Apple announces Sept. 15 event, but is it for iPhone?

So now we know when Apple's next event will take place. But will the company actually unveil the iPhone 12?

Apple, Apple Watch, appleevent, iPhone, iPhone 12, Mac

Apple has announced the date of its next event, which will be streamed globally from Apple Park on Sept. 15, starting at 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET.

What will Apple introduce?

As of now, there’s a great deal of expectation surrounding this event. Will Apple use the moment to introduce the many products it has been expected to reveal this fall, or will the show be a prelude to a second “Special Event”?

We don’t know the answer.

What we do know is that the company is currently plotting to introduce the 5G-supporting iPhone 12 in the form of four devices: two more affordable 5.4- and 6.1-in. iPhone 12 models along with two iPhone 12 Pro models with 6.1- and 6.7-in. screens.

Apple watchers are also anticipating the rollout of new versions of the Apple Watch 6, iPad Air and the first-ever MacBook running on Apple Silicon.

There’s additional speculation the company may introduce over-the-ear AirPods, a faster model of Apple TV and an all-new product called AirTags at this streamed event.

Not only this, but the company has a growing story to tell concerning its services segment, particularly around Apple TV and its expanding raft of shows, not to mention claims of a new (and smaller) HomePod.

That’s a lot to get through.

What’s most likely to happen?

We’ve heard multiple claims that iPhone 12 production was delayed by the impact of the coronavirus. More recently, we heard claims the company may stagger the release of new iPhone models over a longer length of time than normal, or that there may be a lengthier gap between introduction and shipping of any new devices.

However, Apple’s new iPad Air, Apple Watch and the first Mac to run Apple Silicon are also important items of news in their own right.

This has led to a split across the Apple rumor mill, with some arguing that the Sept. 15 event may not be the big iPhone launch people are expecting.

My gut feeling is that this argument feels convincing, but it is worth noting that all Apple’s previous iPhone launches have taken place at about this time of year. In fact, since 2012, iPhones were announced on September 10 (x2), 12 (x3), 7, 9 (x2), 10, and 12. September 15 is slightly later than normal (in line with claimed delays) and may be followed by a slightly longer delay until new products ship.

It’s possible the company will use this event to help it excite interest across September with new product launches and the release of new operating systems directing attention toward the introduction of its new iPhone. There’s merit in both approaches.

Apple has a new Twitter hashtag

Apple watchers had been expecting some news from Apple today, with some of the most well-known rumor reporters arguing over the likelihood (or not) of hardware news today.

In the event there has been no product (yet), though the Apple Events page was updated and a new Apple-related hashtag appeared on Twitter.

Type #appleevent on a Tweet and you will see this hashtag appear alongside a special blue Apple badge. (It may be worth observing the tag is set to expire on September 28, which may hint at either shipping dates, OS release days, or even a second launch event. Industry speculation is all over the place at this time.)

What’s in a logo?

The Apple logo seems pretty important to the company for its product launches. A glance at the company’s current events page shows a highly stylized Apple icon featuring curved lines in graduated shades of blue and the phrase “Time Flies."

Apple has made use of stylized versions of its logo for product release events since 2018, while the mention of time is interesting, given expectation around a new Apple Watch and a new lower-priced device in the Apple Watch family.

What’s really interesting is that if you receive the invitation Apple is distributing to watch the show you gain access to an interactive AR-based experience in which the icon moves around your space only to coalesce in the numbers 9.15.

Here is how this looks in action:

Why is the event being streamed?

Apple has chosen to stream the launch rather than invite guests in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the end of which is not yet in sight as infection rates begin to rise again worldwide. This is also why it streamed WWDC.

What should happen next?

In the prelude to major Apple events, the company has a habit of exciting interest by introducing supporting software and services for new products.

With new iPads, watch, TV and other solutions anticipated for release in 2020, it’s plausible to expect some of these may be introduced via a press release as the Sept. 12 deadline nears.

How to watch the event

The event will be streamed from the Apple Events page.

This will be available via a compatible browser to all platforms, and also on the Apple Events video feed on Apple TV. Apple published a YouTube feed for its iPhone launch in 2019, but nothing on this has been revealed at this time.

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Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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