iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and, most importantly, iPhone X will be the centrepieces of Apple’s September 12 event in Cupertino, California, according to the rumour mill. The event – being held at the new Steve Jobs Auditorium at the company’s new ‘spaceship’ campus – will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone, a device that changed mobile computing for everyone. A series of leaks over the weekend suggest there will be more gadgets you can look forward to, though the iPhone X and iPhone 8 models will certainly be the most important devices at the event. Of course, there won’t be an iPhone 7s series as the iPhone 8 models will succeed the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. On the software front, it's pretty safe to expect iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4, and tvOS 11.
The leaks also revealed two new software features, called Face ID, and Animoji. As the name suggests, Face ID is an evolution of Apple's Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology. With Face ID, the iPhone will use face recognition to unlock the phone and authenticate the user, much like Touch ID allowed with the fingerprint sensor. The animoji meanwhile are animated emoji, emoticons that can move around in messages. The Face ID feature can also be used to create custom animoji, which can then be sent in messages, using technology that's similar to motion capture that you see in films and games.
The 'X' in the name is very likely a reference to this being the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone, so the one mystery that's left right now is whether it's be pronounced like the letter, or the numeral. Beyond it's name, there are a few more things that seem quite likely for the iPhone X, such as an edge to edge display with very narrow bezels, with a vertical dual-camera setup in the rear.
Also, Face ID wil apparently replace Touch ID on the iPhone X altogether, and be the only system for authentication. It can apparently work even in the dark. How other features tied to the home button will be handled is not entirely clear at present.
One can also be fairly confident at this point that the iPhone X will feature an OLED screen, a first for Apple. However, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are both still expected to use LCD screens, as is the norm for Apple.
The iPhone X is also expected to be a more powerful device than the two new iPhone 8 models will be. The company has also reportedly been working on a dedicated AI chip. The phones will also use Apple's True Tone technology, adjusting the display temperature based on the environment, to make it look more consistent in different settings.
Reports also suggest that all three new iPhones will have glass backs, and shall support inductive (wireless) charging. It's likely that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available soon after the launch event on Tuesday; the iPhone X on the other hand might launch a little further down the line.
Another big leak that seems very credible is that the next Apple Watch will get LTE capabilities. This means you'll be able to use the Apple Watch independent of the iPhone, using only the watch for features like navigation, music streaming, even calls.
There will also be software upgrades, with improvements across the board, including to the Workout and Apple Music apps for the Apple Watch, increasing its functionality. This will be particularly handy if you're using it without the phone.
The Apple TV is also expected to get a fairly major overhaul, with two very important upgrades - support for 4K, and HDR. If you have a TV that supports these two formats, then the Apple TV will be able to stream videos at 4K resolution, with HDR contrast, allowing for significantly sharper, and more vivid, movies and TV shows. To handle this, the next Apple TV will also have a processor upgrade. The TV is also expected to have better live TV integration with better Siri support.
There's also a chance that we'll get an announcement of new AirPods at the Apple event, though it's not actually very clear what to expect on this front. We're not expecting any announcements around Apple's laptops, or iPads, and a new iPhone SE isn't expected for now either - perhaps because Apple doesn't want the inevitable jokes if launched alongside the iPhone X.
These are all the likely announcements to look forward to from the iPhone announcement on Tuesday, and Gadgets 360 is in Apple's headquarters from where we will be providing live coverage so make sure to visit if you want to know what's happening as it happens.