What to Expect from Apple’s launch event

The unveiling of its highly anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone. The event is currently scheduled for Sept. 12, according to The Wall Street Journal. Set to take place at Apple’s new Steve Jobs Theater, located on the campus of the tech giant’s new headquarters, the Journal’s sources said the event timing or location could be affected if construction of the new Steve Jobs theater doesn’t finish on time.

Apple’s product launch event is expected to be a major milestone for the company, featuring a redesigned iPhone and updated Apple Watch and Apple TV devices. Investors have high expectations. Apple stock has risen sharply ahead of the event, up about 9% in the last 30 days.

iPhone 8 announcement

In celebration of the 10th anniversary since the first iPhone went on sale back in 2007, Apple is expected to launch a majorly redesigned version of the iPhone – tentatively dubbed the ‘iPhone 8’.

This handset is expected to feature a significant redesign that will include an ‘all-screen front’, similar to what we’ve seen from the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

It’s also tipped that Apple will scrap the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and instead introduce a new user authentication system that utilises 3D facial recognition technology.

For a better idea of what to expect, here’s a supposed dummy unit featured in a YouTube video by respected tech vlogger Marques Brownlee:

Revamped camera module

Another interesting murmur about the upcoming iPhone is that it could integrate 3D lasers to the rear camera. Reports suggest the iPhone 8 will use a vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) system. The VCSEL system would improve the phone’s autofocus capabilities and depth perception for better-augmented reality experience.iphone-8-cam_090117051854

The phone’s camera module is also pegged to bring with it infrared face-recognition capabilities.

A patent application filed by Apple had previously hinted at how the tech giant plans to upgrade to this feature — it was expected to replace the existing Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

However, if latest reports are to be believed, it will coexist with the Touch ID sensor embedded in the display of the phone.

As per the leaks, the code Pearl ID should let you unlock your iPhone in the dark, even if you’re looking at your phone from an odd angle, or if your face is partially blocked.

Gesture controls and touch bar

Another rumour that is sure to get a lot of fans excited is that the iPhone 8 could have a strip along the bottom of the display reserved for a “function area”. This strip will provide similar functionality to the touchstrip present on the MacBook from 2016.

touch-bar-copy_090117051610iOS developers have also found indications that Apple will bring in motion controls instead of having users rely on the home button.
Developer Guilherme Rambo found demonstration videos within Apple’s new operating system iOS 11 that showed a user swiping up to reach the tasks screen.

 Apple Watch Series 3

Apple’s rumored Apple Watch update during the event will be another important area to watch. The 3 Series version of the watch is rumored to include an LTE chip as its major differentiating feature. Sporting an independent LTE connection, the new Apple Watch will be the first version that won’t require the iPhone to be nearby for important functions like streaming music, downloading directions, and sending messages.

Having its own LTE connection could prove to be a major catalyst for Apple Watch sales.

apple-sept-12-event_large

Though Apple Watch revenue still pales in comparison to Apple’s iPhone, the device’s sales have contributed nicely to Apple’s “other products” segment. Further, Apple Watch sales increased 50% year over year in Apple’s most recent quarter, highlighting how the watch is resonating with consumers.

A new Apple TV

Apple is also expected to unveil a fifth-generation Apple TV at its September event, according to a report last week from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The new device, Gurman said, will mark a “renewed focus on the living room” for Apple, featuring 4K streaming capabilities and an emphasis on live news and sports.

Until 2014, Apple largely considered its TV ambitions a hobby. But Apple CEO Tim Cook said this was no longer the case in 2014. The next year, Apple overhauled its Apple TV, bringing it an App Store, a new user interface, a redesigned remote, and Siri. Despite Apple’s revamped effort in 2015, sales of the device have lagged competition in the U.S.

Lagging Apple TV sales reflect the hardware’s age. It has been nearly two years since the Apple TV has been refreshed. The device is due for a big update.

Additionally, during its September event, Apple will likely share the release dates for its latest operating systems, iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11, which were teased this summer.

With Apple expecting to refresh its iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, the company’s September product launch event could be Apple’s most important event in years.

 

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