Apple Inc. announced that its biggest product launch event of the year will be held Oct. 13.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant on Tuesday released the date of the event with the tagline “Hi, Speed.”
The company plans to reveal four redesigned iPhones with 5G wireless capability, upgraded cameras, faster processors and a wider range of screen sizes, Bloomberg News has reported.
The online event will mark Apple’s second product launch this year, following the company’s September announcement of a new iPad Air, refreshed entry-level iPad and updated Apple Watches.
The introduction of the new iPhones is occurring about a month later than usual after the company faced final testing and production delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite a rapid expansion into services and new devices, the iPhone remains Apple’s most important product. The smartphone generates about half of Apple’s revenue, and is the central driver of sales for AirPods and Apple Watches. The iPhone is also the device used most often to subscribe to services and download apps, which in many cases gives Apple a cut of revenue.
The 5G wireless support on the new iPhones will put Apple’s toe-to-toe with the latest offerings from Samsung Electronics Co., Google and others.
The new lineup will also mark Apple’s biggest screen size variation in years, adding a 5.4-inch model and a 6.7-inch version, Bloomberg News has reported.
The new phones will have the most dramatic redesign since the iPhone X in 2017, adding squared off sides to replace the current rounded edges. The four models will be split into two entry-level versions and two Pro variations, with the higher-end phones using stainless steel and the less-expensive devices using aluminum.
Apple plans to add a Lidar scanner, a depth-sensing camera that improves augmented reality apps, to the more-expensive models. The company is also expected to remove the charging wall adapter from the new iPhone boxes, a move Apple has said would help the environment. The shift would also potentially save the company tens of millions of dollars a year.
Even with the announcement next week, some of the new models aren’t expected to be widely available for a number of weeks due to supply constraints.
Beyond the new iPhones, the company is working on over-ear headphones and physical device tracking tags to be introduced as early as this year. Apple also is planning to announce Macs with the company’s own custom processors as early as November.