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Apple Inc. plans to hold a launch event on Sept. 7 to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, according to people with knowledge of the matter, introducing the latest version of the product that generates more than half of its sales.
The new iPhones kick off a busy fall product season that will also include several new Macs, low-end and high-end iPads, and three Apple Watch models.
Apple is updating its flagship product at an uncertain time for the industry. Smartphone sales began to decline as consumers coped with inflation and an uncertain economy. But Apple appears to be doing better than its peers: The iPhone sold well last quarter, and the company has signaled to suppliers that it doesn’t anticipate a drop in demand.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant usually announces other products alongside the iPhone, including the latest Apple Watch. The company usually puts a new iPhone in stores about a week and a half after its introduction, and Apple is expected to follow that pattern this year. Some retail store employees have been told to prepare for a major new product release on September 16.
Apple gained nearly 1% to $174.54 in New York trading. The stock remains down 2% this year, though it has climbed back from a much deeper decline in recent months.
The company intends to stream the event online — rather than hold an in-person meeting — to continue the approach it took at the start of the pandemic. Apple’s launch is a highly polished affair, and employees have already begun recording segments of the presentation over the past few weeks, Bloomberg News reported.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the timing of the event. Since the announcement is still about three weeks away, the company’s plans could change, but Apple usually reveals the latest iPhones in the first half of September.
The company held its most recent event in June to announce its next set of software updates — iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and macOS Ventura — and invited journalists and developers to its campus to watch a video of the presentation. The arrangement was part of Apple’s slow shift back to more normal operations, which included a return to the office.
On Monday, the company told its company employees that they will have to work in person three days a week starting September 5, two days before the planned product announcement.
The standard iPhone 14 will look similar to the iPhone 13, although the company will remove the 5.4-inch “mini” version and add a model with a 6.7-inch display. This will be the first time Apple will launch an iPhone without a Pro display of this size.
The company is planning bigger changes for the iPhone 14 Pro series. Apple will replace the front camera cutout, known as the notch, with a pill-shaped hole for Face ID sensors and a pinhole-sized area for the camera. This gives users a bit more screen space. The company is also adding a faster chip to the iPhone 14 Pro. Meanwhile, Apple will keep the A15 chip from the iPhone 13 in the regular iPhone 14 models.
The most significant changes to the iPhone 14 Pro will be related to the camera system, which will appear slightly larger to consumers. The Pro models get a 48-megapixel wide-angle camera, along with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and telephoto lens. Apple also plans to improve video recording and battery life.
For the latest Apple Watch, known as the Series 8, Apple will add features for women’s health and a body temperature sensor. The standard watch will look similar to the Series 7, but the new professional model will go after more sporty consumers. It will have a larger display, a durable titanium case, new fitness tracking features and longer battery life. The company is also planning a new Apple Watch SE, its budget smartwatch with a faster chip.
Also coming in September: iOS 16, the software that will run on the next iPhones, and watchOS 9, the next Apple Watch operating system. And the company plans to launch macOS Ventura in October alongside iPadOS, the operating system for the iPad. The latter software was delayed by about a month, partly due to bugs surrounding the new Stage Manager multitasking system.
Apple is working on an updated low-end iPad with an A14 chip and a USB-C port, as well as new iPad Pro models with M2 chips for later this year, Bloomberg News reported. It is also set to launch new Macs by the end of the year, as it works on versions of the Mac mini and MacBook Pro with M2-based processors.