iPhone 12 launch: what will be 2020's 'one more thing’?

iPhone X
The iPhone X was Apple's last 'one more thing', so what will be its next one? (Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple has become known for a lot of things, and beyond the products themselves one concept associated with the company is the ‘one more thing’ announcement that often comes at the end of Apple events.

It arrives just when things seem to be wrapping up, and it’s often exciting and completely new – for example, the original Apple Watch was a ‘one more thing’, as was the iPhone X.

The next big Apple launch is fast approaching, with the iPhone 12 range expected to land before long – possibly as soon as early September. We’re likely to see the Apple Watch 6 launch too, among potentially other devices, but will there be a ‘one more thing’? And if so what will it be? Below we look at the likely possibilities.

Will there be a ‘one more thing’ this year?

The first thing to note is that while Apple has become known for this practice, there’s no guarantee that we’ll get one this year.

Some years we haven’t had one, and the most recent was the iPhone X in 2017. Plus, this is no ordinary year – Covid-19 has thrown things into disarray, and a big media event isn’t as practical as normal. There’s even an outside chance the iPhone 12 will be announced via press release, which wouldn’t leave much room for ‘one more thing’ theatrics.

But a lot of Apple products and services are rumored to be in the works, so there are certainly some potential candidates for it, such as the things below.

Apple AirTags

AirTags are likely to be similar to Tile trackers

AirTags are likely to be similar to Tile trackers (Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple AirTags (or possibly just Apple Tags) have been rumored for a while now. They’re said to be small tags that you can attach to a wallet, keys, or other personal item, and then be able to track said item from an Apple device.

This could help you locate the item if it’s ever lost or stolen, and it’s not a new idea – Tile has been making similar trackers for years.

Rumors suggest you’ll be able to locate lost AirTags using Apple’s existing Find My functionality, but there’s also talk of augmented reality tracking, and using other people’s iPhones to help track the AirTags if they’re outside the range of your device network.

So while we have a reasonable idea of what to expect from Apple AirTags themselves, what we don’t know is when they’re coming. A launch alongside the iPhone 12 is entirely possible, but not something we’ve specifically heard rumored.

As for whether they’d be the ‘one more thing’ at that event – they fit the bill of being something new, but they’re perhaps not the most exciting thing to close the event on – the last three ‘one more things’ were the iPhone X, Apple Music, and the original Apple Watch.

Apple Car


Apple already has CarPlay, is a car next? (Image credit: Apple)

For years now we’ve been hearing rumors of an Apple self-driving car. In fact, we know for sure that Apple has been testing self-driving car tech, as test vehicles have even been spotted on the road.

More recently we’ve seen an Apple patent for auto-tinting car windows, and with Apple CarPlay already in existence it’s clear that Apple has an interest in vehicles.

But while we know that Apple is – or was – testing self-driving car tech, there’s no sign that the project is anywhere near completion, and back in 2018, Ming-Chi Kuo (an analyst with a good track record for Apple information) claimed that we wouldn’t see the Apple Car until between 2023 and 2025, according to MacRumors.

So we’d say that it’s very unlikely that we’ll see the Apple Car during this year’s big Apple event, but if we do, as a major new project it would make for a great ‘one more thing’.

Apple Glasses

Apple has long been rumored to be working on smart specs

Apple has long been rumored to be working on smart specs (Image credit: TechRadar)

Another Apple thing that seems to have been in the works approximately forever is the Apple Glasses, or just Apple Glass as they might be called.

These are rumored to be augmented reality smart glasses that could display information on the lenses, a bit like Google Glass.

There are enough leaks and rumors about them that we’re fairly sure they’re in the works, and it’s possible we’ll see them this year, especially as a source has even said that the wearable may be announced at the iPhone 12 event.

In fact, the leaker even went a step further and said that Apple wants Apple Glass to be the event’s ‘one more thing’. However, they added that the company wants to launch the spectacles at a major event where the media is present, and could therefore push the launch to March 2021 if Covid-19 interferes.

It’s worth noting that the source claims that whichever of those launch timings is used, you apparently won’t be able to buy the Apple Glasses before late 2021.

Having said all that, elsewhere we’ve heard reports that the Apple Glasses won’t launch until at least 2022.

They’d be a good choice as a ‘one more thing’ – a big, exciting announcement that’s not the main event, and with a leaker saying they might fill that role they’re a likely candidate, but they’re still far from guaranteed.

Apple AirPower alternative

Could AirPower make a return?

Could AirPower make a return? (Image credit: Apple)

AirPower was a wireless charging pad that Apple announced years ago – only to cancel it before launch. The device was designed to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at the same time. However, Apple seemingly had issues getting it working, so ultimately pulled the plug.

The idea might not be dead though, as since then leaks have suggested it – or another wireless charger – might be back in development.

Most recently a report has suggested that Apple is working on a "less ambitious wireless charger," which might mean a basic one-device charger, or something that charges two things at once.

Given the growing popularity of wireless charging, and the fact that Apple is rumored to not be including a wired charger in the iPhone 12 box, it would make sense for the company to build its own wireless chargers. So we wouldn’t be at all surprised if some sort of Apple wireless charger is announced at the upcoming event.

But if it is less ambitious than AirPower then it’s also likely to be less exciting, making it a poor candidate for a ‘one more thing’. If on the other hand Apple has got the tech working now, that could make a great show closer. There’s not much evidence that has happened though – so we’d say a wireless charger is likely, but making it ‘one more thing’ probably isn’t.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.