Published 8:00 PM EDT Sep 10, 2019
If it’s the second week of September, you know what that means. It’s new iPhone time.
Apple will launch its annual fall event in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT, where it’s likely to introduce three new models of iPhones, an updated Apple Watch and more details about its new entertainment streaming service, Apple TV+.
Apple will stream the event on its website, apple.com. In the past, Apple hasn’t allowed viewers to watch the stream without using the Apple Safari browser on computers but now says it will also work on recent versions of Google Chrome and Firefox. It’s also viewable on iPhones and iPads within Safari and on the Apple TV set-top box.
USA TODAY will be covering the event, so stick with us for a live blog, first look and analysis.
Apple historically stages these giant events to gain attention for the fall lineup, which has usually hit stores the following week, accompanied by the launch of a new operating system update. This year, it’s iOS 13, an upgrade that will offer new photo management and editing tools, “dark mode” for a new look at how we view the iPhone and a tool to bypass robocalls.
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For this year, “I really don’t think Apple will offer a new design, a pocket-sized form factor or a 5G smartphone,” says Thomas Husson, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Instead, the focus will be on a differentiated photo and video experience and significantly more powerful smartphones” with faster processing, better battery autonomy and a new wireless charging case.
The phones are likely to be priced similarly to the current lineup of the XR ($749), XS ($999) and XS Max ($1,099), and the names, according to analysts, will be iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The Pro editions are likely to have a significant camera improvement, with three lenses, instead of the two now offered on the top-of-the-line iPhones. The third lens is likely to be similar to what’s offered on the newer Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones, with an extreme wide angle for getting more people into a selfie shot. These will be “the key specs showcased” at the event, believes Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.
The 2018 iPhone launch hit a wall during the holiday season when consumers balked at paying top dollar for the new phones, and Apple was hit with consumer issues in China as well. It issued a rare note to investors in early January that it would miss targets. CFRA Research says iPhone sales will be down 15% in 2019.
Apple has historically sold over 200 million iPhones yearly for the past few years, but Ives projects sales falling to 180 million in 2020.
To compensate, Apple has been pushing harder on the “Services” portion of its business, selling you subscriptions to cloud storage, music streaming and now TV streaming as well. Apple is likely to reveal pricing and the timing for the debut of the TV+ service at the event.
Apple has hired big names to make shows for TV+, including Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.