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What to Expect from Apple's October Event (iPhones!)

Illustration for article titled What to Expect from Apples October Event (iPhones!)
Screenshot: Apple

Here we go again: Apple’s last event was just a month ago, but on Tuesday, the company will take the wraps off even more new devices. This time, it looks like we’ll get what everyone has been waiting for: new iPhones.

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We knew the iPhone(s) 12 would arrive later in the year than usual—Apple confirmed as much in its July quarterly earnings call to set expectations—and after September’s event highlighted the Apple Watch and iPad, it looks like the iPhone is finally on deck.

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It is entirely possible that Apple will save the iPhone for yet another rumored launch event next month, but that may well be when we’ll see the first Mac with Apple Silicon (we’re betting on it).

But we’re not expecting just iPhones to appear on Tuesday. Here’s everything Apple is expected to announce.

iPhones 12 Finally Arrive—with 5G

Apple’s cheeky “Hi, Speed” tagline on its event invites is a clear reference to 5G and the faster speeds that the next-gen networks promise. (Whether they deliver or not is a bigger question.) It’s also a reference to the A14 Bionic processor that will almost definitely be included in this year’s iPhones.

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The iPhone 12 lineup is rumored to include not two, not three, but four new phones, which is a big deal, because one of those phones is expected to be pint-sized. No, not like this year’s iPhone SE, which sounded like it would be a small phone but was actually the size of an iPhone 8—a regular-sized phone with a tiny screen. This 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini will look like its larger siblings, with a nearly edge-to-edge display, Face ID, and flattened design with squared-off sides (similar to the latest iPads). A super-sized 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max is also expected to join the lineup, though recent rumors suggest that model may launch in November. Then there will be two 6.1-inch iPhones 12 models: a Pro version with a stainless steel body and triple-lens camera system (and LiDAR sensor), and a cheaper iPhone 12 with an aluminum body and dual-lens cameras.

This year’s iPhones, like last year’s, will be differentiated by their cameras.
This year’s iPhones, like last year’s, will be differentiated by their cameras.
Photo: Raul Marrero/Gizmodo
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Notably, a 5.7-inch iPhone similar to the current 11 Pro will no longer be available, so you’ll have go larger or downsize.

But all models are expected to include a 5G modem (though the Pros will reportedly be compatible with a wider spectrum of 5G), the flatter, iPad-like design with OLED display, and the A14 Bionic.

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The new iPhones will reportedly range in price from $700 for the mini model, all the way up to $1,150 for the Pro Max.

AirPods, but Make Them Headphones

Apple has been content to let its subsidiary Beats dominate the headphones market, but after launching multiple successful iterations of its Bluetooth AirPods, the company is reportedly planning to launch its own over-the-ear headphones: AirPods Studio. The noise-canceling headphones will take on rival models from Bose and Sony, and have the same seamless iPhone integration that AirPods do.

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Apple recently booted third-party headphones from its online and physical stores, so it seems guaranteed that a pair of Apple-branded headphones are on the way.

A Smaller, Cheaper HomePod

Rumors of a pint-sized HomePod speaker have been churning ahead of next week’s event, and it seems all but certain that Apple will reboot its smart speaker lineup with a $100 version called the HomePod Mini.

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Illustration for article titled What to Expect from Apples October Event (iPhones!)
Photo: Adam Clark Estes/Gizmodo

The new HomePod is expected to be a third of the size of the current model, so it makes sense that its price would also be a third of its $300 predecessor. But given that you can pick up a Nest mini with Google Assistant and an Echo mini with Alexa for $50, and Siri still struggles with even basic tasks, it’s unclear how Apple will differentiate its latest speaker.

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AirPower, Round Two

A new report indicates that Apple is possibly planning to release magnetic charging docks alongside the iPhone 12: one that can charge a single device, and another that can charge two devices. The company is apparently ditching the cursed AirPower moniker, however, and reportedly going with MagSafe Charger for the single-device pad and MagSafe Duo for the dual-device charger.

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One More Thing? (Probably Not)

We’re still expecting Apple to show off a new MacBook with its homegrown Apple Silicon ARM-based processor inside, but don’t expect to see that at next week’s event. According to Bloomberg, Apple has another event lined up for November dedicated to the Mac.

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Apple will be live-streaming Tuesday’s event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, on its website. We’ll also be live-blogging the whole thing, so join us!

Consumer tech editor, Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

pickmeohnevermind
merp (né pickmeohnevermind)

I just hope that, given the last seven months of masks, they’d have finally cracked having both face ID and a finger ID.