On Tuesday, Apple will update us with new versions of older products, and possibly show off some new ones as well. Everything but new iPhones and Macintosh computers, which are expected at a separate event in October.
The Apple event begins at 10 a.m. PT and will be streamed on Apple’s website, YouTube channel and on the Apple app for Apple TV. It will also be recorded and archived on Apple.com
The company is expected to introduce updated iPads and Apple Watch editions, possibly AirPod over-the-ear headphones and Apple’s take on the Tile Bluetooth key finder. Missing will the new iPhone models, which has been delayed for an October release. Apple is expected to have a separate iPhone event in October.
One big difference: This will be the first Apple product reveal in the iPhone era that won’t be done before an adoring audience. Instead, it will feature pre-recorded demos, over a two-hour time frame.
The iPhone is Apple’s biggest revenue generator, by far, followed by Services, the division that hounds customers to upgrade their iCloud storage, watch iTunes movie rentals and subscribe to its Music service. No. 3 is iPads, followed by Macs and Apple’s Wearables division, which includes Apple Watch and the AirPods Bluetooth buds.
A closer look:
Get ready for Series 6 of the Watch, which is expected to be more about software than hardware. While the watch will have a more powerful processing chip, according to Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, the big sell will be health features, he says.
It is expected to be able to detect blood oxygen level, according to source code 9to5 found in the iOS 14 mobile operating system upgrade.
Watch users could get an improved electrocardiogram feature to check heart rate.
Apple’s roster of Apple Watches currently has Series 5 starting at $399 and Series 3, the edition from 2017, for $199. Bloomberg says Apple will replace Series 3 with a new lower-end Watch, one that will include the health features of the more expensive watches.
The 9to5 Mac blog sees Apple putting most of its attention on a revised and different looking iPad Air, that will be sans a Home button and Face ID, instead using the older Touch ID, but this time built into the side button of the tablet.
This suggests that Apple could offer this feature on the new iPhones coming in October as well, as Face ID has proved problematic in the COVID era, since it can’t recognize faces with masks on.
Engadget suggests the new iPad Air, with edge-to-edge display, could be as large as the top of the line, 11-inch iPad Pro, with bigger bezels, but sold for a much lower price point, $499 to the current $799 for the Pro.
The iPad line starts at an economical $329 for the entry-level model, with the Air in middle position between the cheapest and most expensive models. But the Air looks “dated” according to 9to5, and giving it a “more modern look,” would help Apple competitively, the website says.
Could we see other products at the event as well? Apple enthusiast blogs suggest over-the-ear headphones, called AirPods Studio, could join the lineup, along with the long rumored AppleTags, Apple’s clone of the Tile Bluetooth key tracker. Apple also could release an updated HomePod, the smart speaker Apple introduced in early 2018 to take on Amazon Echo and Google speakers. It currently sells for $299.
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