Apple will kick off its monster event in just about 24 hours.
Invitations for the event read, “Wish we could say more.” Based on all the various reports, leaks, and rumours, Tuesday’s show could be one of the the biggest in Apple’s history.
First of all, Apple will return to the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, for this event. This is the same place where Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh about 30 years ago. The symbolism is hard to miss.
The Macintosh launched a new era for Apple. It seems management views this event as the start of a new era.
Based on drone photos snapped by a local iOS developer, Apple has built a completely new structure next to the Flint Center, which looks about as big — or bigger — than that building. It’s big enough to fit a home, or a basketball court, or a track.
Apple normally keeps the spotlight on one major product at its events. For this event, however, it’s going to have three major hardware products — two new iPhones and its first-ever wearable.
The two new iPhones will be bigger than any other handsets the company has previously built. The iPhone 5S and 5C have 4-inch screens, but the two iPhone 6 models are said to measure 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively. Apple previously advertised the 4-inch display as the ideal size for the hand, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how Apple markets these bigger phones.
In addition to the phones, reports say Tuesday will mark Apple’s official unveiling for the company’s first wearable device, rumoured to be called “iWatch,” or possibly “iBand.”
Apple’s rumoured smartwatch has built up a ton of hype over the past two years. And while several wrist wearables have launched over that time span, wearable devices as a product category have yet to really take off. Smartwatch makers believe Apple’s device will officially kick off that trend, because it will be deeply integrated with Apple’s popular mobile operating system (iOS) but also offer unique features like the ability to track and measure one’s health and control aspects of one’s home environment, two new applications coming in iOS 8 that will also be highlighted Tuesday.
Besides the new health and home platforms, there’s one piece of killer software coming for both the watch and the two iPhones: Mobile payments.
An Apple-built mobile payments platform has been rumoured for a while, but based on leaks of an NFC chip and reports of Apple striking deals with all of the major credit card companies, it looks as if Apple has finally figured out how to make it easy and efficient to pay with one’s phone — and/or one’s smartwatch, possibly — to pay for goods, keep track of one’s finances, and set spending limits on children.
We might see a few other surprises — wireless charging has been rumoured for Apple’s smartwatch, and the Apple TV hasn’t been updated in a while — but the event will largely be about phones and hardware that extends the functionality of those new iPhones. The arrival of the iWatch might make fashionistas (Apple has actually invited a bunch of fashion people to come to the event) and health nuts out of us all, while mobile payments might kill off our wallets once and for all. And we’re likely to see some epic demonstrations due to the size of this custom-built event space, which is, again, one of the most significant locations in Apple history.
These new devices may be the last products Steve Jobs ever touched. Or, this could be the first batch of Apple products Steve Jobs never touched. Either way, Tuesday’s event has gigantic implications for Apple’s future and the world of technology as a whole. We can’t wait to find out what the company has in store on Tuesday.