Steve Jobs loved secrecy. So he probably wouldn’t be too happy that ahead of Apple’s first event at its new spaceship headquarters in Cupertino — in the Steve Jobs Theater, no less — we already know pretty much everything the company will announce, including the iPhone X, a cellular Apple Watch, and an updated Apple TV.
OK, so we probably don’t know everything about Apple’s new devices, but a lot of the big reveals are already known — unless Apple has done an incredible job of keeping a new product completely under wraps. More came out over the weekend when engineers digging through the final version of Apple’s latest software — iOS 11 — found new details about what to expect and confirmed some previous leaks.
Here’s what Apple will be showing off in Cupertino Tuesday:
Apple is widely expected to show off three new iPhones this week. The most talked-about will be the iPhone X, a 10th anniversary special edition that’s gotten a radical design overhaul compared to the current model and for the first time will see the introduction of an OLED screen — promising more accurate colors and crisper content.
The screen will likely be the biggest topic of conversation, given that it will stretch almost to the edges of the device, matching a recent trend from Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, and more. The only non-screen part of the new iPhone will be a notch along the top housing the camera and other sensors.
The phone’s other big talking point will be the removal of the home button. It will be reportedly replaced by a virtual bar along the bottom of the screen for multitasking and closing apps. The Touch ID fingerprint reader will be replaced with a facial recognition system set to be called Face ID. It’s unclear if this will be sufficiently secure to authenticate payments and confirm purchases on the App Store.
The iPhone X is expected to feature inductive or wireless charging, something that high-end Android smartphones have had for several years already. As usual, the cameras will be updated, but this time with a big focus on augmented reality as Apple looks to take the technology mainstream.
On the negative side, the iPhone X is expected to be in short supply — at least initially — and it will set you back $1,000 for the cheapest model.
iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus
Oh, and the other two phones — set to be called the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus — will look pretty much like the current models, with the updated processor and possibly a wireless charging feature.
The big update to Apple’s market-leading wearable is the inclusion of a 4G chip, so you can finally live out your Dick Tracy fantasies. Because you can leave your phone behind while out running or walking and still take and make calls with your own number.
The new Apple Watch Series 3 — which is what the My Verizon App briefly called it before the reference was pulled — will look almost identical to last year’s model, except for the new red dot at the end of the Digital Crown, just so everyone knows you’ve got the latest model.
The new Watch will come in several new colors, with complementary bands, and the latest version of Apple’s Watch OS will be preloaded onto the device, including deeper integration of Siri.
The big update to Apple’s set-top TV box will be 4K support. While many other set-top boxes have had this feature for a while, Apple is finally getting around to adding it, and given how few services offer content in 4K, it’s probably the right time to do it.
The new box will also get a faster processor and support for HDR video playback, and there should be better integration of live television services via Apple’s own TV app, though exactly how this will work — and with what service — is one of the few remaining unknowns about Apple’s big announcements.
While Apple has been working on its own TV service for years, it’s watched Sony PlayStation, DirecTV, Google and others launch their own packages of cable channels, which sounds about right: Apple is rarely first to market with a feature; rather it tends to follow with a significantly better product.