we scoured the latest rumors and leaks and playing all the songs from The Mamas and The Papas back and forth to get the best possible picture of what we have in store with next Tuesday’s “California Streaming ‘” event.
The invitations, which were sent out a week in advance, don’t seem to reveal the game here. There was an extremely cool AR trickery, accessible through Safari on mobile, that could indicate sophisticated camera upgrades, although augmented reality has become a staple of these invites.
The California Streaming title, meanwhile, seems to be more of a nod to the entirely virtual nature of the event, rather than something to do with, say, Apple TV (of course, we’ve been another thing in the past). And as for that beautiful photo of the Sierras – it just might be a nod to macOS, although the company has moved to Monterey. It seems just as likely that this is a reference to the aforementioned title.
The biggest, simplest, and most important answer to the question of what to expect is a new iPhone. Last year’s models experienced a noticeable delay due to the supply chain bottleneck related to COVID-19. Supply chain issues have of course persisted, but by all accounts the company appears to be back on track with its pre-pandemic release cycle.
The biggest iPhone 12 upgrade was, of course, the long-awaited addition of 5G. That, added to the delay, led Apple to some pretty massive sales against the backdrop of a larger blockage of the overall mobile phone market. While other manufacturers have ignored the number for the sake of superstition, Apple seems to strongly agree with the iPhone 13 (although renders of its successor, the iPhone 14 have would have already fled).
Recent reports suggest that the iPhone 13 will arrive in four different configurations, much like its predecessor. So: the iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Screen sizes should stay the same: 5.4, 6.1 (x2), and 6.7 inches. A separate report, meanwhile, suggests we’ll see additional colors, with the full range being black, white, blue, purple, pink (rather than green), and product (red). But keep in mind that it’s not entirely out of the question to offer different color availability in different markets.
Unsurprisingly, the camera upgrades seem to be the biggest news here. A word from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is that specifications for last year’s Pro Max model will shift to the rest of the lineup (including, potentially, lidar). A ProRes video mode would follow the addition of ProRAW to further advance the true benefits of the handset as a semi-pro video shooting platform. Cinematic video, meanwhile, would bring a portrait-style effect to the video. Kuo also suggested that the devices would get a feature based on the Qualcomm X60 that enables emergency satellite calls – which would only be available in certain markets.
Of course, the phone will also receive Apple’s latest chip, the A15, which would be paired with a 120Hz ProMotion display. Apple could also bring an always-on feature to the display, with hopefully minimal impact. over battery life. In terms of looks, we expect it to be more or less the same as its predecessor, but with a slightly smaller camera notch on the front – but not to the point of the fake Ted Lasso iPhone. The camera bump around the back, meanwhile, would be bigger and bigger, perhaps offering an improved telephoto lens.
Oh, and apparently they will be more expensive than the iPhone 12 – clearly not one of the new features that Apple will actively promote.
The Apple Watch 7 seems destined to be the other big novelty of the event. Apple’s hugely popular laptop is expected to become more massive, with a larger screen, which would translate into a slightly larger case size, from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm. However, the overall size won’t change too much, as the company is reportedly downsizing its bezels this time around.
Perhaps the most exciting rumor surrounding the watch is the addition of significant battery life. This has long been seen as a blind spot for the product, compared to competing smartwatches, especially after Apple dramatically improved sleep tracking. Most aren’t anticipating any major new health features for the Watch this out release, which is a bit of a surprise here, given that health and fitness has been a major cornerstone for Apple.
The AirPods 3 seem like a reasonably good bet. The latest version of the company’s entry-level headphones (and their casing) would get a more Pro-styled overhaul, along with a new chip designed to improve battery life. Active noise cancellation and replaceable ear tips apparently aren’t going to make an appearance to maintain the distinction between the two models.
With the company’s lineup upgrading to its own silicon, don’t be surprised if we see a number of new Macs. Rumors suggest a new MacBook Pro, a Mac Mini, and a larger 27-inch version of its ARM-powered iMac.