Written by Norman Isaac Mwambazi

Apple to launch new iPhone 13 on September 14 event

Tech giant Apple Inc. (ticker: AAPL) has announced that it will launch the latest instalment of its famous smartphone brand, …

Tech giant Apple Inc. (ticker: AAPL) has announced that it will launch the latest instalment of its famous smartphone brand, the iPhone 13, at an Apple event that will be held next week on Tuesday, September 14 2021.

The company usually launches its latest iPhone smartphone and other devices during an annual fall event at its headquarters in Cupertino with its top executives, employees, media, and partners in attendance.

However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to hold the event virtually last year. The same is going to happen this year. This event, the biggest event in their calendar, will be streamed live on its website, and invites have already been sent out to the attendees. 

Some of the specifications expected to be on the iPhone 13 include camera improvements that have become a fan favourite for amateur and professional photographers that use the iPhone to take photos and capture videos for all occasions. Other specifications include a faster display refresh rate than its predecessor, and there is also word that the iPhone 13 could offer satellite communications technology.

According to MacRumours.com, a Virginia-based website that aggregates Mac and Apple-related news, the improved cameras on the highly-anticipated iPhone 13 should make for better low-light shots and bring autofocus to the smartphone’s ultra-wide-angle lens. It is believed that these changes could only be included on the iPhone 13 Pro models, and so the standard iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini may still come with the iPhone 12 lenses.

According to Mark Gurman, who extensively covers Apple products and other tech-related products and services, the iPhone 13 cameras will come with a new video Portrait mode that will allow users to add bokeh effects to their recorded video clips. These will blur the background of the video but keep the subject of the video clip in full focus.

Gamers should be excited for the iPhone 13, as preliminary specifications show that the phone’s screen will boast of a faster refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which means that it will refresh 120 times per second, video games should play with almost no stitches and scrolling up, down, and sideways will be seamless. However, this capability has been designed with battery saving in mind; therefore, the screens could vary their refresh rates to cut down any potential impact on the phone’s battery life. Additionally, the iPhone 13 is expected to come with new always-on displays that show the date and time and users’ latest notifications on the lock screen in white against a black background.

The iPhone 12 came with 5G capability, and now the iPhone 13 will take things up a notch because it is said that the company has upgraded the smartphone’s wireless capabilities to support satellite communications. This means that if a user is faced with an emergency and is in a location with no traditional cellular signals, the iPhone 13 will allow them to reach out to emergency services and their emergency contacts stored in their phonebook to get help. Furthermore, Gurman said that the technology could be used to let iPhone 13 users make phone calls using satellites. However, what is not yet clear is whether the emergency contacts should also have handsets that support satellite communication to be reached.

Other products

As mentioned earlier, Apple uses this event to release a host of other devices or launch new services. The company is expected to announce an upgrade of its iOS operating system, the iOS 15, and the iPadOS 15. The former powers the iPhone, while the latter powers Apple’s iPad products.

These new operating systems will have improved support for Maps on both the iPhone and the iPad, the ability to share and watch videos together over FaceTime. They will also make it possible for users to load their driver’s license into Apple Wallet. Currently, the Apple Wallet stores things like coupons, government ID cards, boarding passes, student ID cards, resort passes, car keys, event and movie tickets, among others.

Apple had also planned for iOS 15 to include a child protection feature that allows Apple to scan iCloud photos for child abuse material. Still, this capability has been put on hold due to protests of the proposal that came mainly from cybersecurity and privacy advocates.

Operating systems aside, Apple is also expected to announce next-generation Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 7, which is expected to have larger displays and improved designs. The company is also likely to launch a new pair of its wireless earphones, code-named AirPods. These are expected to have the spatial audio feature that is already available on the AirPods Pro.

It is worth noting that the iPhone business segment is one of Apple’s most lucrative. According to FactSet, in the last quarter that ended on June 30, 2021 (Q2 FY2021), Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, exceeded revenue expectations by more than $5 billion. Apple made $39.57 billion in revenue between Q2 FY2020 and Q2 FY2021, beating consensus expectations of $34.19 billion. Apple’s shares are currently trading at $154.53 each, and it has a market capitalisation of $2.55 trillion.

The Apple Car may still be far away

Towards the end of last year, news broke out that Apple was on course to design, manufacture, and produce a self-driving passenger car by 2024, an idea the company conceived in 2014 under Project Titan. Sources at the tech firm said that this vehicle could include Apple’s breakthrough battery technology.

However, the 2024 deadline might be extended since the company’s top automotive executive Doug Field abruptly left the company yesterday to join a major automaker, Ford Motor Company. Field, whose second stint at Apple started in 2018 and took over efforts to see that Apple started producing cars three years ago, has left the company. Because of this, there is little expectation of new updates about the car at the Apple event next week.