Here’s what Apple will and won’t announce on Sept. 7 (other than a new iPhone and Apple Watch)
Apple’s big September event is less than two weeks away. The company never tips its hand about what will be announced, but we’re all nearly certain that it’s going to be the iPhone 14 lineup (iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, both in regular and Max sizes) and new Apple Watches (Apple Watch Series 8 in two sizes and likely a third larger “Pro” or “Extreme Sport” model, and a new Apple Watch SE).
But that’s not nearly all the irons in the fire for the most valuable company in the world. What else is Cupertino cooking up, and what else could we see at the “Far out” event? Here’s a list of rumored future Apple products, along with our best predictions about whether or not we’ll see them on September 7.
2nd-generation AirPods Pro
Of all the products Apple has in the pipeline, the one most likely to appear at the September event along with iPhones and Apple Watches is the new AirPods Pro.
These second-generation AirPods Pro (or AirPods Pro 2 as some call them) have been rumored for a long time, but are said to finally make it to market this fall. Why announce them together with the new iPhones? Well, one of the rumors is that they’ll support Bluetooth 5.2 and LE Audio. As no current iPhones support Bluetooth 5.2, it would make sense to combine the announcements. We don’t think Apple would dare make the new AirPods Pro work only with the new iPhones, but they might offer more advanced features when used with the newest handsets. Sort of a “the new AirPods Pro do all these great things, but if you have them connected to the new iPhone, it does these other things too” kind of a thing.
The new AirPods Pro are expected to have a refined design, better sound quality, better noise cancellation, and maybe new fitness features too.
Apple TV 4K
There are rumors of a new Apple TV coming in the second half of this year, but we don’t know much about it other than it is expected to have an “improved cost structure.” That’s a nice way of saying it’ll cost Apple less to make…and that could show up in the form of a lower price, or just more profit for Apple.
If this is indeed coming in 2022, it could appear at any time. Unless it’s an absolutely huge change in design and features, which is not expected, it could be a fairly brief announcement that is snuck into either the September or October events, or even just released direct to the web with little fanfare.
One of the more exciting products on the way this year, if rumors are to be believed, is the 10th-generation iPad. Finally breaking from its old design, the new iPad is supposed to take design cues from the iPad Air, with a 10.5-inch display, Touch ID in the side button, and flat edges. Rumors say it will have USB-C and support the second-generation Apple Pencil, too.
But we don’t think it’s going to appear at the September event. Apple has officially delayed iPadOS 16, saying the first release will be iPadOS 16.1. We think that’s going to happen in October, and there won’t be any new iPads unveiled until an October event to coincide with the iPadOS 16.1 release date.
M2 iPad Pro
Now that the M2 processor is out (in the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro), it’s time to update those M1-based iPads with an M2 processor. The M2-based iPad Prods might also have wireless charging, but the rumored bigger iPad–14 or 15 inches–probably won’t make an appearance until next year. Look for the M2 iPad Pro to land in October with the 10th-gen iPad.
M2 Mac mini
Another M1-based product ready for the M2 treatment is the Mac mini. There have been conflicting reports about this one…some say to expect the same Mac mini we have today, only with the new M2 processor. Other say there’s a new design in the works with a new case and a two-tone design.
It’s probably not going to be at the September event–consumer Macs are usually at a later event, so keep an eye out in October if it’s coming this year at all.
The last product to make the transition to Apple silicon is the Mac Pro. Apple said the transition would take two years and, well, time’s almost up. Does that mean we’ll see the Mac Pro this year? Opinions are mixed. It’s hard to imagine an “M2 Extreme” in a Mac when we don’t even have MacBook Pros or Mac Studios with M2 Max or M2 Ultra yet. And with the Mac Studio performing so well, there doesn’t appear to be a rush to get something even beefier out there.
Even if Apple gives us a sneak peak of the new Mac Pro, with a release date in 2023, we think that will happen later in the year rather than during the September event.
While we’re talking about Macs, we should mention that Apple is expected, as some point, to release a larger Apple silicon-based iMac. What some are calling a new iMac Pro would have Apple Silicon and a new design, similar to the M1 iMac. The display would be larger (27 inches or so), and possibly include ProMotion or mini LED backlights for HDR. It would come with a higher-end M2 processor, like an M2 Max or M2 Ultra.
But none of that is ready yet, and the mere existence of this product seems to be in question–some say that the Apple Studio Display is the product some tipsters were mistaking for a larger iMac. We don’t think it’s coming in 2022 or even 2023, so don’t hold your breath for a release at the September event.
HomePod with display
Google’s got its Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, Amazon has a bevy of Echo Show devices, but Apple has no smart home device with a display. We’ve heard rumors of a HomePod with a display (some call it a “HomePod with an iPad attached”) for some time. The most recent rumors say it is expected in late 2022 or early 2023.
If it is indeed a late 2022 device, there’s no reason Apple couldn’t unveil it at the September event. But it seems like it would need a more significant showing than to sit in the shadow of the iPhone, Apple’s most popular product. Our guess is that it’s not coming until 2023, if at all, and we won’t see it at an event this fall.
We know Apple’s working on an AR headset or glasses. The latest rumors say the first device will be an expensive, high-end, limited production unit for developers to be following by something sleeker and more affordable for the mass market a year or so later.
Some even say the device will come as soon as January 2023–and Apple does like to tease major new products months ahead of time with a big “one more thing” announcement. There’s no reason that couldn’t happen at the end of the iPhone event, or the October event—after all, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch as a One More Thing at the iPhone 6 event—but it’s far more likely to get its own event.