A new iPhone will make its debut next week.
Apple will hold a small event at its Cupertino campus to unveil a few new products and software updates to the public, and we’re expecting new iPhones, iPads, and other goodies.
The invite said “let us loop you in.” If you’re interested in watching, you’ll be able to stream the keynote online.
The big headlining product will be a new iPhone, which is believed to be called the iPhone SE. Packaging that’s supposed to be for the iPhone SE leaked earlier this week.
The iPhone SE isn’t going to bring a bunch of new features. It’s not going to be the iPhone 7, which will come out this fall. Instead, it’s an updated version of the iPhone 5S, according to Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, only with current-generation components.
According to several reports, instead of the bigger 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens found on the current generation iPhones, the iPhone SE will sport a 4-inch display, the same size as on the iPhone 5S and current-generation iPod Touch. In fact, the design will be “nearly identical” to the iPhone 5S. A good way to think of it is as an iPhone 6S in an iPhone 5s body.
It will most likely come in rose gold, gold, space grey, and white colours, like current iPhones.
It’s expected to have a new 12-megapixel camera, an A9 processor, support for Apple Pay, and always-on Siri voice support so you can turn it on and talk to it with the words “hey Siri,” like in Apple’s latest commercial starring Cookie Monster:
Some cases have also leaked, and there’s a good chance the iPhone SE will fit into existing iPhone 5S cases.
One open question is price. Analysts have predicted the iPhone SE will cost around $450 without a contract.
The first iPad that ever came out had a 9.7-inch screen, about the same size as a piece of paper. Since then, Apple’s introduced several generations of iPad Minis and even a new, bigger iPad Pro, but the original-size iPad hasn’t been updated since 2014 with the iPad Air 2.
That’s exceedingly likely to change on Monday. Apple’s been preparing a 9.7-inch iPad with new hardware, including an updated processor, RAM, and other internal components.
There’s also a really good chance that the newest iPad will have Apple’s “smart connector,” which will enable it to work with Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover for people who would like to make their iPad into an laptop replacement.
It will also probably work with Apple’s Pencil, a high-tech stylus it introduced last fall alongside the professionally-oriented iPad Pro.
It will most likely come in gold, space grey, and white colours, like current iPads, but there’s a chance Apple adds a rose gold option.
The only question is what Apple will call its new iPad. The productivity features mean it might be called an iPad Pro, but there’s also a chance it’s called the iPad Air 3 or something totally new.
And of course, there’s the question of price. The bigger iPad Pro starts at $799 and can cost as much as $1079 before accessories. The current iPad Air 2 starts at $499, which is the likely price point for what Apple’s releasing on Monday.
Don’t expect new Apple Watch hardware on Monday, although the event’s tagline — “let us loop you in” — does suggest new Apple Watch bands, like a black version of the company’s handsome Milanese Loop watchband.
Milanese Loop Apple Watch bands cost $150.
While some analysts have suggested a partial hardware refresh, such as the Apple Watch getting a built-in camera, it sounds unlikely.
Instead, expect new software features, and perhaps a few developers to come show off new things current users can do with their existing Apple Watch.
Apple has recently moved to a system where it allows normal people to test beta software, so much of what Apple’s been working on the software front won’t be a surprise.
Still, it’s possible that as part of the presentation Apple announced that current iPhones and iPads can now download a big software update, iOS 9.3.
That software has several cool improvements, such as a feature that makes screens easier on the eyes at night, the ability to lock your notepad behind a password or fingerprint, and better integration with Apple’s health-focused apps among other improvements.
One more thing?
Given that this is Apple’s chance to communicate directly with its fans, you can never rule out a surprise. Executives have hinted at a major iTunes update recently, but there’s a better chance that comes in the fall.
There are also several Mac products that haven’t been updated in a while, including the Mac Pro. 9to5Mac says Apple considered releasing a new model of the MacBook, but decided against it, citing sources.
Of course, if we knew what the surprise was going to be, it wouldn’t be any fun. There might not even be a surprise — or it could be something like a free album from U2.
Whatever Apple’s got in store, we’ll find out on Monday. Business Insider will be covering everything Apple says and reveals, starting at 1 P.M. Eastern Time.