WASHINGTON. Apple has announced its annual September launch event, scheduling it for this Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The time: 10 a.m. PDT. I.e., 1 p.m. EDT. Buzz has it that the company’s Apple Event 2019 extravaganza will focus on products scheduled for tweaks and updates, including the company’s latest iPhones.
Recent Apple launch events have proved less flashy than previous announcements, particularly since flamboyant and iconic Apple guru departed our planet some years back. Supply chain wizard Tim Cook simply lacks the charisma of Jobs. But even more to the point, Apple fans still seem to hunger for some brand new breakthrough product that will get their spirits – and the company’s stock price – back on track to break through the stratosphere.
But Cook’s tactic of branching out into product areas that, by and large, make Apple less dependent on hardware sales, is still keeping the company near the top of the pack in the corporate earnings sweepstakes. It’s just not sexy enough for Wall Street, even though the company’s stock has smartly recovered from a recent downdraft.
Moving on from dollars and cents, what’s the company going to announce during this Tuesday’s Apple Event 2019? We have a pretty good idea, although not everything is set in stone and some of the street buzz is likely off base. Plus, there’s always a chance that Cook $ Co. will come up with that “one last thing.”
Given these caveats, let’s do a quick rundown on what we’ve heard via the Silicon Valley whispering machine.
It’s pretty much a given that we’ll hear an announcement on Apple’s latest iPhones, given that this product customarily gets annual updates that the company announces each September. But, like last year’s phones, this year’s models are likely to be incremental updates rather than showcases for groundbreaking new technologies.
And, like last year’s models, the models revealed at Apple Event 2019 are likely to cost plenty of simoleans as well.
Potential iPhone Highlights:
- The look and feel of Apple’s new iPhones will likely remain more or less the same as last year’s models.
- However, rumor has it that the phone’s cameras and processors received significant technical upgrades. The most expensive new iPhone is rumored to add a third camera to the photo array, plus either a new or updated sensor package.
- The rumor mill also claims that Apple will add some groundbreaking new software to the camera package, perhaps enabling users to avail themselves of virtual “greenscreen” technology. This could permit the substitution of different backgrounds to photos, a technique long used on TV news reports to make it look like a given reporter is “on site.” No confirmation, however.
- Allegedly, Apple will offer customers 3 new iPhone models. A pair of high-end models will boast 5.8- and 6.1-inch OLED screens respectively according to outside analysts. These models will replace the still-current XS and XS Max models respectively.
- Apple is apparently set to offer a successor to the iPhone XR model, a lower-cost edition that uses a lower-cost LCD screen.
Prices, new options and the 5G question mark
- Price points, in descending order, will likely be close to last year’s rather costly offerings, which ranged from $749 at minimum to $1099 and higher. However, there could be some surprises here. Whether to the upside or the downside, however, only Tim Cook and his inner circle may know.
- The new phones may offer an option enabling them to charge other Apple devices.
- Analysts regard it as a virtual certainty that the new phones will not support 5G. That could prove a disappointment – and a buying disincentive – to some. On the other hand, unless users are located in a large – and lucky – urban area, the 5G rollout in the US will be gradual. It may not even hit critical mass until 2021 or 2022. So the desirability of buying a new iPhone this year may depend on whether you live in Cupertino, or in, say, Nitro, West Virginia. In other words, you can bet on which locale will get the 5G rollout first.
Expect at least an announcement of a new, feature-filled revision to Apple’s iPhone / iPad OS during Apple Event 2019. Maybe.
At any rate, the new OS is scheduled to appear this fall, along with a new major rev to the Mac’s OS as well. The big deal here, apparently, is that for the first time, the iPad will get its own version of the iPhone OS, providing the notepad device with most of the feature set that’s only been available via Apple’s Macintosh computers.
This promises to further blur distinctions between iPads and Macbook computers. On the other hand, portability has become an increasingly important feature for users. So who knows where the iPad’s increased, Mac-like functionality will take it next.
Again, this new OS announcement may get delayed until October. We’ll find out on Tuesday.
The company may use its upcoming Apple Event 2019 to announce another update to its quietly building hit product. That would be Apple’s multifaceted, health-oriented Apple Watch. In other words, the company may announce a successor to the already popular Apple Watch Series 4.
Here’s what to look for.
- Model design will likely remain the same as last year’s models. That model boosted screen size and modified the original design. But new case materials (at higher price points) may be on tap for what maybe called the Series 5.
- According to MacRumors, Apple may offer a new “Schooltime” feature that blocks out distracting apps and features during class hours. That could indirectly help boost the grades many students. They’d rather play with their expensive toys than listen to what their boring old teacher has to say.
- Other lifestyle-tracking apps or features may also become available on this new model, if announced. They’d include a feature set that helps track and regulate a user’s sleep time. More and more medical experts regard quality sleep time as a big key to continued good health.
iPads, Macs, laptops…
iPads and Macs may be MIA during Tuesday’s Apple Event 2019 festivities. New iPad models were announced and made available earlier this year, so no surprise there. Refreshes for previously neglected models? Maybe.
Some rumormongers think that new Macbook Pro models may be in the offing. These could include a modification of the current 15-inch model that shrinks its bezel size, allowing room for a 16-inch screen within the same real estate. No confirmation, though. And, not infrequently, Apple will make announcements like this in October, not this month.
Apple’s highly popular but eminently lose-able AirPods may also get an update after an earlier refresh this year.
Apple might also announce hardware and software that, by means of sensors, could track various user possessions via an iPhone app.
and… Emily Dickinson?
Although they might wait until October, Apple might also choose to announce their upgraded Apple TV+ along with their long awaited (according to Apple) new streaming video service. In fact, Apple is already touting their upcoming new series.
According to streaming trailers I’ve seen via other services, this 19th century costume drama re-imagines Emily Dickinson, America’s most brilliantly inventive wallflower poet as something of a Victorian Era rock star. “Like we’ve never seen her before.” Shades of Baz Luhrmann. (Series trailer below.)
I guess this is supposed to update Emily for Millennials by showing (without evidence) that she knew how to piss off her parents and boogie. I’m an old former English prof, so I think I’ll pass. We’ve already burdened the millennials with too much fake news during their relatively short lifespans. Enough is enough.
We’ll provide you with updates after Tuesday’s Apple Event 2019 wraps up. With or without “one more thing.”
— Headline image: PR photo promoting the new Apple TV original series, Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld.
Set to premiere Fall 2019 on Apple’s upcoming new streaming service.