Behold the new symbols of fall: Pumpkin spice and a new iPhone.
On Wednesday, Apple will host its annual September event from its California headquarters, where it is widely expected the tech giant will introduce the iPhone 14.
Several other products could also see updates, including the Apple Watch and AirPods. Apple will also reveal details on the launch of iOS 16, the iPhone software update available on all iPhones going as far back as the iPhone 8.
USA TODAY will provide live updates on this page of all the Apple announcements.
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Yep, Apple is transitioning to electronic SIM cards (those tiny cards you get from wireless carriers). Another big feature coming to iPhone 14: crash detection. The phone will automatically notify emergency services and contacts in a crash, like Apple Watch. The iPhone will also add emergency SOS via satellite. The phone will have specific technology so iPhone 14 antennas can connect to communication satellites when users point their phone in the satellite’s direction.
The phone has a new 12-megapixel main camera with a larger sensor and faster aperture, along with improvements to taking pictures in low-light environments. The front of the iPhone gets a new 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera. The phone’s Deep Fusion technology will help improve photography in low-light spaces, providing more detail and color in your images. Video will get upgraded as well. A new stabilization mode called action mode will make videos look more stable when filming more active events.
Now for the big news: Apple announces the iPhone 14. There’s an iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. It has a super retina custom OLED display, ceramic shield glass, aerospace grade aluminum body, and comes in five colors: midnight, starlight, light blue, purple and red. It will run on the A15 Bionic chip, so naturally it will run faster and better than previous models.
Customers can pre-order AirPods Pro on Sept. 9, with launch on Sept. 23. They start at $249, says Apple.
New controls on the earbuds will now let users adjust volume by swiping up and down along the side of the stem of the AirPod. The new AirPods Pro support up to 30 hours of listening time when you factor in the recharging case. A speaker has been added to the AirPod case to indicate when they’re lost or on low battery. The AirPods Pro case can charge using an Apple Watch charger.
Mark another square on your Apple event bingo cards. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced updated AirPods Pro, which he said are the company’s most popular AirPods. The new Pro earbuds feature an updated processing chip for better sound quality. There’s a new low distortion audio driver and custom amplifier to provide more sound detail and clarity. Then there’s spatial audio, which gives the impression the sound is coming from all around you. Users can personalize it to present sound as accurately as possible. The popular active noise cancellation feature is twice as good as the original AirPods Pro, according to Apple. The earbuds will now include an extra-small earbuds tip for comfort. Transparency mode helps reduce high-decibel noise nearby.
Yep, not cheap. The Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799. Preorders are available Wednesday, and the watch will launch on Sept. 23.
Apple says one of the biggest features of the Apple Watch Ultra is improved GPS accuracy. In dense conditions such as areas with high skyscrapers or tall trees, the watch has special technology to maintain accurate GPS results. The watch’s action button allows for more precise workouts, and a new feature will automatically detect when you hit a running track. Apple said it’s built for extreme temperatures. There’s also a redesigned Compass app with better views of your locations and ways to mark key points. Plus there’s an 86-decibel siren built into the watch in case of emergency.
One of the first big rumors confirmed: the Apple Watch Ultra. The case is made from titanium to handle more rugged activities with flat sapphire front crystal and the largest display on an Apple Watch. There’s also a new button in bright orange for additional functions. The watch has a second speaker for more volume and extra microphones. Every Ultra watch is built with cellular, and up to 36 hours of battery life on one charge. It can even go up to 60 hours with a new battery optimization setting launching this fall. The watch’s Night Mode can turn the interface bright red for better visibility in the dark.
The budget-friendly intro to the Apple Watch is also getting an upgrade. It will be available in silver, midnight and starlight colors. It boasts most of the safety features of the main Apple Watch. The display is 30% larger of the Series 3 watch, and it’s 20$ faster than the previous SE model. It will also support crash detection. Apple clearly is pitching this as a great model for kids. It starts at $249 or $299 or a cellular model. Preorders open Wednesday, and the watch launches Sept. 16.
The watch will launch in multiple colors and styles, including midnight, starlight and product red for the aluminum models, and silver, gold or graphite for stainless steel models. Watches from brands Nike and Hermes will get updates too. It’s available to preorder Wednesday, and launches Sept. 16.
Apple Watch adds low power mode
The Apple Watch will get a low power mode to minimize battery-intensive features and add up to 36 hours of battery life. It’s available for the Watch Series 4 or later through the WatchOS 9 update.
The new watch will add a feature that detects when you’re in a severe car crash. Once detected, the watch automatically contacts emergency responders, sends off your location, then reaches out to emergency contacts. New tech can sense the force and timing of an impact to determine whether you’ve been involved in a front- or side-impact crash, a rear-end crash or a rollover.
The new Apple Watch Series 8 announced by COO Jeff Williams features a brighter, always-on display. It’s also swimproof and crack-resistant. Health sensors in the watch still include the ability to read blood oxygen levels and ECGs. There’s a new temperature sensor as part of advanced cycle tracking features for women’s health. The sensor will provide an estimate of ovulation, as well as check nighttime wrist temperature to detect changes as small as 0.1 degrees Celsius. Apple notes all health data is encrypted end to end, controlled only by users.
Before detailing changes to Apple Watch, the company plays a montage featuring users of the Watch and how it has impacted their lives. Most discuss the various health scenarios including falls and rapid heartbeats. In some cases, users dialed 911 to contact rescuers or family to seek help to save their lives.
Apple CEO Tim Cook begins the event, saying it will focus on three products: iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch. “Together, they provide a magical experience,” said Cook.
One hot rumor that could clear up after Wednesday’s event: does Apple have plans to introduce a subscription option for iPhone? Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported Apple was working on a subscription service for the iPhone and other products, so much like Netflix, Apple TV+ or other monthly services, you would subscribe to your iPhone for a monthly fee.
About 14% of iPhone owners plan to upgrade to the latest iPhone when it releases, says a survey from website Savings.com. By comparison, only 10% of iPhone owners had planned to switch to iPhone 13 when it launched last year.
Among participants who said they planned to upgrade, the feature they’re most excited about is improved, faster processors, followed by better storage and an upgraded camera.
The online survey conducted last month is based on 1,504 iPhone users in the U.S. ages 18 and older.
Even if you don’t buy an iPhone 14, you can enjoy the illusion of getting a new phone with the arrival of iOS 16.
This year’s iOS offers some pretty key features, including the ability to unsend messages or edit them after they’re sent. Once someone has sent a message in the Messages app, they have 15 minutes to edit or unsend it. Important caveat: Both the sender and receiver of the messages must have iOS 16 installed to take advantage of the feature.
iPhone owners also can customize their lock screens with new fonts and smaller widgets similar to what’s available on Apple Watch.
Last year, Apple launched iOS 15 the Monday before the iPhone 13 went on sale. If Apple follows that trend this year, iOS 16 would launch on Sept. 12.
While the arrival of a new iPhone and its features is a big deal, just as important is how will the new device affect how Apple prices all its older models.
The price of the iPhone should go up, especially for Pro models that will have better chip performance, said Thomas Husson, principal analyst at Forrester. With inflation rising and supply chain issues lingering, the pricing of older iPhones will be critical.
“The key point to look at is how Apple will evolve the pricing of the iPhone 13 and older ranges to maintain growth in a declining smartphone market and to keep the momentum in faster growing markets like India or Indonesia,” said Husson.
As is tradition ahead of an Apple event, the company’s online store is down. “Be right back,” reads the message. “We’re making updates to the Apple store. Check back soon. Of course, you didn’t want to buy an iPhone today any way.
What time is Apple event?
The event starts at 1 p.m. ET, or 10 a.m. PT if you’re on the West Coast.
How to watch Apple event live
What products can we expect from Apple event?
iPhone 14. Obviously. Reports suggest the new phone will receive a big camera upgrade and an always-on display. No more waking your phone to check the time. The question is how many models? Last year, consumers chose between iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Apple Watch Pro. The new smartwatch will have a bigger display and titanium casing, reports Bloomberg. It will also have a larger battery, said the report.
AirPods Pro 2. An updated version of Apple’s high-end earbuds are also anticipated, reports Bloomberg.
Who is keynote speaker of Apple event?
Think of Apple CEO Tim Cook as a ringmaster of the Apple event circus.
Cook guides viewers through the myriad of device updates across its portfolio, as other Apple executives and employees break down how these new gadgets will change your life.
And don’t be surprised if Cook thinks iPhone 14 is the best iPhone ever.
When will the iPhone 14 go for sale?
Apple will reveal this Wednesday. But if history offers any clues, last year Apple launched iPhone preorders the Friday after the event, with phones officially going for sale the week after. If Apple follows this pattern, expect preorders to open Sept. 9 with the new iPhones going on sale Sept. 16.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.