- Apple is holding a big event on October 13, and its new iPhone 12 lineup is expected to be the main attraction.
- It’s shaping up to be a major launch for Apple, as some analysts say this could be the company’s biggest upgrade cycle in years.
- Several other products are rumored to be in Apple’s pipeline, but this event is expected to squarely focus on the iPhone.
- The one exception may be the introduction of a cheaper new HomePod speaker.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Apple announced two new Apple Watches last month, but it’s far from being finished when it comes to new product launches for the year.
The company is holding an event on October 13, where it’s widely expected to unveil four new iPhones and possibly a new HomePod.
The iPhone 12 launch is expected to be the main attraction during Apple’s big event. Apple typically unveils its new smartphones in September, but had to delay its iPhone debut because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s release is expected to be a particularly big one for Apple. Some analysts are expecting this to be a major upgrade cycle as the millions of iPhones in use around the world continue to age — meaning they’re ripe for upgrades.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives estimates that 40% of Apple’s active installed base hasn’t upgraded their iPhones in 3.5 years.
“So you have a massive pent-up demand in the installed base going into a 5G transformational product cycle,” Ives told Business Insider. “That’s why I kind of view it as, really it’s almost the perfect storm of demand for Apple.”
Here’s a closer look at what we’re expecting to see from Apple’s upcoming launch event.
The iPhone 12 lineup
The star of the show will be Apple’s new iPhone family, which is expected to consist of four models: a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 “mini,” a 6.1-inch standard iPhone 12, a 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. That’s according to various leaks and reports that have emerged over the past year from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, and most recently, a leaker known as “Kang.”
All models are expected to support 5G connectivity and will reportedly feature a fresh new design inspired by the iPad Pro’s flat, stainless steel edges. Each phone will also come with screens that use OLED technology, which provides richer contrast and deeper blacks. Such screens are usually reserved for Apple’s high-end Pro iPhone models only.
Apple may also add a LiDAR sensor to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, a sensor that better enables the iPhone to understand its surroundings and provide improved performance in augmented reality apps. This sensor is already present on Apple’s most recent iPad Pro.
Apple’s stance on 5G
Apple CEO Tim Cook said as recently as January 2020 that 5G was still in its early stages.
“With respect to 5G, we’re in the early innings of its deployment on a global basis,” Cook said to analysts on the company’s earnings call in early 2020.
Although phone makers like Samsung have launched several 5G-enabled phones, the network is still far from being widespread. Verizon’s 5G network, for example, is only available in a little more than 30 cities across the United States. And even in those cities, 5G can only be found in certain areas. There are also large chunks of the US that are left uncovered by AT&T’s 5G network, as the company’s coverage map shows.
When introducing 5G as a key feature of the new iPhone, Apple will have to communicate the technology’s benefits while also managing customer expectations, says Gene Munster, a longtime Apple observer and managing partner at Loup Ventures.
“Consumers aren’t going to be running out to buy new phones because they’re 5G,” Munster told Business Insider. “They will be going out to buy new phones because a lot of them, the pool of really old phones, continues to grow.”
Possibly a cheaper new HomePod
There are several new products rumored to be in Apple’s pipeline, including a pair of premium over-ear headphones and a Bluetooth tracking accessory called AirTags. Apple also previously said it planned to introduce its first Mac computer running on Apple silicon, its proprietary processor, before the end of 2020.
But analysts don’t expect these products to hold a strong presence at Apple’s October 13 event, as the company will likely want to keep the focus on the new iPhones.
The one exception may be a less expensive new version of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker. The leaker Kang, who is said to have a strong track record when reporting on upcoming Apple products, recently said the company may introduce a $99 HomePod during its October 13 event.
Bloomberg previously reported that a smaller, more affordable HomePod is in the works, also saying that both the HomePod and over-ear headphones could debut as early as this month. Still, the report didn’t say whether these devices could debut at the event.
All told, Apple’s new iPhone lineup is expected to be front and center.
“They could hint at some of the innovation on the horizon,” Ives said. “But they don’t want to take anything away from this event.”