Apple aficionados, your time is coming. This fall promises to be a “very exciting” one for brand fans, company CEO Tim Cook revealed at the tech giant’s investor’s call earlier this month.
Consumers can expect to see “stunning advances in iOS 11, macOS High Sierra and watchOS 4” launched by the end of the year. Cook also confirmed several details regarding the highly-anticipated iPhone 8, slated for release sometime in the next couple of months.
The tenth anniversary iteration of iPhone will reportedly be “better than ever with Apple Pay peer-to-payments and even more intelligent and natural Siri, new expressive Messages with full screen effects, richer and more powerful Maps, enhanced live photos, memories and portrait mode effects and much, much more.”
While the iPhone 8 will likely remain Apple’s biggest launch of the year, it certainly won’t be the only one we’ll see from the company. You can also expect a new 10.5in iPad Pro, an update for the existing 12.9in iPad Pro, and updated versions of various iMac and MacBook models.
Both an improved Apple Watch and a new Apple TV have also been rumored, as well as a confirmed December release on the HomePod – Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo. The smart-speaker will be Siri-activated and boast spatial awareness technology – meaning it is able to analyse a room and optimise its audio output accordingly.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, pairing Apple Watch’s continued sales growth with the announcement of a software upgrade, and the rumored fall release (just in time for holiday shopping) seems quite likely.
As for the Apple TV upgrades, we haven’t seen anything in two years, which is forever for Apple. There have been leaks that seem to confirm the next-generation Apple TV will support 4K Ultra HD content, as well as three HDR modes. To be fair, this should be expected, considering how much more common 4K TV’s have become and how much content is now available in this format.
Currently, Apple does not have any products that are capable of properly displaying 4K content; if this leak proves to be true, it can be expected that the new models of iMac and MacBook will boast 4K compatibility as well.
There is less than half of 2017 left and Apple remains fairly tight-lipped regarding exact launch dates and specs for most of their product upgrades and releases. As usual, they’ve given us just enough information to whet our collective appetite and seem content to leave it that way. With earnings of $45.4 billion in what is typically a softer quarter (April-June), it seems Tim Cook and his team know exactly what they are doing.
As usual there is a lot of speculation regarding what exact upgrades and changes we are going to see – especially when it comes to the latest version of the iPhone. Here are some odds on those upgrades and when we can expect:
Odds the iPhone 8 will be released in September: 1/9
Apple has stuck with the September release tradition ever since the iPhone 5 was launched back in 2012. There are reports that production is currently in full swing for the updated smart phone, but a recent leak from the Korea Herald says there are production delays. If this is true, it could have us waiting till November, although the Herald is not an entirely reliable source. We still expect to see shelves stocked with new models by the end of next month.
Odds the next model will ditch the home button: 1/3
The design team over at Apple enjoys pushing us out of our comfort zones a bit, don’t they? With the iPhone 7 they did away with the headphone jack, bringing fairly contentious reviews. But it didn’t really hurt their sales and in time we all just got used to it. The home button is not technically necessary, and to be honest, just seems to break a lot. An improved design is not hard to imagine, especially if Apple is planning to prioritize screen size.
Odds of the iPhone 8 featuring wireless charging: 4/9
This is not a new feature in the smart world but it would be a big change for the average smart phone user. It seems likely, again given their recent push toward minimizing what is necessary in regards to function and design. It also opens up another product sphere for the tech magnate – wireless charging stations for all our Apple products.
Apple Watch Odds:
Odds the new Apple Watch will boast new health features: 1/9
In the smart watch market, Apple is definitely in the lead. Part of the reason: health and fitness features that allow users to have everything, from step count to emails, all in one place. But their competitors are catching up, meaning Apple will need to find a way to kick it up a notch if they want to continue to market the Apple Watch as a health and lifestyle product. Some of the rumored updates include: a built-in sleep tracker (Apple recently acquired Australian company, Beddit) and a power tracking meter for cyclists.
Odds of a new Apple Watch being released by end of October: 4/9
Apple has already confirmed the updated operating system for their Apple Watches, so an updated model shouldn’t be far behind. We are moving quickly into holiday season and a big product push before people start buying should be expected.
Odds of Apple Watch 3 having a camera: 5/4
The rumor the Apple Watch 2 would have a camera for FaceTime calls was exactly that – a rumor, but it’s an idea that could potentially be revisited for the third generation model. First though, we’d need to see an improved battery life or else our watches will be dying mid-call far too often.
Apple TV Odds:
Odds the new Apple TV will be 4K compatible: 0/1
There’s just no question about it at this point, is there?