On Wednesday, September 12, Apple’s big keynote of the year will begin at 10AM Pacific.
We’re likely to see three iPhones with radically different designs and an all-screen iPad Pro with Face ID. The wait may finally be over for the long-touted AirPower charging pad and the fourth-generation Apple Watch. There may be a new MacBook of some kind, likely an entry-level model, though that might come later, is my guess. But maybe even AirPods 2, too, will be announced.
Today, consistently accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities reveals his latest predictions for what’s about to unfold in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park, Cupertino. In a new research note which has been seen by MacRumors, Kuo talks about a bunch of products.
Much of what he says directly relates to earlier rumors, but there is new meat on the bone here.
Apple Watch Series 4
For a start, there’s confirmation of a narrower bezel around the display on the next Apple Watch, presumably called Apple Watch Series 4. The narrower bezel in a same-size casing for the Watch itself means a bigger screen in a Watch that will still fit existing straps.
But Kuo has more Watch news.
The back of the case on Apple Watch models currently is made from ceramic on some but not all versions, composite glass material on the GPS-only aluminum model. The next lot will all have the more deluxe ceramic back.
He also believes the new Watches will support ECG (also called EKG), short for electrocardiogram. All Apple Watches support heart rate monitoring, of course, but ECG is a more advanced form of measurement which will require more sophisticated sensors, something that has also been previously rumored.
As Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said earlier today, “The upgrades will mark the most-significant changes to the Apple Watch since the product was launched in 2014.”
There have been plenty of rumors and leaks about the next iPad Pro. It’s not certain that the next tablet will be announced tomorrow, after all, the latest entry-level iPad had an event all to itself earlier in the year, but my guess is that it will make the keynote.
Kuo has interesting thoughts about what it will be like:
It’ll have Face ID rather than the current Touch ID, as previously suggested.
But the big news is that Kuo thinks it will replace the Lightning connector with USB-C.
Let’s be clear: I don’t believe it.
Although the iPad Pro in recent years has been seen as increasingly a MacBook substitute (and those MacBooks use USB-C, right?) there have also been previous rumors saying the next iPad Pro would lose the headphone jack. I was doubtful of this, to be honest, but if it is true, then USB-C seems incredibly unlikely.
Why? Because Apple has never promoted audio through USB-C. It could do, but is it really going to pack an iPad Pro box with headphones which connect through USB-C, while the iPhone comes bundled with headphones boasting a Lightning connector?
I honestly don’t think you can have it both ways.
Perhaps the new 18W adapter, which Kuo says will come with the iPad Pro, will have a USB-C socket on it. Or maybe the iPad Pro won’t lose the headphone socket after all, in which case regular 3.5mm jack headphones will accompany a tablet with a USB-C connector.
Of course, I may be wrong, but it just doesn’t quite make sense to me.
AirPods 2 and AirPower
Finally, Kuo talks about “AirPods 2” which have long been rumored but more recently seemed less likely. Perhaps this just refers to the AirPods being sold in a a new case with wireless charging connectivity, or perhaps it really means new, more powerful AirPods are incoming.
Not long now until we know for sure.
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