The end of August is nigh, and September is quickly approaching. Yes, I know — technically, there is one more week of August, but I'm taking a much-needed vacation and will return at the end of the month, so this will be the last column before September arrives! And boy, do we have a lot of ground to cover, so let's dive right in.
As you may already know, Apple usually holds a September event, and we're definitely expecting the iPhone 13. But according to a new report, an iPhone launch may not be Apple's only event next month. Instead, it is possible that we'll be getting a series of events for multiple product launches, including a new base-model iPad. With this next iteration of the entry-level iPad, we may see a thinner design, but don't count on that Home button going anywhere just yet. And, of course, a new processor, but that's a given at this point.
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised that the Home button on the most affordable iPad is staying. After all, believe it or not, there are still people out there who actually don't want to move on to Face ID for whatever reason. The iPhone SE (2020) has done well because not just because it has a low price but because it is the only iPhone model that still has a Home button for the holdouts. I am curious if the iPad going "thinner" means that it may be more in line with the flat edges of pretty much every other device, though, and keep a Home button. I suppose we won't know until Apple unveils it, which may be in a couple of weeks.
While we're on the topic of iPads, it seems that the iPad mini 6 is getting its time to shine this year with an impending redesign. According to a leaked iPad mini 6 case, we should see thinner bezels, and the Home button will be removed — like other iPads such as the iPad Air and iPad Pro. But, this case mold isn't perfect — it seems to indicate that the power and volume buttons are at the top of the device, which would be a little out of place. Of course, this can either be a mistake or part of the redesign that we'll maybe find out in a few weeks. I have an older iPad mini 4 around the house, and it was a great little device for reading eBooks and other materials. I know many folks who prefer the iPad mini size for things like that since it's more akin to a Kindle, and I can't wait to see what Apple has in store for it. Plus, since it has already been a few years since the iPad mini 5, we're long overdue for a new iPad mini. Keep your fingers crossed!
Of course, it won't be a fall event without an iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7 — these two just go hand-in-hand. For the iPhone 13, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reiterates that we'll be getting four different iPhone 13 models (a 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and one 6.7-inch model sizes). These phones will have smaller notches, A15 Bionic processors, ProMotion 120Hz displays for the Pro versions, and new camera features. Gurman also says that for the Series 7, we should expect a "redesign with flatter displays and updated screen technology." Oh, and don't forget that there may be a nice new mint green color option. Other rumors for the Series 7 this year included possibly having blood glucose and blood pressure monitor, but it seems that those features may be coming next year in exchange for improved battery life this year.
Regardless of what Apple actually does announce, I already know I'm going to upgrade to an iPhone 13 Pro this year. I mean, I have a baby on the way, so of course, new camera features always pull me in, but this year especially (I don't have a standalone digital camera). While I normally do not take videos, the new ProRes video recording and Portrait Mode recording will come in handy when I want to capture all of my baby's cute moments as video in the coming months. A report suggests that the iPhone 13 is launching in the third week of September, and there may even be a 1TB option for the Pros. I'm hopeful for a 1TB option because I'm sure my Camera Roll will fill up with baby photos, but part of me remains a little skeptical on that front. It would be nice and long overdue, honestly, but this is Apple we're talking about — it still sells 64GB base storage for the iPhone 12, after all. I'll believe a 1TB option when I see it.
As far as the Apple Watch Series 7, I feel I will be disappointed that there won't be new health sensors (I really need that blood glucose monitoring as a diabetic). Still, I am probably going to pick one up anyways. The potential redesign with flatter sides has certainly piqued my interest, though I hope it is compatible with all of the watch bands that I've purchased over the years. And honestly, I'm a sucker for pink and green, so the mint green color totally calls out to me. I hope it's an actual color option and not just some pipe dream!
In September, we may see other possible product launches, including new AirPods, which should be getting a redesign to bring it more in line with the AirPods Pro aesthetic. Personally, I prefer the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max because the regular AirPods just aren't comfy for me and don't stay in my ears, but I know many people prefer it because of the lower price. But supply may be low due to COVID, so there may not be enough to satisfy the demand. And while Apple may drop 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros this year, we're still not sure if it will be announced during the iPhone event or if it will be a separate announcement. Time will tell!
As I said, this has been a packed week with product rumors ahead of Apple's fall event. I look forward to picking up the best new iPhone in just a couple of weeks.
And I'm off to enjoy a much-needed break. I'll see you all back in a few weeks!
- Christine Romero-Chan