“Lets meet at our place.” – Keynote Thoughts and Predictions

On Wednesday Apple will hold their first public event at the new Apple Park campus, and therefore their first product unveiling in the Steve Jobs Theatre (which deserves its own grand reveal), but what software and hardware announcements should we expect to see?

iOS 11

iOS 11 already got significant Keynote time at WWDC in June, but it will still get recapped at this event, with the major fous being on ARKit. It will be interesting to see if the enhancements for iPad will get any stage time at this event, without any iPad related hardware announcements. Apple typically makes the GM available to developers on the same day, with the public release a week later on Wednesday.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra

macOS won’t get much stage time if at all, especially as the Keynote will lack any Mac hardware announcements, but I would expect to at least hear about the release date next Wednesday, and possibly a recap of what we saw at WWDC.

Apple TV 5th Generation

This could potential be pushed back into an October release, but it is set to be such a minor revision, with the only significant updates being 4K and HDR support, that it will only get a few minutes of stage time whenever it is announced. Alongside the new hardware, we will also get the ability to rent and purchase 4K/HDR content from iTunes.

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 is set to gain LTE Cellular radios meaning that it will be able to make and receive both calls and messages without being tethered to an iPhone. I expect the SIM to be a virtual one as with the iPad (although they also have a SIM tray too), and your number will be shared with the paired phone. If like the iPad LTE capabilities cost another $130 in addition to a monthly fee, I’m not sure how popular of a feature this will be. Either way it will still be a substantial update for anyone still using a Series 0 Apple Watch, and will also be available in a couple of new finishes.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Following on the the iPhone 7 last year (which you could argue was a tock rather than a tick release in itself), the iPhone will see it regular “S” update with a faster processor and upgraded dual camera on both models.

Another noticeable change to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus’s design will be its glass back, which has been done to support inductive charging. The charger itself will be sold as an additional accessory however, more than likely retailing at around $49.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will take on the IPhone 7 and 7 Plus’s place and price points in the iPhone line up.

iPhone X

The iPhone X, named to indicate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, is the headliner for this event and indeed this year, as it is set to receive its most significant hardware revision to date.

The iPhone X will feature a 5.8 inch OLED edge to edge display, which will be a noticeable step up in terms of contrast when compared to the LCD display in the iPhone 8, and will also feature True Tone which to date has only been available on the iPad.

The edge to edge display means that there is no room for a home button. The rumours have suggested that Apple tried to embed the Touch ID technology under the display, but when that failed they decided to go with facial recognition known as Face ID, rather than put the home button the back.

The lack of a home button will also lead to the unveiling of numerous previously unseen updates to iOS 11, to support a heavily gesture driven UI.

The iPhone X is expected to start at $999 in Jet Black, Silver and Copper, with the usual $100 storage bumps. More than likely this with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB.