Apple announces September 15 special event with new iPhones, Watches expected

New AirPods could also feature among the new products announced at next week's event.
New AirPods could also feature among the new products announced at next week's event. Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple has announced a special event on September 15, NZ time, with most industry watchers believing it will be used to unveil a new line of flagship iPhones.

Since 2013, Apple has delivered new iPhones around September like clockwork. The tech giant, which launched a redesigned iPhone with 5G connectivity last year, is not expected to make radical changes this year, with most analysts pointing to small technical updates to the phone's processor and camera system.

"Upgrades rates peaked in 2021 on 5G, we expect upgrade rates to moderate but still drive high volumes in 2022," JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee wrote in a note, adding that he still expects a record year thanks to higher sales of the lower priced iPhone SE.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, author of the tech-focused Power On newsletter, has previously written about the new phones having an Apple Watch-like always-on display and a 120Hz screen refresh rate.

A faster A15 chip, a smaller notch at the top of the screen, upgrades to video recording and a new display for better battery life are also expected.

Samsung introduced 120Hz displays in 2020 with its Galaxy S20 range while always-on display functionality is much older. It was introduced by Nokia back in 2009 and has since become standard on Android phones from companies like Samsung and Huawei.

Other rumours include the new series having a Qualcomm X60 modem chip which supports satellite calling and texting functionality, possibly for use in emergency situations where no cell coverage is available.

It's also been widely reported that a new line of Apple Watches will also be introduced, with slightly larger 41mm and 45mm size screens.

A reported production halt, however, could mean watch numbers are limited in the short-term.

Samsung's newly redesigned smartwatch, the Samsung Watch4 and the Watch4 Classic, go on sale in New Zealand this month.

Newly redesigned AirPods, featuring a shorter stem, could also be introduced.

Apple was not immediately able to comment beyond the invitation sent to the media.

The mid-September launch results in a sales surge in the last week of Apple's fiscal fourth quarter as millions of avid shoppers snap up the newly released iPhones.

Last year, however, the event got delayed by a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning opening-weekend iPhone sales were not included in fourth-quarter results.

The event also helps Wall Street analysts model their sales projections for the holiday shopping season in Western markets, typically Apple's largest sales quarter.

Known for its splashy phone launches packed with hundreds of journalists at its sprawling campus in Cupertino, California, Apple has turned to virtual events since last year because of the pandemic.

The event will be live-streamed on Apple's as well as its YouTube channel and via the Apple TV app on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TV.