Apple will announce its iPhone 12 lineup on Tuesday, October 13 beginning at 10 a.m. PDT. Beyond the expected launch of four new iPhone models, little else is known about what this month's probable event could bring to the table. Here are some thoughts on the iPhone 12 and what else could be coming very soon.
This post was updated to reflect the October 13 event announcement.
Lots of new iPhones, big retirements
The many rumors long ago seemed to suggest Apple plans on announcing four new iPhones this fall. Baring something strange happening (I know, it's 2020, so who really knows), the new handsets are expected to include:
- iPhone 12 Mini - 5.4-inch display
- iPhone 12 Max - 6.1-inch display
- iPhone 12 Pro - 6.1-inch display
- iPhone 12 Pro Max - 6.7-inch display
Four is a lot of iPhones to announce at the same time. In fact, it's a record for Apple, if true. However, the move makes sense in that it will further clarify the difference between a regular and Pro iPhone lineup. I expect Apple to retire everything currently in its iPhone lineup with the new phones in place except the second-generation iPhone SE. This means the end of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone XR.
There's a chance Apple keeps the iPhone 11 around for another year. However, I don't see why it would be necessary to have three phones with 6.1-inch displays, at least worldwide.
This month, joining the new iPhones on Apple's virtual stage should also be the long-rumored AirTags device tracking product. The biggest question is whether Apple gives any of these away with new iPhone 12 purchases. (That's probably a hard no).
macOS Big Sur public release
As someone who both likes and gets annoyed at running beta software versions on my devices, I'll be happy to see the public arrival of macOS Big Sur. It's packed full of awesome new features, and I can't wait to see others begin to experience it.
The first Silicon-based Mac
Apple promised it would announce the first Silicon-based Mac before the end of the year. I anticipate this will be a reimagined 12-inch MacBook or a new-generation iMac or Mac mini. If it's a new iMac, will it quickly become the best iMac of the year?
When making this announcement, it will be interesting to see whether Apple also releases new Intel-based Macs. Remember, it promised these too when it originally announced Apple Silicon in June. So the question will soon become, which devices will join our list of the best.
Audio, Apple TV
Apple's almost certainly going to announce new audio products in the coming weeks or months. Whether any of these launches occur in October remains unknown. Whether a new Apple TV also arrives this year or next is also in question.
If I had to guess, I'd expect new audio products will play a prominent part in this month's iPhone 12 event. Though AirPods work with any Bluetooth-enabled device, they are heavily promoted alongside iPhones. If new AirPods arrive, expect Apple's long-rumored over-ear premium wireless headphones also to get a shoutout. Possibly called AirPods Studio, the new headphones could provide more proof that Apple plans on ditching the Beats name, at least someday.
One more thing?
It doesn't happen often, but Apple still knows how to surprise. At the end of this month's iPhone 12 event, Tim Cook could announce a new take on Apple TV or a newly sized iMac. Perhaps, colorful AirPods are in our future or a preview of the company's first foldable iPhone. It's been a year like no other, and anything falling squarely under the signature One More Thing banner would be welcomed, no? We can only hope it's something cool.
You can follow the event from the Apple website and through Apple TV. As usual, visit iMore often before, during, and after the event for full coverage.