Apple’s Keynote Day – A Few Thoughts Before The Event

Today is the day, September 10th. Apple’s new products announcements will create buzz in the industry. On the eve of the upcoming keynote, here are a few thoughts on this widely expected yearly circus.

The obvious: new iPhone

The iPhone will be, yet again, the center of this event, no surprise here. Speakin1. It seems pretty clear the naming will be simplified a bit: iPhone 11 (for the iPhone Xr), iPhone 11 Pro2. The latter won’t include the size just like the iPad Pro or the MacBook Pro. This is my hope. The iPhone 11 will become the default iPhone for the vast majority of new buyers. The Pro line will be for those asking for the best features no matter the pricing. As an iPhone 7 owner, I fall in this category.

I’m not decided if I’ll go with the white or the black version of the iPhone 11 Pro. All my previous iPhone were black. I want some change. Depending of the design of the lenses, I’ll go with the white if this looks something like the following mockup circulating on the Internet from @BenGeskin.

Mockup of the iPhone 11 Pro
Mockup of the iPhone 11 Pro

This thing will be such a big upgrade from my current iPhone 7. Can’t wait!

Less obvious: the Apple Watch

Rumors are indicating a small upgrade to the Apple Watch this year. I have some doubts on this, here is why. Apple has a formidable lead in this market and I don’t see any good reasons for Apple to let it go so easily. The upcoming holiday season is very lucrative for Apple and they certainly want to maximize it. Because of all this, I expect new models debuting as Series 5. I don’t expect a big speed increase though.

New materials like titanium is rumoured coupled with the return of a ceramic version. The updated internals could see speed improvements or better yet, a prolonged battery life. I expect new or updated bands too.

Real surprises could come from the software side. There is a recent rumour about sleep tracking feature being included in this year update. It is not clear if it will require new sensors from an updated model or if existing ones from the most current version of the watch will be enough, starting with series 4. I hope for the latter.

Apple TV, the hobby

Rumors are pointing to a possible upgrade to the Apple TV with a faster processor and support for HDMI 2.1. No words about a new design for the controversial remote though. I’m not convinced at all to see this upgrade coming. But if there is such a thing, I expect Apple to emphasize their upcoming Apple Arcade service for which the updated device would offer the best gaming experience.

Finally, many are asking Apple to introduce a lower cost Apple TV. Such device could take the form of a stick that plugs into an HDMI port. I don’t see this coming. Apple’s strategy is to widen their support for third party TV manufacturers with the recently announced Apple TV app support and AirPlay 2. An HDMI stick would address a decreasing small portion of old TV sets being replaced with modern ones that comes with the latest software including Apple TV app builtin.

Macs, iPad, HomePod, anyone?

In short, I don’t expect new hardware for the Mac, iPad or the HomePod. The timing points to an October release for the Mac Pro and the much awaited 16” MacBook Pro with the return of the scissor keyboard. This could be accompanied by the final release of macOS Catalina.

Services as supporting roles

Will we get to know the pricing and availability date of Apple TV+? Will Apple offer bundles of News, TV+ and iCloud storage for new iPhone buyers or as a stand alone option? Very hard to tell for me. I’m not really looking forward for these as my interest is pretty low. I would love Apple to give answers to these burning questions though.

One more thing?

Will there be a one more thing moment tomorrow? Maybe. Could this be the rumoured Apple tag? Maybe. This would be a mild surprise but not a complete one. This is a problem as Apple is having a hard time trying to keep their secret announcements under wrap. Will this tag be enough to warrant a one more thing announcement? I don’t think so but what’s left for Apple to chose from?

Final thoughts

In a maturing smartphones market, new releases of iPhone doesn’t have the same impact as it used to have. Apple is beating the drum of design iteration and 2019 could be just another “S” year for the iPhone. A wonderful device getting a little bit better won’t make a difference for those with iPhone Xs but for me with the aging iPhone 7, this will be more than enough.

What is your take? Feel free to leave a comment and engage discussion! Always welcomed!

  1. g of surprises, good article on Tom’s Hardware: “Can Apple’s iPhone 11 Still Surprise in an Age of Leaks?
  2. There is a lot of speculation about this year iPhone naming.

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