For the last few years, fall has always been Apple’s biggest season. Of course, this is the time when the new iPhones are announced and therefore, the hype, hoopla and excitement surrounding the tech world during this time of year are completely understandable.
There were a bunch of hardware announcements from Apple this year — a new entry-level iPad aimed at schools and MacBook Pros with upgraded processors — but they were average improvements, at best.
But will the last quarter of the year be any different? Here are all the new and exciting gadgets we are expecting from Apple this fall.
Three new iPhones
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, three new iPhones are on tap for 2018, including two of Apple’s biggest smartphones ever.
Apple is reportedly working on a 6.5-inch iPhone with an OLED display. This suggests that this upcoming model will act as an “iPhone X Plus” and it will join the next generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone X next year.
More notably, Kuo indicated that Apple will also unveil a third iPhone sporting a 6.1-inch LCD display and a lower price point than the OLED models.
This cheaper model will still have the current iPhone X’s features such as Face ID, advanced sensors, and edge-to-edge display but it will “differ significantly” from the OLED iPhones. For one, it will use a lower resolution LCD panel instead. These concessions will allow Apple to keep this model within the $650 to $750 price range.
Although the iPhone X’s OLED display is the most glorious iPhone screen ever, the LCD model will be welcome news to people who are not willing to shell out the significant difference just to get the OLED display.
Kuo believes that all three models will likewise ditch the traditional home button and use Face ID and screen gestures like the current iPhone X.
New entry-level MacBook?
The MacBook Pro had its processor and memory upticks last July but they were mostly ho-hum improvements that didn’t warrant an upgrade for owners of last year’s model. However, one Apple laptop that desperately needs a refresh is the MacBook Air.
Except for a slight processor upgrade in 2017, this entry-level MacBook line hasn’t been updated for years and casual users who want a simpler and cheaper alternative to the MacBook Pro have been waiting for a long time.
Is 2018 the year of the major entry-level MacBook revamp? According to Kuo, it could very well be.
In fact, Apple may even drop the MacBook Air line in favor of a new budget-priced laptop that will simply be called the MacBook. Similar to the MacBook Pro, this new entry-level MacBook may be dropping all existing ports (SD Card slot, USB 3, Thunderbolt, MagSafe 2) in favor of a single USB-C port.
Touch ID may also be incorporated with the power button and unlike the MacBook Air, the 13-inch version will finally sport a Retina Display. Another improvement we might see in the new MacBook Air is a Force Touch trackpad (a feature already in the current MacBook Pro).
Apple Watch with new health sensors
We keep hearing about Apple’s work with advanced health monitoring sensors. And 2018 might be the year we’re finally going to see them on the Apple Watch.
The company is really serious about incorporating new medical innovations on the Apple Watch. Sensors that can measure a person’s vitals like blood glucose and heart rate can dramatically change how people use wearables.
Are we going to see the rumored advanced EKG heart monitor and a non-invasive blood sugar sensor on the next Apple Watch? We certainly hope so. These features will truly be groundbreaking, making the Apple Watch a must-have accessory for diabetics and people with heart issues.
Wireless charger for all your Apple gadgets
Another Apple product we’re excited about is the AirPower, a charging mat that can wirelessly juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously.
Although Apple announced the AirPower together with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X last year, there’s no pricing nor release date yet. We’re still expecting it to drop within 2018.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also hinted that an upgraded version of the AirPods will be released in the second half of 2018.
There aren’t any substantial details about the upgrades, but Kuo wrote that the second-gen AirPods will include a “smaller quartz component” and they will be compatible with a new AirPower charging mat. We’re also hoping that Apple will have solved its AirPod production problems by that time.
High-end Mac Pro
Another Apple product that’s due for an update is the Mac Pro line. Apple said last year that it is working on an expandable and modular Mac Pro. With the non-upgradeable iMac Pro in the mix, professionals will definitely appreciate the return of a user-customizable Apple desktop.
There are no details about the next Mac Pro yet but we’re expecting it to be announced later this year.
As usual, we will definitely see updates to iOS this year. Although Apple said that they are delaying certain features of iOS 12 to focus on strengthening reliability and performance, we still expect the company to announce and release it in September with improvements to its digital health, parental controls and augmented reality features.
The delayed features are expected to be released sometime in 2019. They will include a complete refresh of the home screen, an upgraded CarPlay experience, enhancements to photo editing and sharing, and a redesign of its Mail application.
Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system, macOS, follows the same release cycle as iOS, so expect a new upgrade this year. Details are still scarce about macOS 10.14, but we’re hoping that it will bring more usable features than under-the-hood updates.
New iPad Pro with Face ID?
Will Apple follow the iPhone X design trend and go with significantly thinner bezels on the next iPad Pro? The edge-to-edge design is touted as the future of iOS gadgets so it won’t be a surprise if it makes it to the iPad line.
Would a bezel-less iPad be better? Not necessarily. Unlike smartphones, bezels have more practical use in tablets because they can act as grip areas, making them easier to hold. The best compromise then would be slimmer bezels and not a completely edge-to-edge screen.
Another iPhone X design that will likely make it to the next iPad Pro is the absence of the physical Home button. Without the Home button nor Touch ID, Apple will likely introduce Face ID to the next iPad Pro. But will Face ID work seamlessly with an iPad? Tablets are used regularly in both portrait and landscape modes so an iPhone X style portrait-mode only Face ID would be clunky.
Will the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X’s A11 Bionic chip make it to the next iPad Pro? Why, yes, of course. We may even get the A11X Bionic chip on the iPad Pro, rumored to have an upgraded image processor and GPU for even better graphics performance compared to the current iPhones.
Reports also indicate that we shouldn’t expect an OLED screen on the next 10.5-inch iPad Pro due to technical and financial limitations. This means it will retain an LCD screen but will also keep its 120Hz frame rate advantage. (There are no 120Hz OLED panels yet.)
It’s unlikely that this new iPad Pro will be announced this year but stay tuned, it might still make a surprise debut!
Not an Apple fan? Well, Google has something for you!
If you’re not an iPhone (or an Apple) fan, in general, there’s a big announcement from another tech giant slated for this fall. Yep, you guessed it right, the highly anticipated Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone will be out this fall too. And we have the date.
Mark your calendars! Google’s Pixel 3 event will be on October 9 in New York City. Can Google outshine Apple this time?