Apple’s annual device-centric events were thrown into a bit of a tailspin this year thanks to the, you guessed it, COVID-19 pandemic. Why the virus impacted hardware-unveiling events mainly comes down to disruption in logistics and supply chains in Asia, thus pushing manufacturing—and by extension, hardware announcements—back several weeks.
Last month, Apple hosted a hardware event that saw the launch of the new Apple Watch Series 6 and new iPad Air. And now, next week, on October 13, Apple has finally scheduled what is arguably its most important launch event of the year—the company’s annual iPhone unveiling.
However, more than the next-generation iPhone may be unveiled at the event, whose tagline is “Hi, Speed.” Matter of fact, if Apple isn’t planning on another late-October or early-November event, the October 13th event could be jam-packed with all kinds of hardware. If that’s the case, here’s what you can expect to see unveiled next week:
- iPhone 12 series: We could see up to four iPhones unveiled. Rumored names are the iPhone 12 mini (a 5.4-inch device), the iPhone 12 (a 6.1-inch device), the iPhone 12 Pro (another 6.1-inch device), and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (a mouthful of a name and a 6.7-inch device). All of these iPhones are expected to have Face ID and 5G support, and the Pro models will ship with triple-lens cameras that sport lidar sensors.
- AirTags: These are slim tracking chips that you can attach or slip into items like a purse. The AirTag trackers allow you to track their location thanks to Apple’s U1 chip and the iPhone’s Find My app. The AirTags are rumored to be so precise they can be tracked to a matter of inches.
- AirPods Studio: These are rumored to be Apple’s first own-branded, professional over-the-ear studio-quality headphones. There are rumors that the AirPods Studio can be worn either way (there is no set left or right speaker) and feature interchangeable, magnetically held parts, such as the ear cups and headband.
- HomePod mini: Another good bet is that we’ll see Apple’s first update to its HomePod line of speakers. However, don’t expect a new top-of-the-line HomePod, rather expect to see a smaller one, dubbed the HomePod mini.
- Apple Silicon Macs: At WWDC in June, Apple announced it would be ditching Intel chips and transitioning to Apple’s own custom silicon in future Macs. It’s possible next week’s event could launch the first Apple Silicon-based Mac, which would probably be a MacBook Air or new iMac—maybe both.
- macOS Big Sur: If new Macs are introduced, Apple will also probably announce the release date for macOS Big Sur, the next-gen operating system it showed off at WWDC in June. If so, it’s likely Big Sur will drop sometime by the end of October.
- New Apple TV: Finally, Apple may also unveil a new Apple TV. The new set-top box could feature a more powerful chipset and a redesigned remote. It would go nicely with the Apple One subscription bundle, which Apple has already announced will launch later this year.
Apple’s “Hi, Speed” event takes place on Tuesday, October 13, at 10 a.m. PDT.