It’s Official: Apple Is Holding Its iPhone Event Next Tuesday

Apple Event Fall 2020 Credit: Apple
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Following weeks of rumours and speculation as to when Apple would actually be holding a fall event to unveil its iPhone lineup, it looks like we now have a date — and it’s going to happen in September after all.

Over the weekend, news broke that Apple was planning a big announcement today, but reports were mixed as to exactly what that announcement could be. While Jon Prosser, who first leaked a report that a press release would be coming today, hinted that it would include some new product announcements, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman was considerably more circumspect, suggesting that we actually wouldn’t see anything more than an announcement of a date for Apple’s actual fall event.

Of course, even that prediction by Gurman was notable, since every report we’ve heard over the past few weeks has suggested that the first iPhone 12 units won’t be ready to ship until October, and many were expecting that Apple would delay its event as well, although as we noted earlier that doesn’t inherently preclude Apple from holding a media event in September, simply building up hype for the new iPhones when they land. Plus there’s also the fact that Apple could easily have other new products ready to ship sooner, such as the Apple Watch Series 6, leaving it with the choice of having to either hold its major release event sooner, slip those products out more quietly via press release, or delay everything into October. Up until today, any of these seemed like a very real possibility, and it’s conceivable that even Apple hadn’t quite made up its mind until recently.

However, now we have an answer, with VentureBeat’s Jeremy Horwitz first reporting that Apple has just announced its annual iPhone event will be held next Tuesday, September 15th. This puts it one week later than the usual schedule for Apple events, although it’s certainly not the first time the company has held its iPhone event in mid-September.

What’s Coming

Apple has sent out its usual cryptic invitations, avoiding any real details on what it plans to announce, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Apple will unveil the entire new “iPhone 12” lineup along with the new Apple Watch Series 6. The very timing of the event suggests that Apple wants to get as many of its products shown off on stage as possible, as soon as possible.

It also seems likely that Apple will use this opportunity to unveil at least one new iPad model, likely the newly redesigned 11-inch iPad Air that we’ve been hearing about, although we could also see an iterative update to the popular entry-level 10.2-inch iPad. While there have been suggestions that Apple could announce a new iPad Pro as well, that seems highly improbable since the product line was just updated in March; more likely the rumours have been conflating the new iPad Air with an iPad Pro, since with the redesign the two devices will now look very similar. A mini-LED equipped iPad Pro is said to be in the works for early next year instead.

A report last month also suggested that Apple was planning to unveil its AirTags in late October, but it seems unlikely that Apple would hold another event just for that, so if the AirTags are ready — and recent reports indicate that they’re already in production — Apple will very likely choose to show them off on stage next week as well.

Apple will also almost certainly use the event to announce the release dates for iOS 14, watchOS 7, and macOS Big Sur, as it usually does.

Ultimately, the mystery at this point isn’t so much what Apple will announce, but rather when you’ll be able to get your hands on any of the new products that will be taking the stage next week. Several reports have suggested that the Apple Watch Series 6 and at least one new iPad are ready to go for a September launch, and certainly recent EEC filings and limited availability of the Apple Watch Series 5 models in Apple Stores would seem to back that up.

Since we already know that the iPhone 12 isn’t likely going to arrive in stores until at least October, the timing of Apple’s event also seems to strongly suggest that at least some products will be available in September, otherwise there would be far less incentive to hold the event this early.

We’ve also heard several reports now that the new iPhones will be seeing a staggered release, although there’s still some debate as to exactly how Apple will choose to stagger them. Some have indicated that the two “Pro” models won’t arrive until November, while another report suggests Apple will release its two 6.1-inch models first, which would include both the standard iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, while the smaller 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max would be delayed into November.

Either way, with Apple’s big event scheduled for a week from today, it looks like we won’t have long to wait to find out.

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