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5 things Apple could announce along with iPhone 12

At the iPhone 12 launch event tonight, Apple is expected to make announcements on multiple other products and services. Here is a look at what could be in store

October 13, 2020 / 06:14 PM IST

In 2019, when Apple launched the iPhone 11 series, it combined it up with a few other announcements. Apple Watch Series 5, new iPad and a range of services were launched alongside the iPhone 11. In 2020 too, we expect Apple to follow the same pattern and announce multiple things at the event. Here are five announcements that Apple can make alongside the iPhone 12 launch tonight.

1. Big Sur and iPad Air Availability – The details regarding the availability of the latest version of macOS – macOS Big Sur and the iPad Air are still unknown. While launching these two products, Apple did not clarify the availability on both of them and to date, users are waiting for a confirmed date. At the Apple event tonight, the availability date for both the products should be clarified. We expect MacOS Big Sur to be available within hours of the event while the iPad Air could be made available along with the iPhone 12 at online and offline stores.

2. Airpods Studio – While Airpods defined the true wireless audio category, Apple has been amiss from the premium over the ear category. Until now, Bose, Sennheiser and Sony have dominated this category, but things could take a turn if Apple announces its rumoured Airpods Studio headphones. The leaked images of the Airpods Studio point towards a premium finish of leather and metal as well as a sport version aimed towards the youth. On the inside, we can expect an updated W1/H1 chip to offer superior connectivity and features similar to the existing Airpods including Spatial audio, active noise cancellation and equalizer. It could also have a head or neck detection feature for playback just like Airpods have in-ear detection. The Airpod Studio, like the original Airpods and the Airpods Pro, the Airpods Studio could be a game-changer in the premium over the ear headphone segment.

3. New Homepods – Homepod is one of those products you need to hear before understanding why its priced at a premium. The Homepod was launched by Apple back in 2018 and is due for a refresh. It still uses the A8 chip, and even then, it has been selling like hotcakes. In comparison, speakers from Google, Amazon, Sonos, etc. have regularly updated new features and designs. If the rumours are to be believed, Apple would be announcing a more compact version of the Homepod, called Homepod Mini, without sacrificing the audio quality. The Homepod’s internals is also expected to be updated to support new functionality. However, considering its been over two years since the Homepod launched, Apple might launch a new Homepod with added features and new design at the event.

4. Airtags – Airtags is Apple’s version of Bluetooth tags that could be tracked using your iPhone. There are multiple similar products available from other brands, but Apple’s Airtags are expected to redefine the category using UWB (ultra-wideband) technology. UWB is available on iPhone 11 and is likely to be on iPhone 12 as well. UWB has benefits such as low transmit power, resistance to jamming, high signal strength, and can be used to identify the exact distance between two devices with UWB. This is a significant advantage over existing tags that use Bluetooth or WiFi. The name AirTags has been leaked in Apple’s official videos as well as in iOS 13 and even the Apple event invite for tonight’s event seems to hint at Airtags launch with the round shape behind the Apple logo.

5. Apple TV – Apple TV is another product that has not seen a refresh or update since its last variant launched in 2017. While Apple TV 4k continues to offer stellar performance, it runs on the A10X Fusion processor. Apple has moved on to the A14 Bionic chip, which is much more powerful than the A10X and supports more RAM while consuming less power. While there aren’t many details available regarding the new Apple TV that could be launched tonight, rumours indicate Apple has been working on a new Apple TV device. The launch also seems ideal as it is estimated that AppleTV+ subscription service had over 33 million subscribers at the end of 2019, which is expected to grow to 40 million by 2020. It is likely that while the Apple TV would continue with the same design, its internals will be upgraded along with a new and improved remote.

Karan Bajaj is a senior tech journalist based in Delhi
first published: Oct 13, 2020 11:43 am