Toggle Dark Mode
As widely rumoured, Apple has just confirmed that it will be holding another virtual event next Tuesday, October 13th, where it’s expected to unveil the entire 2020 iPhone lineup.
The media invitations for this one were sent out with the tagline “Hi, Speed,” likely as a pointer to the new lineup featuring Apple’s first 5G-capable iPhones. Of course, the A14 processor that’s expected to be packed into them won’t be any slouch either, but faster iPhones have been the norm at Apple’s events every year; 5G technology is considerably more groundbreaking.
The event will naturally follow a virtual online format similar to last month’s “Time Flies” event where Apple took the wraps off the Apple Watch alongside a new iPad Air and 8th-generation iPad, its Apple Fitness+ service, and a new Apple One bundle — a practice that actually began with Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference back in June.
This will actually mark one of the very rare occasions that Apple has held two events within only four weeks of each other. However, it’s much more understandable in an era of virtual events, where there’s no need for attendees to travel to Cupertino to participate.
As with prior events, the “Hi, Speed” event will presumably be simulcast on Apple’s website, Apple’s TV app on the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and its YouTube channel.
Every report we’ve heard indicates that this is the big one — Apple’s release of its flagship 2020 iPhone lineup, which is widely expected to be the iPhone 12 series.
Specifically, we’re expecting four models: the “iPhone 12 Pro” and “iPhone 12 Pro Max” will be direct successors to the two iPhone 11 Pro models, although they’ll both feature a new flag-edged design that’s more akin to the iPhone 5 and iPad Pro while also getting a slight bump in screen size — to 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches, respectively.
Alongside the two “Pro” models will be an “iPhone 12” as a direct successor to the iPhone 11, along with an entirely new 5.4-inch entry, which will likely get the name “iPhone 12 mini,” packing in all the same features as its 6.1-inch sibling, only in a much more pocketable size.
Although several reports have suggested that at least two of these could be delayed into November — most likely the two iPhone 12 Pro models — there’s no reason to assume that Apple won’t announce the entire lineup at next week’s event, while simply specifying future availability for those models that are coming later.
This would follow the same pattern as the 2017 release of the iPhone X, which arrived in early November following the September launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, along with the iPhone XR, that debuted alongside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in 2018 but wasn’t available until October.
While there have been some rumours that Apple could launch its two 6.1-inch models first, with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max coming later on, most bets right now are that it’s the two Pro models that will be held back, which does seem more like Apple’s typical style.
As with the iPhone 11 lineup last year, the main differences between the standard and “pro” models will be the camera technology, with the iPhone 12 following the same dual-camera design while the iPhone 12 Pro maintains its triple-lens system and adds the LiDAR Scanner that came to the 2020 iPad Pro this past spring.
This year, however, Apple’s entire iPhone 12 lineup is expected to feature OLED displays, rather than the Liquid Retina LCD that’s been used in the lower-end models for the past two years. While it sounds like Apple tried to get better and faster 120Hz OLED displays for the iPhone 12 Pro models, most reports suggest this hasn’t panned out due to component shortages, so it’s quite likely that all four iPhones will feature identical display technology this year.
Apple’s entire lineup is also expected to gain sub-6GHz 5G technology, although there’s still some debate as to which models will also get the ultra-fast mmWave version, with mixed reports as to whether Apple plans only to add it to its “Pro” models — possibly even solely the iPhone 12 Pro Max — or whether it’s going to be available across the entire lineup. However, one thing that does seem certain is that Apple will be dividing the lineup into models that only feature sub-6GHz and others that offer both, limiting the mmWave-capable versions to those countries and carriers where the technology has been widely deployed.
What Else Could Be Announced?
While the event will certainly center on Apple’s iPhone lineup, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of some other product announcements. After all, last month’s “Time Flies” event was focused on the Apple Watch, but Apple still found the time to announce two new iPads as well.
In fact, there are several other products on deck that we’re still expecting to see very soon, all of which we’ve been hearing about for months of years.
This includes Apple’s AirTags, which have been appearing in code snippets since iOS 13 arrived last year, and are now rumoured to already be in production, plus the AirPods Studio, the release of which now seems imminent as Apple clears the stage for them in its retail stores, along with the likelihood of a HomePod mini and possibly even a new HomePod.
All of these seem almost certain to arrive this fall, and if they’re not announced at next week’s iPhone event, then it’s a safe bet that Apple has yet another virtual event up its sleeve to announce them in November. However, since we’re also still expecting Apple to hold an event to debut its new Apple Silicon MacBooks, it seems much more likely that it will simply slide these other products into its iPhone event next week, where they’ll be a much better fit.
Two other products that still remain a bit more mysterious are a new version of the Apple TV 4K and the next-generation iPad Pro. In the case of the Apple TV, we’ve heard conflicting rumours that were only recently resolved with the report that Apple is actually working on two new Apple TV models, in which case Apple might have an A12 version ready to release this fall while still holding off the more powerful A14X-equipped unit until sometime next year.
On the other hand, even though Apple’s new iPad Air now features the fastest silicon found in any of the company’s devices, most reports suggest that the next iPad Pro won’t be arriving until early next year, at which point it’s likely to be one of the first devices with Apple’s new mini-LED display technology, along with 5G support.