Apple Expected to Launch New iPhones, Smartwatch at Sept. 12 Briefing

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Apple Expected to Launch New iPhones, Smartwatch at Sept. 12 Briefing

Apple hasn’t publicly confirmed it yet, but news reports indicate that this year's late-summer mobile product media briefing will take place Sept. 12. The briefing, which will be held for the first time at the company’s new "spaceship" headquarters in Cupertino, California, is expected to center on the latest iPhone models. But there is talk that the company also will introduce a new version of the Apple Watch and finally provide some critical details on its HomePod smart-home hub. This slide show will discuss what Apple is likely to announce at its September briefing, including why some believe there might be a surprise or two at the event.

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The iPhone 8 Will Top the Model Lineup

Apple’s iPhone 8 could be the biggest announcement at the briefing. Rumors say the iPhone 8’s screen nearly covers its face and is set in an all-glass chassis. Also rumored is support for wireless charging and a virtual fingerprint sensor baked into its screen. While the new iPhone could be simply an iPhone 7 upgrade, reports suggest the redesign warrants the iPhone 8 name.

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Look for New iPhone 7s Units

Apple also is expected to unveil two new handsets, the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. Those devices likely will look about the same as last year’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but come with updated components such as the A11 chip. Look for the new iPhone 7s devices to be more plentiful this fall than the iPhone 8.

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Apple Is Ready to Deliver an LTE-Ready Smartwatch

It has taken years, but Apple reportedly plans to offer an LTE-equipped Apple Watch. The device, which could be known as the Apple Watch 3, should allow wearers to use their Apple Watch without tethering it to the iPhone. But some reports say Apple plans to turn off the LTE chip’s calling function so users would still have to have an iPhone to make calls.

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A WiFi-Only Apple Watch Will Remain

In addition to offering an LTE Apple Watch, Apple is expected to update its WiFi-only version. According to reports, the WiFi Apple Watch will have a nearly identical design to previous iterations, but offer improved performance. However, the LTE Apple Watch is expected to grab all the smartwatch attention.

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Apple Should Offer Details on HomePod

Although it was announced earlier this year, Apple’s HomePod is still a mystery. For instance, will the smart-home hub’s top pad do more than just display relevant information? And how will third-party apps work with the hub? Look for those and other questions to be answered at Apple’s briefing.

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Remember the iMac Pro

Apple’s iMac Pro, a professional-focused computer slated to hit store shelves later this year, also likely will feature prominently during the event. Expect Apple to provide more details on the computer, including the various models buyers can choose from, and to finally provide an exact release date.

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There Will Be Talk About New iOS 11 Features

Each year with the launch of new devices, Apple also announces improvements to iOS. This year should be no different. Apple likely will announce new apps or features for iOS 11 at the event. However, some reports have said the iPhone’s wireless charging feature might not be turned on until iOS 11.1 is available.

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Apple Will Talk About New macOS Features, Too

Apple similarly announces Mac updates and other new features at its September event, so it also is possible that previously unannounced updates to the company’s new macOS High Sierra will be discussed. Integration with new features in the iPhone 8, for instance, could be in the works.

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An Apple Pencil Update, Perhaps?

Several patents and patent applications have surfaced of late indicating Apple is considering using its Apple Pencil stylus with the iPhone. It’s unknown whether that’s true, but Apple CEO Tim Cook let it slip recently that the stylus works well on an iPhone. Could this be the year that Apple finally embraces iPhone support for Apple Pencil?

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Apple's ‘Spaceship’ Headquarters Will Have a Starring Role

This September event is expected to be the first hosted at the Steve Jobs Theater within the company’s new Apple Park headquarters. Expect Apple to discuss Apple Park in detail and showcase some of the features that make the facility, which will house 12,000 employees when filled, such an impressive venue.

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