Apple’s first product launch event of the year is on Sept. 9.
It’s going to be stacked.
Apple hasn’t released a new product in 2014, save for some minor refreshes to a few of its MacBook models. Instead, it’s packing all its announcements into the fall. And it all starts Tuesday.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect.
Two New iPhones With Bigger Screens
According to a wide variety of media reports, Apple will announce two new iPhones. Both will have bigger screens compared to today’s 4-inch iPhone 5S. The first iPhone will have a 4.7-inch screen. The second iPhone will have a 5.5-inch screen and will be Apple’s first-ever phablet (a phone so large it’s almost a tablet).
The design of the new iPhone has leaked a zillion times before today. It will almost certainly look like this:
The new iPhone will also have a near-field communication (NFC) chip, as Wired first reported. NFC lets devices send data between each other just by tapping them together. NFC is available on many, if not most, Android phones.
A Mobile Payments System
According to several other reports, Apple will use the new iPhone’s NFC chip to start a mobile payments platform. In fact, Apple has reportedly partnered with several major retailers, credit card companies, and banks to make sure everything is in place. In theory, you’d be able to input your credit card information into the iPhone and just tap it against special payment pads at retailers to pay for stuff. No more fiddling for your wallet or credit card.
While almost everything about the new iPhone has leaked, Apple’s first new product under CEO Tim Cook largely remains a mystery.
Apple is expected to unveil its first wearable computing device, which the press has been calling the iWatch, on Tuesday. According to Brian X. Chen of The New York Times, the iWatch will come in two sizes and come packed with health and fitness monitoring sensors. It will also have a flexible or curved display. Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac reported Saturday that developers will also be able to make apps for the device.
There’s a lot of pressure on Apple to prove it can launch a successful new product category. A lot of Apple critics think the company can no longer innovate without Steve Jobs. This will be a big test for Cook. If the iWatch is a dud, then those critics will be right. If the iWatch is a success, Cook will prove that his Apple is just as innovative as Apple was under Jobs. Several companies have tried to make smartwatches over the last year or so,but they’re all duds.
Although we’ll learn a lot about the iWatch on Tuesday, Apple isn’t expected to start selling the device until early 2015, according to John Paczkowski of Re/code.
Launch Date For The New Mac Operating System
Apple showed off OS X Yosemite, the new operating system for Macs, in June. However, it won’t launch until this fall. Apple will likely give us a release date for Yosemite during Tuesday’s event.
Yosemite gives a fresh coat of paint to the Mac operating system. It has a clean, colourful look that’s similar to what you see on the iPhone’s software. Yosemite will be available as a free download for many Macs.
Launch Date For The New iPhone And iPad Operating System
iPhones and iPads are also getting a new version of iOS. It’s called iOS 8 and has several new features like the ability to add third-party keyboards, answer text messages even if you have another app open, and use widgets (apps that display live information) in the notification center.
iOS 8 will also have a new app called Health that can sync with accessories like fitness trackers and blood pressure monitors. Health will likely be a big part of the iWatch too.
iOS 8 will likely launch a few days before the new iPhones. We’ll have that date Tuesday. It will be a free download for iPhones and iPads.
How To Keep Up With All The News
Business Insider will have live coverage Sept. 9 from Apple’s event in Cupertino, Calif. It begins at 10 a.m. Pacific. Check in often for live updates, photos, video, analysis, and a bunch of other neat stuff.