7 Things Apple Missed at Its 2019 iPhone Keynote
Apple’s 2019 September keynote was jam-packed with announcements, from updates on Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ to the unveiling of this year’s iPhone 11 Pro models.
But despite the wealth of content at the fall iPhone event, there were still a handful of announcements and devices we expected but didn’t see at the keynote. Continue reading to browse all of the things Apple didn’t announce at its By Innovation Only event (but could still be coming).
Two-Way Wireless Charging
One of the features that was widely expected to make an appearance on this year’s iPhone lineup was two-way wireless charging, also known as bilateral charging. Essentially, it would have allowed users to charge their Apple Watches or AirPods case on the back of their handsets.
Until this week, it seemed like one of the surest bets for an iPhone release relatively light on major features. But, of course, two-way wireless charging did not make an appearance this year. Its absence was also preceded by rumors from oft-accurate sources Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo that the feature had been canceled.
Apple is largely expected to debut a first-party Bluetooth tracking device sometime in the near future. There’s been a wealth of evidence pointing toward an Apple tracker, including snippets of code found in internal builds of iOS 13. But the rumored device was absent from this year’s iPhone event.
Presumably, that’s just because the device isn’t done yet. While there's been a slew of rumors about its existence, there haven’t been any to suggest that it’s in production. Still, there are hints in the latest iPhones — including new Ultra Wide Band technology — that could suggest an Apple tracker device may debut later this year.
“One More Thing?”
Many Apple fans and industry watchers were bracing themselves for a “one more thing” at this year’s iPhone keynote. That was based on Apple’s product roadmap, as well as a prediction from a scarily accurate leaker named CoinX. “One more thing” seemed like a sure bet.
But there was no “one more thing,” which is unusual given CoinX’s impeccable track record. Well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said that the “one more thing” wouldn’t actually be a surprise announcement but actually just one other device. That turned out to be the 10.2-inch iPad — a product that isn’t typically announced in September.
Audio Device Updates
Apple updated AirPods earlier this year, but there are still several possible products in its audio accessory sphere roadmap. That includes a new low-cost variant of HomePod (or just a refresh of the smart speaker in general), as well as a pair of premium over-ear headphones sold under the Apple brand.
As with the iPad Pro, there wasn’t a lot of evidence pointing toward a September release for “StudioPods” and a low-cost HomePod. If Apple does indeed still have these devices on the table, they might be released via press release or at the second October keynote mentioned in the previous slide.
Software Release Dates
At its keynote, Apple did not detail when its 2019 batch of software updates would be released. That’s inherently strange, since Apple usually announces the iOS release date onstage alongside new iPhones. This year, Apple only included the release date for iOS 13 in its press releases.
The release situation is also fairly confusing. iOS 13 and watchOS 6 are coming on Thursday, Sept. 19. iOS 13.1 and iPadOS will drop on Monday, Sept. 30 (which explains the beta cycle weirdness for iOS 13). Apple also revealed on Tuesday that macOS Catalina won’t debut until October.
New iPad Pro Models
While Apple gave its iPad Pro models a major overhaul at an October event last year, the Apple blogosphere is still expecting a 2019 refresh. The updates will likely be much more incremental in nature, focusing on routine camera, display and internal hardware updates.
There’s no precedent suggesting that new iPad Pros could debut this month, however. Because of that, it seems possible that Apple could hold a second fall keynote this year sometime in October to unveil some of the products it didn’t at its September iPhone event.
16-inch MacBook Pro
There’s a new MacBook Pro coming with an all-new scissor-switch keyboard, ultra-slim bezels and a 16-inch display (in the same footprint as current 15-inch models). Of all the devices on Apple’s product roadmap, this appeared to be the least likely to debut at Apple’s iPhone keynote.
But since we’re still expecting the 16-inch MacBook Pro to debut this year, the evidence is mounting that Apple will hold an additional media event next month. That includes the number of pending 2019 devices, as well as the fact that Apple says macOS Catalina will be released in October.