At this point, we’re just a few days away from Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 11 event. The stage was set last week, when Apple officially invited members of the media to Steve Jobs Theater for the September 10th occasion.
Going into the “By innovation only” event next week, there’s a lot to expect – and a lot we already know. Read on as we roundup everything you need to know about the iPhone 11 event.
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When is Apple’s iPhone 11 event?
Apple’s September event will take place on Tuesday, September 10th at Steve Jobs Theater. You’ll be able to livestream it through Apple’s website, on YouTube, in select Apple Stores, and on the Apple TV. It’ll kick off at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET.
iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Headlining Apple’s September event will be the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Those names could always turn out to be different, but they have been corroborated in several different reports.
The focus of the iPhone 11 Pro will be the camera technology, with both models expected to gain a new triple-lens camera array on the back. This means the iPhone 11 Pro will feature a wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide-angle lens.
What does this mean for iPhone 11 Pro camera performance? The ultra-wide-angle lens means users will be able to take images that include a much larger field of view. It could also mean dramatic improvements to augmented reality performance.
The iPhone 11 Pro is also expected to include a feature called Smart Frame, as 9to5Mac first reported earlier this summer. This feature will capture the area around the framed area in pictures and videos, giving the user the ability to adjust the framing or perform automatic perspective and crop corrections in post. The extra area will be retained for a short period of time and deleted automatically for privacy reasons.
As for the front-facing camera, Apple will reportedly bump the quality from 7MP to 12MP, and go from a 4-element lens to a 5-element lens. It will also be capable of slo-mo video recording at 120 frames-per-second.
Bilateral wireless charging
The iPhone 11 is expected to support something called bilateral wireless charging. This would allow you to use the back of your iPhone as a charging mat for other Qi devices. For instance, you could place your AirPods on the back of your iPhone to recharge them while on the go.
To accommodate bilateral wireless charging, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that the 5.8-inch iPhone battery will increase by between 20 and 25 percent and the 6.5-inch by between 10 and 15 percent. This means that users will be able to take advantage of bilateral wireless charging without having too big of a hit to battery life.
One of the most controversial changes with the iPhone 11 Pro will be the camera bump on the back. In order to make room for the new triple-lens camera array, Apple is shifting to a square camera bump on the back.
Recent reports have also suggested that the location of the Apple logo on the back will shift slightly. Photos posted to Slashleaks show that the Apple logo has been moved downwards and is now centered vertically and horizontally.
The logo has likely been moved to accommodate the larger triple-camera area. If it kept its original location, there wouldn’t be much padding between the bottom of the camera bump and the leaf of the Apple logo.
The placement of the logo may also act as an indicator for users who want to take advantage of the new iPhone 11 bilateral wireless charging/power share features. As the current Qi charging coil of the iPhone is centered, the Apple logo would be a perfect match for the alignment.
It has also been rumored that Apple will remove the ‘iPhone’ branding from the back of this year’s model. This would mean the back of the device would be completely bare of branding apart from the Apple logo, which means it would make more aesthetic sense to truly center it.
Other design tweaks rumored for the iPhone 11 Pro include a new matte finish on some color variants. Bloomberg has also said the iPhone 11 Pro will be more durable with improved shatter resistance and waterproofing.
3D Touch and Leap Haptics
One unfortunate change with the iPhone 11 Pro is that the devices will likely drop support for 3D Touch. Supply chain analysts have claimed that Apple will eliminate the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch feature this year, and the iOS 13 betas certainly lay the groundwork for that change.
In iOS 13, features such as Peek and Pop and Home screen Quick Actions have expanded to non-3D Touch devices, with Apple standardizing the long-press gesture for all contextual actions.
Meanwhile, 9to5Mac has also reported that the iPhone 11 Pro will adopt a new type of Taptic Engine, known by the codename leap haptics. It’s unclear what types of features this new engine will enable at this point, but it’s possible that it’s geared towards improving Haptic Touch since the new devices won’t feature 3D Touch.
Last but not least, reports have said the iPhone 11 Pro will finally drop the 5W charger, and come with an Apple USB-C charger instead and a Lightning to USB-C cable in the box.
After several years of speculation, it seems like the iPhone 11 will finally ship with a fast charger in the box, even though the connector on the actual device will still be Lightning.
You’ve been able to achieve iPhone fast charging in the past by purchasing a more powerful USB-C block and a USB-C to Lightning cable after the fact. By including the accessories directly in the box, however, Apple greatly streamlines the experience for the customer and gives users the cable they need to connect their iPhones to modern Macs.
Following the event, the iPhone 11 will likely go up for pre-orders on Friday, September 13th and be released on September 20th.
Next up, we expect Apple to release a followup to the iPhone XR this year. Naming remains a bit of a mystery, but recent reports have suggested that Apple will go with iPhone 11 for the iPhone XR followup.
What can you expect for the iPhone 11 at Apple’s event?
Leading the way, we expect the device to gain a second camera lens on the back. Currently, the iPhone XR only features one camera, which Apple used as a cost-saving practice and a way to differentiate it from the iPhone XS.
The iPhone 11 is expected to feature a wide-angle lens alongside a telephoto lens. This is similar to the camera structure found on the current iPhone XS, and will likely enable things like optical zoom functionality. The iPhone XR is currently capable of Portrait mode through software, but the additional camera should also improve performance of that depth-of-field feature.
The iPhone 11 front-camera will also be upgraded from 7MP to 12MP, reports have said.
Design and colors
In terms of design, don’t expect the iPhone XR followup to feature the same camera bump as the iPhone XS. Instead, Apple is believed to have adopted a square bump on the back. As you can see in the above dummy unit, the camera bump houses the two lenses, as well as the flash.
Much like the iPhone 11 Pro, we expect the Apple logo to be shifted slightly on the back, while rumors have also claimed the iPhone 11 will have a new color lineup.
The iPhone 11 is expected to be available in a total of six colors, including the existing white, black, yellow, and (PRODUCT) RED. This year, however, the iPhone XR successor will also add new green and lavender colors. These color options will replace the current coral and blue options.
For the first time in several years, analysts predict that Apple will release all three new iPhones at the same time. This would mean the iPhone 11 will be available for pre-orders on Friday, September 13th and be released on September 20th.
What remains unclear is what features of the iPhone 11 Pro might also be supported on the iPhone 11. For instance, it’s unknown whether the iPhone 11 will support features such as bilateral wireless charging, or if that will be reserved for the higher-end models only.
Therefore, it’s possible some of the aforementioned features of the iPhone 11 Pro could also be supported on the iPhone 11, but we’ll have to wait for Apple’s official confirmation at the event to learn more.
In addition to the iPhone 11, we expect Apple’s September event to include Apple Watch news as well.
While it’s still up in the air as to whether or not we’ll see an “Apple Watch Series 5” this year, we do know that Apple is planning to introduce new ceramic and titanium models of the Apple Watch.
Apple is also working on sleep tracking for Apple Watch, as 9to5Mac reported earlier this week. One of the biggest questions that still remains is which Apple Watch models will support this functionality – but it’s possible the feature could be announced as early as the September 10th event.
It’s also likely that we will get new Apple Watch bands for the fall season, and perhaps new watch faces. One specific new watch face on the way is inspired by the classic Nike Windrunner jacket, with up to five complications.
Of all of the announcements we expect at Apple’s September iPhone 11 event, the Apple Watch is perhaps the most mysterious. That could either mean that we already know everything that’s coming this year – new physical materials – or that Apple has more planned, but has successfully kept it a secret.
9to5Mac first reported several months ago that Apple is developing a Tile-like item tracker. It’s possible that this tag accessory will be unveiled at the September event alongside the iPhone 11.
What this means is that you’ll be able to attach Apple’s physical item tracker to any device or belonging – such as your wallet, keys, backpack, and more – and track that item via the Find My app on your iOS device and Mac.
In terms of design, As you can see in the image above, it’s a circular device with an Apple logo in the center. Tile trackers are squares, so if Apple decides to go circular with its option, it would be one way to differentiate from the competition.
But the biggest differentiator between Apple’s item tracker and Tile will be its integration with iOS. The item tracker itself will be paired to a user’s iCloud account by proximity to an iPhone, much like AirPods. Users will also be able to receive notifications when their iPhone gets too far away from the tag.
Apple’s item tracker will also be able to leverage the massive iOS user base, helping customers track down their lost items from anywhere.
There is quite a bit of evidence within iOS 13 that suggests the Apple tag is coming sooner rather than later. Ideally, we’ll officially learn more on Tuesday.
Read everything we know about Apple’s item tracker in our full guide.
Software and services
While Apple unveiled its new iOS 13, iPadOS 13, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, and macOS Catalina releases at WWDC in June, it generally likes to take another look at the features at its September event.
We should also get a closer look at features tied to the new iPhone 11 hardware at the event. For instance, expect a demo of the Smart Frame feature with the iPhone 11 Pro, and likely a look at augmented reality features.
Meanwhile, Apple has been emphasizing its new focus on Services all year, and we don’t expect that to change at the September event.
Reports have suggested that Apple TV+, Apple’s new streaming video platform, will launch in November. Details from Apple, including price and content availability, remain unclear – so the September event would be a perfect opportunity for Apple to dive into more details.
Furthermore, iOS 13, macOS Catalina, and tvOS 13 are all expected to support Apple Arcade. Apple has been very quiet on Apple Arcade details since WWDC, so we would expect an update – and hopefully a demo – on Tuesday.
Last but not least, Apple just launched Apple Card to the public in the United States. It’s likely that the September event will include an update on the initiative, and perhaps some details on future cashback partners and more.
Ultimately, while hardware like the iPhone 11 will be the focus of Tuesday’s event, expect Apple to spend some time on Services and software as well.
Apple is believed to be working on several new iPad variants, including a new entry-level 10.2-inch model as well as a refreshed iPad Pro. The new iPad Pro models are said to feature the same triple-lens camera setup as the iPhone 11 Pro.
Will we see the new iPads at next week’s event? It seems unlikely. Apple has held October events with regularity over the past few years, with a focus on the iPad and Mac. The September event is generally reserved for iPhone, Apple Watch, accessories, and Services.
Meanwhile, Apple is also working on a new 16-inch MacBook Pro. This laptop will reportedly feature an all-new keyboard, as well as a 16-inch display. The overall size of the MacBook Pro is said to be the same as the 15-inch MacBook Pro, suggesting Apple has been able to shrink the bezels down quite a bit.
As with the iPad, however, it seems unlikely we will see the new MacBook Pro at next week’s event.
Bloomberg has reported that Apple is developing a new over-ear pair of Apple headphones for launch in 2019. This would be Apple’s first foray into over-ear headphones, and presumably exist separately from Beats.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether these over-ear headphones will debut at next week’s event or in October.
Apple TV refresh
As we speculated earlier this week, it makes perfect sense for Apple to be working on a more powerful model of the Apple TV, especially with the launch of Apple Arcade looming. A source has also suggested a new Apple TV might feature HDMI 2.1 support as well.
It certainly seems plausible that we might see the new Apple TV announced on Tuesday, but a launch later in the fall is also not out of the question.
There’s much more in store for next week’s September 10th event than just the iPhone 11. While we expect an emphasis on Services, there are also new Apple Watch models on the way, as well as the possibility of new over-ear headphones, and more.
9to5Mac will have full live coverage of the iPhone 11 event, so be sure to tune in on Tuesday, September 10, at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET for everything you need to know. What are you most excited to see at the event? Let us know down in the comments below.