Apple has a busy and exciting fall ahead! In this post, we’ll overview Apple’s upcoming fall product release events and cover the rumors surrounding the launch of Apple’s new flagship iPhone, a new budget iPhone model, the next full-sized iPad, a significant update to the iPad Mini, and updated Mac computers. If you’re interested in getting a new Apple device soon, you’ll likely want to wait until Apple releases their new products this fall. Let’s start by taking a look at Apple’s upcoming fall product release events.
Fall Product Release Events
At this point, it looks likely that Apple will have at least two release events this fall. The first event will focus on iPhones and the second will be all about the iPad.
The evidence strongly suggests that the iPhone event will be held in just a few weeks, on Tuesday, September 10th.
A number of reliable sources that are frequently in the know about Apple’s upcoming plans including MacRumors, AllThingsD, and 9to5Mac have pointed to this date for the iPhone release. Apple will also likely release iOS 7 for iPhone and iPod Touch to the public on this date, although it may postpone the operating system’s public release until the iPhone is actually available (likely around 2 weeks later).
It appears that the event focusing on the iPad will happen in “the final three months of this year,” according to MacRumors, placing it later than the iPhone event. It is likely that iOS 7 for iPad will be released in conjunction with this later date as well.
iOS 7 is the most significant upgrade to Apple’s mobile operating system since its inception six years ago. Jony Ive, the mind behind Apple’s beautiful hardware designs, is now at the helm of iOS’ software design team as well. The largest noticeable change to the operating system is to the design of its icons and user interface which are much flatter and employ fewer skeuomorphic elements than its predecessors. iOS 7 also includes a number of useful improvements and features. Apple announced iOS 7 on June 10th, 2013. For an overview of iOS 7’s new features, see TeachMeiOS’ article here. As mentioned above, iOS 7 will likely be released for iPhone and iPod touch on September 10th or soon after, and for the iPad and iPad Mini during or soon after the iPad event.
One of the most anticipated Apple product launches this fall is the next version of its flagship iPhone. The release of the iPhone 5 in 2012 was one of Apple’s most successful ever, and it’s likely that the next update to the phone will be a huge success as well. For the last several years, the iPhone has been on an update cycle that sees a complete hardware redesign every other year (iPhone 3g in 2008, iPhone 4 in 2010, and iPhone 5 in 2012) with a minor refresh on the years in between (iPhone 3GS in 2009 and iPhone 4S in 2011). This means that the iPhone released this fall will likely be an updated model of the iPhone 5. It appears that Apple will stick with its naming scheme and that the new iPhone will be called the iPhone 5S. A whole slew of new features have been rumored for the iPhone 5S. The most likely features include a fingerprint scanner, a 12 megapixel camera, possibly with slow motion video, a dual LED camera flash which will offer better low light photography, a high capacity 128GB storage option, an upgraded processor (likely named the “A7”), and a new gold (or “champagne”) color scheme. The combination of these new features and the launch of iOS7 will make the iPhone 5S a very appealing, and likely very successful, product.
In an interesting departure from its past approach, Apple will most likely introduce a low-cost iPhone model this fall. The iPhone 5C, as it is likely to be called, will be targeted toward emerging cell phone markets around the world where high-end phones like the iPhone 5 and 5S are too expensive for most people to afford. The iPhone 5C is expected to be manufactured from polycarbonate plastic and will be available in a number of different colors, including white, blue, red, yellow, and green. Beyond its name, colors, and what its made of, details and specifications on the iPhone 5C have been scarce.
iPad (5th Generation)
The iPad with Retina Display is also due for a refresh this fall, bringing its look and feel more in line with the design of the iPad Mini. The iPad (5th Generation) is likely to sport thinner side bezels (the distance between the edge of the screen and the edge of the device) and an aluminum backplate that is very similar to that of the iPad Mini. It is almost certain that Apple will give the specifications of its full-sized iPad a boost.
iPad Mini with Retina Display
The iPad Mini has been a much more successful product than many people initially expected, but it still lacks the horsepower of its bigger brother with its specs clocking in as similar to those of the iPad 2. Apple is expected to boost the iPad Mini’s performance this fall, with the biggest expected change being the introduction of a higher resolution Retina Display.
Apple will also bring some significant updates to its line of Mac computers this fall. The most notable is the completely redesigned Mac Pro that Apple previewed at its June 10th WWDC keynote. This update to Apple’s high-end powerhouse computer boosts its specifications in almost every area and packs all that power into a tiny 9.9×6.6 inch cylinder. It is also a strong possibility that Apple will release updates to several of its other Mac models this fall, including the Macbook Pro, iMac, and Mac Mini, upgrading their processors to Intel’s new Haswell chips. Apple did this with the Macbook Air earlier this year and the Haswell processor’s efficiency brought the Macbook Air’s battery life to a stunning 12 hours.
If you are considering purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, or Mac, you may want to hold off for a few more weeks. Here are a few reasons why:
One significant reason to wait until Apple’s new products are released is the cost of the device you’re hoping to purchase. Take the iPhone 5 for example. When the iPhone 5S and 5C are released, assuming that Apple continues to sell it, the iPhone 5 will probably see around $100 knocked off its price tag immediately. A similar situation will take place for iPads and Macs where the new hardware will become available at the full asking price and the outdated versions will remain available for purchase (at least for a while) at a lower price. Same devices, lower costs.
Another reason to wait, particularly if you’re not as concerned about saving money and care more about performance, is the enhancements and new features that will come with new products from Apple. From the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S to the Haswell processors in the new Mac computers, many of the products Apple makes are likely to see huge feature and performance boosts this fall.
Finally, waiting to upgrade your device, assuming you purchase the most recent hardware, has the potential to extend the supported life of your device by at least a year. In the case of the iPhone, Apple generally gives its phones a 3 year cycle of support before they get left behind. Thus, it won’t be long until the iPhone 4, released in 2010, will no longer be sold or supported with software updates (although it looks like iPhone 4 will receive access to iOS 7 this fall). By purchasing Apple’s latest hardware, you ensure the maximum supported life for your device.
It is important to point out that the rumors mentioned in this post, even the ones that look most likely to be true, are just that: rumors. It’s very possible that many of them may not prove true. Also, Apple has been known to hide some tricks up its sleeve in the past. In the end, we’ll have to wait and see what it comes up with this fall. It’s very possible that a brand new product could come out of left field and shake up the tech world. In any case, I recommend waiting to purchase any new Apple hardware until the dust cloud settles and Apple’s new products are available. Be sure to check back with TeachMeiOS for an overview of Apple’s new product releases once they’re announced.