Apple’s annual iPhone launch event kicks off Wednesday, but Bloomberg thinks there’s considerably more than new iDevices coming down the pipe. While Apple is expected to lead with its trio of new phones, there’s considerably more coming down the pipe as well. The only question is how much of it Apple will launch in one go, as opposed to doling out the products over the rest of the year. Here’s what’s expected:
A 5.8-inch direct successor to the iPhone X dubbed the iPhone Xs. It’ll feature a new Apple A12 SoC and upgraded cameras and supposedly ship in gold in addition to silver and gray from last year.
A larger iPhone X model with a 6.5-inch display. Presumably, this device would also receive the color upgrades and other improvements and it might run at higher clocks if Apple uses the increased screen resolution and form factor to push device performance. This is supposedly branded as the iPhone Xs Max as opposed to the iPhone Xs Plus.
A 6.1-inch device based on a new, low-cost iPhone X design. This phone would use an LCD instead of OLED panel, aluminum instead of stainless steel for the edges, and several “additional” (and unspecified) color options. This device is supposedly branded as the iPhone Xr.
There’s no word on the SoC for the iPhone Xr or prices for any products, though Apple is largely expected to raise prices in a bid to further improve its ASPs (average selling price) by squeezing more revenue out of existing customers rather than by selling more devices. As smartphone sales growth has slowed, Apple has continued to improve the bottom line by focusing on increasing its market share and margins. Prices on the new “low-cost” iPhone Xr are expected to start between $699-$749, except for Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall, who thinks $849 is a likely price target.
This seems like a perfect time to mention that the iPhone SE starts at $349. You can type on it while gripping it firmly in the same hand you’re typing with. Battery life is stellar and it’s small enough to fit into your pocket. It also retains both the Home button (Apple is expected to junk it tomorrow in favor of entirely gesture-based navigation) and the headphone jack. If Bloomberg’s pricing expectations prove accurate, you’ll be able to buy two of them for the cost of one iPhone Xr. It is, in my personal estimation, the best device Apple makes. I fully expect that tomorrow, after all the hoopla, it’ll be the best device that Apple makes. It’s certainly the only iPhone I’d actually recommend.
Other products potentially unveiled on Wednesday include:
New AirPower wireless charger for an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods simultaneously without plugging any of them in.
A revamped MacBook at a lower cost. It’s not clear if this system would use Intel’s new Core m3-8100Y (Amber Lake) or not. Given that the MacBook was updated last year, any performance improvements would be minimal, but there’s talk that the new low-cost system would slot in as Apple’s least expensive notebook.
New iPad Pros with slimmer bezels and Face ID (and no home button). These would ship in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes.
A new Mac Mini, except focused on professional users. Apple’s current Mac Mini is particularly long in the tooth. It hasn’t been updated since Haswell and is still relying on 4th Generation Intel CPUs. Modern chips may not advance particularly quickly these days, but shipping Haswell five years after it debuted is just embarrassing.
One system that won’t be on display is the new, still-upcoming Mac Pro. The trashcan replacement won’t be ready for launch until 2019.
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