Apple Keynotes are now coming thick and fast, and this is the big one, the iPhone Keynote, but what should we expect to see?
The iPhone lineup is set to grow from 3 to 4 models this year, with 2 iPhone and 2 iPhone Pro models. The iPhone Pro’s will retain its stainless steel rim edging, and an extra camera when compared to the non pro models.
The iPhone lineup is set to gain the flat edge design of the iPad Pro and the more recently updated iPad Air. Ironically this design takes cues from the iPhone 5, which was released 8 years ago in 2012. This flat edge design will enable Apple to squeeze in a larger display into the same sized device, and when accompanied with a smaller notch will have a noticeable albeit small increase in screen real estate.
Last month the iPad Air was introduced with a Touch ID sensor integrated into its Top button, allowing the iPad Air to have the edge to edge display without incurring the cost of integrating Face ID sensors. On the iPhone Touch ID will added as a secondary biometric authentication option to compliment Face ID, which is super useful now we are all wearing face coverings. Unfortunately with the long lead times of iPhones, this is not a given but something that would of been worth delaying the iPhone for!
Apple introduced ProMotion, Apple’s marketing term for a high refresh display, on the iPad Pro 2 years ago. This not only gave the iPad Pro better scrolling performance, but also to improve the experience when using the Apple Pencil.
Last year’s iPhones failed to get ProMotion as the technology wasn’t ready for the iPhone Pro’s OLED display (the iPad Pro’s display is still LCD). This year the iPhone is set to miss out on ProMotion simply due to a lack of components, which will now doubt be the biggest let down of this years models if the rumours hold true.
This years iPhone lineup is set to integrate 5G antennas, but as with the rollout of any wireless technologies the iPhone 5G antennas will include only a subset of the 5G bands. Due to 5G still being rolled out, this feels more like a checkbox exercise rather than an iPhone with excellent 5G support for the next few years.
The iPhone 12 Pro lineup is set to gain the LiDAR sensor that was added to the iPad Pro earlier this year. LiDAR is obviously another building block in their AR strategy, but as a major focus of every iPhone update is the camera, expect to see the LiDAR integrated to Apple’s image processing pipeline for effects such as portrait mode.
The reception to the HomePod has been mixed. It is a fantastic speaker, with an average smart assistant, at a hefty price. Amazon with its every expanded Alexa product line up is the current king of the smart assistants, and Sonos with its wealthy of integration and home theatre companion devices, means that the HomePod has a pretty niche audience of Apple fanatics and privacy focused consumers.
Apple are hoping to widen their market with a lower cost HomePod mini retailing at $99. The HomePod mini is set to feature the same smart assistance functionality as its larger sibling, but with a reduced amount of tweeters and therefore loosing a bit of its punch when it comes to sound and volume.
Apple Silicon Mac
During the WWDC Keynote, it was announced that the first Apple Silicon Mac would be available this year, with the full transition completing within 2 years. The unveiling of the first Apple Silicon Mac is significant enough that it doesn’t make sense to share the limelight and media coverage with the iPhone. I would expect Apple to do an unprecedented third Keynote in 3 months, and unveil the first Apple Silicon Mac in November.
macOS Big Sur
macOS 10.16 Big Sur was announced at WWDC back in June, and although we are not expecting to see any new Macs at this event, we are expecting to see macOS Big Sur to get its release day announced for sometime this month.