Apple September Event 2019: It is that time of the year again. Steve Jobs Theatre, Apple’s spaceship-like auditorium overlooking its out-of-this-world Apple Park campus in Cupertino will host another event to showcase what the company has to offer for the coming year. As always, hours before the annual Apple event, the expectations and the hype are now at a crescendo.
But over the past couple of years, Apple hasn’t really been able to hold the suspense, with most of the leaks and rumours preceding these events proving to be right. If there is an element of surprise at all at these events now, it is over things that were not launched.
This time, the Apple invite does put a little bit of stress on innovation, with its ‘By Innovation Only’ tagline. But everyone knows that innovation, at least radical ones, is an uphill climb these days for all smartphone makers. So the buzz among those who have insight into Apple’s supply chain and the production line is that there is no need to be too excited about the three phones expected to be announced on September 10.
Still, Apple events can even then set the agenda for the rest of the personal technology world. Even technologies that others have launched get more acceptance once Apple internalises the same. That is how Apple has been integral to the technology cycles in the smartphone industry from the day it sets the ball rolling with the launch of the first iPhone just over a decade ago.
But given that the Apple event in September is still the biggest single-brand event in the tech industry, here’s a look at what to expect and what not to in Cupertino today.
What to expect from the Apple Event
Almost everyone is certain that there will be the phones on offer, all upgrades on the three iPhones Apple launched last year. These will be the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 max and the iPhone 11, with the last being an upgrade on the more affordable and popular iPhone XR.
It is almost certain that Apple will have a three camera setup on at least the top-end version on offer this year. This will also mean that one of the cameras will be an ultra-wide one, a feature most of the competition has now.
The new phones will all be powered by Apple’s latest A13 processors. If the power the A12 packed is anything to go by, the latest chipset should be able to pull more weight locally without turning to the cloud for help. It should also get better at AI and ML, since you can expect a lot more apps and services that use these to be showcased at the keynote.
Expect the latest version of the Apple Watch, with a bunch of software as well as hardware upgrades. Since Apple is on its own in this space, it is hard to expect what all features will be added, because users don’t even know what else a smartwatch could do.
What not to expect at the Apple event
Do not expect a radical change in design from what we have seen from the time of the iPhone X. Analysts believe there could be something coming next year and hence Apple is likely to give this year a pass when it comes to design changes. Also remember, Apple’s master designer Jony Ive has left the building.
Do not expect to see Cupertino get into the VR headset space, not yet. Yes, there is pressure from what Oculus is doing with Facebook in Menlo Park, but it does not appear that big an opportunity for Apple to take the dip right now. If the Arcade is a success, then we could look at the hardware of this sort next year.
Don’t expect a big change in the pricing structure of the iPhones, at least not upwards. Given how the smartphone market has been flat and with not much hardware changes coming in the phones, it could be tough to charge more for what will be on offer this year.
What we are not sure of
There are a lot of segments in which Apple could announce new products, from the iPad to the MacBook and AirPods. But we are not sure what is really going to be unveiled if at all, so better not to hazard a guess. But we know there will be “one more thing” as always.
The author is in San Jose on the invite of Apple