It’s hardly a secret that Apple will unveil an upgraded iPhone at its Cupertino event on Tuesday. But that one phone could just scratch the surface of what shows up. Here’s what you should — and shouldn’t — expect from Apple’s announcements tomorrow at 1PM ET / 10AM PT.
Apple’s next flagship iPhone is expected to physically resemble the iPhone 5, while including a couple of new features. The biggest of those could be a fingerprint scanner that’s built directly into the home button, which could be used for securely unlocking the device. Rumors suggest that it’ll be covered with sapphire crystal for durability, and have a silver ring around it, which would for the first time change how the home button looks.
Image credit: AppAdvice
Camera upgrades are expected to be minor, if much happens at all. The main update expected is a dual-LED flash, featuring different light colors to help improve color balance in photos. Some rumors have also pegged a new sensor with a higher megapixel count — around 12 or 13 — and others have suggested that the camera's lens could receive a wider aperture, opening up to F/2.0.
A gold iPhone and some new photography tricks
Apple is also expected to branch outside of its traditional color schemes by adding a new gold color with white accents. The rest of the iPhone’s big changes should be internal. That’ll likely mean an improved processor, a slightly longer-lasting battery, and potentially more storage, which would bring the base model up to 32GB.
While it’s been rumored that iPhones with displays as large as 6 inches are on the way, don’t expect them just yet. If those make it to market, it’ll certainly be down the road.
This year, Apple is expected to debut a brand-new iPhone line that’ll sell at a lower cost than its flagship smartphone. It's rumored to be called the iPhone 5C — though that name is far from official for now. The rumored name is indicative of what we might see: the device is expected to be an iPhone 5 repackaged into a slightly thicker plastic case, instead of its standard aluminum. It’ll otherwise be just about identical, including LTE and a 4-inch display.
Image credit: Sonny Dickson (Twitter)
It’s also expected to come in a variety of bright colors, similar to the current iPod touch lineup. It would be the first time that Apple has added colors outside of white, black, and silver, and it could help to set the low-cost device apart in a fun way.
Don’t expect it to get all of the upgrades that come to the iPhone 5S, though. Big features like the fingerprint scanner will likely be used as a major way to set the two devices apart.
Apple has long held music-focused events in early fall, but the iPhone has come to dominate those announcements of late. While the iPod touch should see an upgrade to iOS 7, the nano and shuffle may well be left as they are.
There’s one thing we may not see after Tuesday, however. The iPod classic has sat around unchanged for years now, and rumors of late have predicted that this may finally be the year that Apple retires it for good. However, it’s been rumored before to no avail, so there’s no saying how much time the old MP3 player has left.
OS X Mavericks
The next version of Apple's desktop operating system is slated to be unveiled this fall. Rumors have pegged it for a release in late October, which will likely make it a no-show at what should be a primarily iOS-focused event. Though details on the new operating system have been slim since its initial announcement, our first impressions are that it's looking pretty good.
The world got its first glimpse of iOS 7 back at WWDC in June, and on Tuesday, Apple is likely to set its official release date. The new iPhones should ship with iOS 7 by default, and if Apple follows its usual release scheme, existing iPhone owners may even get it a few days before any new devices go on sale. While the company may not have any big software features still up its sleeve, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple give a tour of some visual design tweaks that have been made over the past few months.
While there have been conflicting reports on the possibility of new Apple TV hardware, some software improvements may be in store. Among those could be a way for iPhone and iPad owners to stream content to their friends’ Apple TVs without having to log in on their own accounts. Whether this will be the year that Apple finally opens the platform up to developers, however, remains to be seen.
MacBook Pro and iMac
Less than a week after Intel launched its Haswell processors, Apple added them into the MacBook Air. But months later, the Air is still the only Mac to get them. Rumors have predicted this year’s processor updates may happen around September, so something should be in the works soon. Apple often issues its processor upgrades quietly — by simply replacing the product in its online store — so it's possible an upgrade could even come without a proper announcement.
iPad and iPad mini
A flurry of leaks have started to give us an early look at what a new iPad and iPad mini might look like. The iPad mini is believed to be on track for a Retina display, and the full-sized iPad is believed to be slimming down into a body that looks just like that of the iPad mini. Our best look yet came just this weekend from Sonny Dickson, who appears to have cases for both upcoming devices (as seen below). Last year, iPad updates came in late October, so it's possible that we'll have another month to go before they're properly announced.
Image credit: Sonny Dickson
Though Apple rarely announces its hardware plans ahead of time, the company revealed back in June that a completely redesigned Mac Pro was on the way. The new machine is surprisingly tiny and comes in a sleek black finish, and it's supposed to ship this fall. Fall doesn’t start for another few weeks though, so while the Mac Pro should be released in the next few months, an announcement isn’t expected for tomorrow.
iWatch and iTV
Both an Apple-made smartwatch and television set have been rumored for years. And both
So what should you expect? Most likely: two iPhones, a release date for iOS 7, and a software update to the Apple TV. But there's almost certainly a lot more on the way in the near future. We'll soon know what's really in store, and we'll be sharing all of the details the moment they're unveiled over at our liveblog.