Let’s be honest. The Fall 2020 Apple Event is… weird. For that matter, 2020 has been weird. Normally the Fall events for Apple are introductions of iOS and iPadOS, new iPhones and iPads, a new Apple Watch and plenty of other little tidbits. And, for the most part, we are going to get those today but it will be in a pre-recorded fashion much like the last Apple event in June. That event, while good, didn’t have the same vibe as previous gatherings because the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple campus was void of the crowds. This one will have that same vibe – or lack thereof – and that’s just… weird.
Weird or not, the Apple machine continues to churn and the Fall 2020 event, from that perspective, will be no different. There will be a lot of announcements today from Tim Cook and team. There will also be things that we normally see at the Fall event that we won’t see this year, namely a new iPhone. Here is a quick rundown of what I think we will see today from the event. We’ll see how right I am in a few hours.
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple has all-but come out and said that the latest version of the iPhone is delayed. A combination of a global pandemic shutting down production and various supply chain challenges has meant that the top tier iPhones are delayed. So unlike previous Fall events, don’t expect to see the Pro version of the latest iPhone make their debut.
I do, however, think we will see a new iPhone 12 non-Pro edition. There has been conflicting indications that the entry level latest generation device which makes me think we will actually see it. I could be wrong but given I also expect iOS 14 to be formally announced with a ship date, Apple would prefer to have a new device to have that new build running on from Day One. If I’m right, the iPhone 12 will be an iteration of the iPhone 11 with an improved Apple SoC and other tweaks.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
These seem to be a lock to get formally announced as being code complete and ready to ship. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if developers who are in the Apple Beta program get the Gold Master bits today with the public testers by the end of the week. As for the general public, my guess is a week from today.
MacOS Big Sur
The Fall event generally is not when MacOS updates are released and I don’t expect that to change this year. I’m sure we will hear about Big Sur in the Fall 2020 event and maybe event a teaser of an October release date, but I don’t expect a code complete announcement like iOS 14 today. Look for another event in October to announced the iPhone 12 Pro lineup, a new Apple Silicon-based MacBook, and MacOS Big Sur.
Apple Silicon-based MacBook
Nope. Look for an announcement in October.
Apple Watch Series 6
This is another item that seems like a lock to get announced, and in fact, there may be two Apple Watches announced. The flagship Series 6 will likely be identical to the Series 5 in size but have improved internals.
There is also the possibility we will see a more budget friendly Apple Watch, many have dubbed the “SE” variant. This is likely going to be true “SE” fashion for Apple if it happens, meaning it will be a generation behind on the internals but also support some of the new features found in the Series 6. If there is a SE variety, expect it to be around $200 as Apple continues to sell shedloads of Series 3 watches at around that price. The SE would effectively be replacing the Series 3. Good call in my book.
Yep, it’ll get announced. With at least one new Apple Watch and iOS 14 getting green lighted, WatchOS 7 will too. I suspect it’ll follow the same release pattern of iOS 14 so expect it sometime next week. WatchOS 7 will have some nice new features including native sleep tracking built into it and that will work on the Series 3 and later.
Frankly, it’s time for an iPad Air update and we should see that today. The new midrange iPad should see a larger and improved display with a body design akin to the iPad Pro – meaning much smaller bezels. That means the Home button finally goes away. But it won’t have all the feature of the iPad Pro lineup (don’t expect Face ID) but Touch ID will remain via the Power button. It also won’t have quite as beefy internals. It is their midrange after all.
Apple One Bundle
This seems like a lock too. Rumors, including a rampant domain buying spree by Apple, points to a multi-tiered bundle of Apple services being available to Apple users. What the pricing and what is included in those tiers will be announced and my guess is, it will be available starting today. Worst case, next week with iOS 14’s release.
Apple “over the ear” Headphones
Nope. There are too many conflicting rumors on this one and I just don’t think it will happen. Maybe by October?
I honestly have no clue on this one folks. AirTags have been something that was rumored to be coming prior to me taking my sabbatical from Average Apple Guy and probably closer to 2 years of rumors on them. I will give it a strong possible maybe.
So there you have it. That’s what I think we will see later today at the Fall 2020 Apple event. Be sure to tune in to the event starting at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern.