Apple has set September 7 as the date for the launch of its rumored iPhone 14. There are no details beyond time and place: The "Far Out" event will take place at 10 AM PDT at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park Campus and will stream online at Apple Events.
The announcement at least ends one bit of Apple world speculation but leaves the door open for just what we should expect to see and hear on September 7. By the way, it's worth noting that the newest iPhone is getting a fairly unusual first-Wednesday-in September launch date. Typically, Apple unveils products on a Tuesday and, with the iPhone, it's often been in the second week of the month. But September starts late in the week and then there's Labor Day weekend in the U.S., which basically cuts out Monday as a travel day for assorted analysts and press (like us!) who will be in attendance.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook walks out on stage on that Wednesday, he'll be carrying - well - nothing. Cook will first talk about the state of the company and how Apple has overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensuing supply constraints. He'll laud new store openings around the world and, we bet, butter up Apple's "amazing team" in an effort to get everyone on board with coming back to Apple Park and other Apple offices at least three days a week.
Cook may also tease new Apple TV shows as a way of showing the strength of its services - and reminding investors that Apple's fortunes are not solely tied to its still highly profitable iPhone line.
At some point, Cook will start introducing the iPhone 14, which will actually be as many as four iPhone 14 models:
Most rumors point to the iPhone 13 mini being the last in a short-lived line of pint-sized iPhones.
Meanwhile, the new phone on the block, the iPhone 14 Max, will offer the size of the Pro Max but the features and affordability of the iPhone 14. There will also be a forking of the Max and Pro lines in that the former will retain the screen look and feel of the previous generation iPhone 13, while the Pro line should see the end of the full-scale notch.
While there's a lot that probably won't change between the iPhone 13 and anticipated iPhone 14 models (think basic design, screen technology), the cameras could be due for a big upgrade. Most rumors point to the Pro line getting 48MP cameras. That's a big jump from the 12MP cameras on the 13 line and, again, will help differentiate between the iPhone 14 and 14 Max and the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. It's worth noting that most people will probably end up shooing in some sort of "pixel binning" mode, which will combine four pixels at a time into an even better 12MP image.
We're still hoping for something approximating 5X optical (or above) zoom on at least one of the iPhone 14 models.
Yes, a new Apple silicon A16 Bionic chip should be in all of the iPhone 14 models, though aside from a potential battery-saving 3nm process, no one is expecting a major upgrade from the A15 Bionic. Apple may not feel it needs it since, in most tests, the A15 Bionic is still beating Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile CPUs.
We'd be lying if we said we weren't more than a little excited about the rumored purple iPhone 14.
The expected iPhone 14 launch would also start the countdown for the full launch of iOS 16, which is currently in public beta. The updated mobile platform and its new lock screen, notifications, and third-party widgets won't launch, though, until the new iPhones do, which should be before the end of September, though iPhone 14 preorders could happen as soon as the Friday after launch.
More than just iPhones
There's a solid chance that Apple will uses this September 7th event as a launchpad not just for a passel of iPhone 14 devices, but for multiple other home and wearable gadgets, as well.
We might see the rumored HomePod 2, one that hews more closely to the original HomePod design. This means it could be larger than the HomePod mini but probably still smaller than the original design. More important, it could have some serious audio power.
Many expect the new Apple Watch 8 (or Series 8) to arrive along with the iPhone 14. Few are expecting a full-scale redesign, though Apple might flatten the sides and face to give it a more, almost, iPhone-style look. The big news in Apple wearables will be, um, bigger. There should be an Apple Watch 8 Pro, a larger and more rugged version of the Apple Watch designed for extreme sports and/or intensive outdoor use.
We might also see the new AirPods 4 or AirPods Pro 2, since they're both perfect companions for the rumored iPhone 14. There's a chance that just the next AirPods 4 show up. What's not anticipated is that either version's charge cases will come with USB-C charging ports. We may have to wait until next year for that update.
With each Apple launch event comes the hope (call it a desperate wish) that there'll be "one more thing." It's a tradition Apple Co-Founder, the late Steve Jobs, started more than a decade ago, and that current CEO Cook has honored only sporadically.
If it comes, however, we may finally get our first glimpse of Apple AR glasses. Maybe. Maybe not.
You can keep up-to-date with all the latest Apple iPhone 14 rumors here and do not forget to keep tabs on TechRadar. We'll be on the ground at Apple Park, offering a play-by-play of the event and first impressions of all the new gadgets.