No new Macs, iPad Pros, AirPower or AirPods 2: What we didn’t get from Apple today
Apple’s Sept. 12 iPhone event has come and gone and — no surprise — it was about iPhones. Or mostly anyway. Apple also introduced the Apple Watch Series 4, but what about all those other rumored products that Apple supposedly has in the works? The event was otherwise bereft of product news.
Here’s a look at what Apple didn’t give us at its big event today. Some of these products may still arrive in 2018 — there are rumors of an October event, or at least some additional product releases. But others may slip to 2019, or never materialize at all.
Earlier in the year rumor had it Apple was developing a pair of higher-end AirPods with noise-cancellation, water resistance and wireless charging. Alas, a second-generation model has yet to materialize. But did Apple tease new AirPods in its Mission: Impossible opening video?
Nor did we hear about the AirPods Wireless Charging Case. Last September Apple announced its AirPower wireless charging pad, showing an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods case lying on top of it, charging simultaneously. The company never specified a price or release date for the charging pad (beyond sometime in 2018). But the fact that there was an AirPods case with wireless charging in the works got some people excited. However, neither AirPower nor the AirPods wireless charging case have been released yet.
New iPad Pro
When Apple debuted the latest iPad in March, adding Pencil support and a faster processor, it narrowed the gap between the entry-level tablet and its much more expensive Pro siblings. Rumors suggest that the company will look to justify the Pro’s premium pricing with a major redesign inspired by the iPhone X’s design — shrinking the bezels, dropping the home button and adding Face ID. Bloomberg reports that we’ll see two new models — an 11-inch and 12.9-inch version. While we didn’t get any iPad news at the Sept. 12 event, Apple could very well have a separate iPad event in October.
New Macs and MacBooks
Sure, we got a new 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro just this July. But for years hardcore Apple fans have accused the company of neglecting its computer lineup — especially the MacBook Air, which has remained essentially unchanged for the better part of a decade. According to the rumors, however, Apple may have a slew of new computing products in the pipeline for 2018 and 2019. Here’s what we’re hearing:
- The long-rumored new MacBook Air featuring a Retina Display may finally see the light of day, and plug a big hole at the bottom of Apple’s laptop portfolio.
- A new Mac Mini, possibly with configurations targeted to pro users, could finally be on deck. The current model hasn’t been updated since way back in 2014.
iPhone SE 2
We’d been hearing persistent murmurs that the iPhone SE — the most affordable option in Apple’s phone lineup since its 2016 debut — would possibly be refreshed this year. The Frankenstein’s monster of Apple’s lineup, the SE takes all of the components of an iPhone 6S, minus 3D Touch, and stuffs them into the smaller body of an iPhone 5. Apple gave it a modest refresh in 2017, but a major update is way overdue.
Rumors suggested that Apple was on tap to deliver yet one more minor makeover in 2018, giving the iPhone SE 2 the same A10 processor used in 2016’s iPhone 7. Instead, Apple killed off the SE altogether, chopping the most affordable iPhone from the line.
Will an updated refreshed SE arrive in the spring, as the original did two years ago? And will it return with its miniature 4-inch screen and $349 starting price? We still don’t know yet.
Apple’s streaming service and new TV shows
Apple has nabbed big-name deals with Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg, among many others. It’s also hired two top television executives to spearhead the effort. And the company has been deploying a $1 billion budget in the last year to recruit projects from those high-profile film and television stars. The thing is — we know almost nothing about how and where these shows will be made available. Might Apple create one bundle to rule them all?
Apple is said to be mulling a smaller, less expensive HomePod. We were hoping Apple might trot it out at the iPhone XS event but we knew that odds were we wouldn’t see it. Rumors have it pegged for 2019. And while the HomePod got some software updates, it didn’t get a price cut that many had hoped for.
Sorry, Apple TV fans, nothing new yet. As a product that rarely gets a major annual update, the rollout of TVOS 12, featuring Dolby Atmos support, is the only change coming to Apple TV 4K in the near-term.
Apple-branded noise-cancelling over-ear headphones
Apple owns Beats, which make the Beats Studio3 WIreless noise-cancelling headphones (I like them), but earlier this year we heard rumors that Apple might be working on a premium full-size noise-cancelling headphone of its own. That headphone would not only be designed to compete with its own Beats headphone, but the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (which is due to get an upgrade) and the just-released Sony WH-1000XM3, which is arguably the best noise-cancelling headphone currently available. Alas, no Apple-branded full-size noise-cancelling headphones were announced at the event.