[Rumour Mill] Techtober Apple Event
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Apple will be hosting a launch event in October and this a round-up of everything we know.
Update 1: iPhone SE rumors (again) - Q1 2020
Update 2: More accurate render of the AirPods 2019.
Update 2.1: Focus mode
Update 3: Apple Tags
Update 4: Sleep tracking with the Apple Watch
Update 5: Release dates for iPhone SE 2 and MacBook Pro with scissor key switches revised as per latest updates from Min Chi Kuo
Update 6: iPhone SE 2 specs by Min Chi Kuo
Update 7: AirPods release date and price!
Update 8: 16' MacBook Pro referenced in MacOS Catalina 10.15.1
* - Minor updates
2019 MacBook Pro
The device has been allegedly spotted in the latest MacOS Catalina build 10.15.1 which is in testing since last week.
Apple is supposedly launching a new 16-inch variant of the MacBook Pro will class-leading design aesthetics. The MacBook is way overdue for a design refresh and Apple is doing it in style this year. The display is expected to be an OLED or Mini-LED, no information on details like resolution or peak brightness, but the aspect ratio will be nearly a 3:2, like the Microsoft Surface devices (more on that here).
Apple is also doing away with its butterfly keyboard mechanism and is opting instead for scissor keys which offer a lot in terms of durability. The keyboard in the MacBooks have been an ailing issue for the past 4 years.
Like the iPhones launched this year, we may see a thicker chassis and hopefully a better assortment of IO.
The U1 chip from the iPhone 11 Pro series may make an appearance in the MacBook pro.
Expected release (revised) - Q2, 2020 for MacBook Pro equipped with scissor key switches.
The 2019 iPad Pro will share the design philosophy of the iPhone 11 Pro lineup. They will boast the triple camera setup. A change in the display used from LCD to OLED would be great, but there is no news on that yet. A high refresh rate OLED would be a really welcome addition. It is unknown what other changes lie dormant for this one, but just the camera upgrade seems underwhelming. We may see a redesigned Apple Pencil as well.
The A13X will be earth-shattering as always and we will see an improvement in battery life when its coupled with iPad OS.
The iPad Pro might feature the latest U1 chip.
Update 7: Release date - End of October, 2019
Price - $260 Update 2:
Much more accurate renders of the 2019 Airpods have popped up and they look really good. They're just as divisive and function-oriented as the first AirPods.
Focus Mode: The new AirPods will have focus mode, which when activated will enable noise cancellation or something like Live Listen since they're in-ear. (Source - 9to5Mac)
The 2019 AirPods have high expectations much of which was expected to come last year. We have seen leaks of the latest design and they are decisive.
The 2019 AirPods fashion a shorter stem and an elongated (more elliptical) earphone design which might be to improve passive noise canceling. This year we are expecting active noise cancellation on these, the impact on battery life remains to be seen. They should ship with Bluetooth 5.0 for better bandwidth and range. Sadly though nothing has popped up regarding health features which were predicted for the last year's model. The 2019 release date is not confirmed and we may be looking at an early 2020 release date.
iPhone SE Refresh
iPhone SE is said to be host 3GB of RAM, upto 128GB of memory (starting at 64GB). Min Chi Kuo says Apple will do away with 3D Touch on the iPhone SE 2.
Price: $399 (for 64GB variant).
Production volume: 30 million units
The iPhone SE which was launched back in 2016 was a really great iPhone. Rumors for a refresh have been thrown around wildly with insane concepts like the all-screen notched iPhone 5 design. This time around there is news about an iPhone SE making use of the iPhone 8 shell (not the 8 Plus). It will not be a carbon copy of the iPhone 8, we can expect a few subtle changes to blend it in with, but at the same time make it stand out along with the iPhone 11 lineup.
As always it will be a spec bump and Apple probably won't be calling it the iPhone 8s since that will make it sound old. The internals will be bumped up to the latest A13 chip, which is blazing fast with promises for better battery life, probably better than the iPhone 11 since the iPhone 8 will have an LCD panel which is smaller than the 11.
The single lens on the back might not see an upgrade and will stick with the standard wide-angle lens.
The iPhone 8 is currently on sale for $449, which hints at a sub $400 price for the iPhone SE refresh.
This one is set to be released in Q1 of 2020 probably along with AirPods 3.
Release date (revised) - Q1, 2020
Apple Tags are a new product segment making use of the new U1 chip. They are intended as trackers for your personal belongings and can offer the same with exceptional accuracy (within 30 cm). The Find My app in iOS 13 will get an overhaul to provide a seamless experience. The inclusion of AR is on the table so that all you have to do is point your iPhone to find out where the tracker is. It might have an intuitive UI showing balloons or pins over the tracker.
They're expected to launch at the October Apple event, no news on prices.
We can expect battery lives around the 1-year mark, or at least 6 - 8 months, since the ultra-wideband technology used is extremely power efficient.
Sleep Tracking - Apple Watch
Leaked screenshots of a bed-time like a system on the Apple Watch which was found in the iOS 13 code. It will be called "Time in-bed" tracking much like how bedtime works on the iPhone.
This is encouraging but disappointing since it probably will not give a detailed analysis like other third-party apps which include heart rate measurements, sleep quality, etc.
Apple Watch users will need to have at least 30% battery left on their watches for this functionality work, which kind of hints at a lot more than just recording your asleep and awake times.