- Apple may introduce two new Apple Watch models this fall, including a new low-cost version.
- It could also launch a redesigned iPad Air that resembles an iPad Pro.
- The iPhone 12, a smaller HomePod, and over-ear headphones are also reportedly on deck.
Apple may have much, much more than the iPhone 12 series to challenge competitors this fall. Bloomberg sources claim to have details of Apple’s fall lineup, including devices that weren’t entirely expected.
For one, there would be two brand new Apple Watch models — a follow-up to the high-end Series 5 (presumably Series 6) and, most notably, a “replacement” for the three-year-old Series 3 that currently serves as the entry-level model. The sources didn’t outline what would be new, but it’s implied this might not just be a price-cut version of the Series 4 or 5.
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Series 6 was previously rumored to add a few new health-oriented features, including blood oxygen monitoring to warn of heart or respiratory issues. It might also include ways to detect stress (not necessarily like the electrodermal sensor in the Fitbit Sense), improved processing power and a faster Wi-Fi connection. WatchOS 7 is adding features to all supported watches, including sleep tracking, biking directions, and handwashing detection.
Tablets may also get special treatment. Apple is reportedly introducing a redesigned iPad Air that would share the thin bezels and more industrial look of the iPad Pro. Other details weren’t available, but purported leaks have suggested the Air might skip Face ID in favor of Touch ID integrated into the power button. It might share the Pro’s use of USB-C and support a version of the Magic Keyboard.
The 91mobiles team claimed to have schematics for a rumored entry-level 10.8-inch iPad that would share the iPad Pro’s design and use Face ID, but it’s not certain if the design is current or represents the base iPad.
There could be much more in the pipeline, too. A long-rumored smaller HomePod could help Apple compete against lower-cost smart speaker rivals, and the company’s first self-branded over-ear headphones (that is, not Beats) might also make their debut. You might also see Tile-like AirTags to help find lost products.
Even the Apple TV could get an update, although it won’t necessarily ship in 2020. The media hub would have a faster processor as well as a new remote that could include Find My functionality. It’s not certain what Apple would do with an improved chip (the existing model already handles 4K HDR video), but it could help with TV-friendly games and overall responsiveness.
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It’s not certain when everything would ship. Apple is rumored to be announcing at least some products in its customary mid-September event (possibly September 10), but it could unveil some products before or after. Apple has already confirmed that at least some new iPhone 12 models will arrive weeks later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also expects its first Mac based on in-house silicon to arrive in 2020, but hasn’t said when.
The possible deluge of new hardware could keep Apple’s sales strong at at time when many people are still working from home due to the pandemic. They’d also acknowledge fierce competition on all fronts, particularly from Samsung. The iPhone 12 will compete against fall flagships like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, of course, but Apple will also have to fend off the Galaxy Watch 3, the Galaxy Tab S7 and a host of speakers that include a Nest-branded Google Home redesign. Simply speaking, Apple likely couldn’t afford to skimp on new hardware even if it wanted to.