raised section has been claimed, Mark Gurman later gave a confirmation that "This is indeed it."
On the same day, long-time leaker DuanRui shared multiple renders for case accessories for the Apple Watch Pro, all accommodating the raised section. Images from Sonny Dickson followed, seemingly showing third-party accessories that have what could be a space for a mysterious second button.
As a larger model, there have also been some claims Apple could bring out larger bands to work with the bigger overall design. Using larger band sizes may result in bands that would work with the 44/45mm models being too small to properly fit the bigger wearable device, though there are some conflicting rumors about this potential change.
On the inside of the standard and Pro models, Apple is thought to be introducing body temperature measurements for the first time, enabling fever detection. While an update to the S8 chip is planned, it is also believed that the chip update won't be that much faster than the current-gen S7.
One exceedingly late rumor from September 4 claimed that Apple could bring out an Apple Watch SE during the event, alongside the Series 8 and the Pro model.
The report claimed the budget smartwatch would benefit from a shift to the S8 processor from the S5 used in the original model. However, no details were offered about the size, sensor changes, or any other features for the model.
iPad and iPad Pro
The iPad often appears during the September event, and depending on Apple's launch plans, it could easily be launched in September or an event later in the season.
However, reports about an early September 7 event indicate that it won't feature the iPad family, and instead will concentrate on the iPhone and Apple Watch. An October launch event is more probable for the iPad lineup.
It's entirely plausible that Apple could launch an iPad during September but delay the release until October, but a later reveal is more likely.
One of the big points of evidence for this is Apple itself, as it has decided to skip iPadOS 16 entirely, and confirmed that iPadOS 16.1 will be the first public release, heavily pointing towards an October introduction for new products.
The tenth-generation iPad is rumored to sport an all-new design for once, as its entry-level nature means it hasn't been the subject of changes overall. For the tenth version, renders and leaks point to the use of an all-new design.
Flat iPad Pro-like sides could point to Apple Pencil 2 support, as well as bringing the tablet more in line with Apple's modern aesthetic. The casing could introduce slimmer bezels around the display, as well as a new rear camera module, but the Touch ID Home button may continue to survive for another year.
There have been claims of a bigger display for the base model, along with the unusual rumor that Touch ID could shift to a side button and the FaceTime HD camera could move to the side. The latter point would fit in with the idea of a larger screen, but the repositioned camera seems improbable.
Inside, it could use the A14 chip, with support for 5G networks, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi 6.
Along with the iPad update, changes could also be afoot for the iPad Pro, albeit not as seismic in nature.
For a start, the M1-equipped tablet lineup could see a change over to using M2. This would be a natural progression for the product line, adding enhanced video features.
There have also been claims of other updates, such as wireless charging via MagSafe, camera system changes, and mini LED backlighting for the 11-inch iPad Pro. Changes to the Smart Connector could be on the way, with a four-pin design apparently inbound.
AirPods Pro 2 and AirPods Max
With AirPods on its third generation, it's about time that the AirPods Pro get an update. Luckily enough, rumors point in that direction as well.
In May, it was reckoned that an update to the personal audio devices would occur in the second half of 2022, most likely via a fall event.
While rumors claim that there could be two events, dividing the catalog into iPhone and Apple Watch for September's event and iPad and Mac for October's, it is unclear what will happen for AirPods. It's plausible that, since they're so closely linked to iPhones as accessories, Apple could include them in the September event.
Mark Gurman's "Power On" newsletter for September 4 declared the AirPods Pro update would feature during the September 7 event, but with no real new details on features or specifications.
Among the supposed changes to the model is the inclusion of a stemless design, departing wildly from the existing AirPods aesthetic.
There have also been older claims that there will be some form of fitness tracking functionality, but later assessments have doubted their inclusion. Rumors have also suggested the use of a microphone in the charging case, a form of hearing aid functionality, and a case speaker to assist with Find My recovery.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo offered a prediction on August 9 that AirPods will have USB-C charging cases in 2023, however, AirPods Pro 2 will continue to ship with a Lightning-based charging case.
The changes for the AirPods Max may not necessarily be as significant. Rumors say there are changes on the way, but limited more to new color options than feature updates.
That's not all, folks
Apple launches many products in the fall, far beyond this list. For the purposes of this article, we have dealt with just the products we believe Apple will show during a September event.
Rumors do claim new Mac models are on the way, such as a New Mac mini or more M2 MacBook Pro releases. However, Apple doesn't usually launch them in September but instead waits for an event occurring at a later time.
Reports claiming there will be two events put Apple's Mac changes alongside the iPad for an October event while leaving September's for the iPhone and Apple Watch.
There are also long-standing rumors about the Apple mixed-reality headset, but such a ground-breaking release would see Apple holding a completely separate launch event. It would have too much ground to cover if it sandwiched the headset alongside other launches.
There's also speculation that the launch of the headset won't be until 2023.
Updated: August 21 with new event rumors.
Updated: September 3 with more event rumors.
Updated: September 4 with even more event rumors.
Updated: September 5 with even more late rumors.