iPad Pro or No? The Apple launch is here


Whether you’re an Apple fan or an Apple hater, the company’s annual fall product announcement on Wednesday is arguably the biggest day of the year for planned tech news — with the new iPhone 6S models and lots of other iThings expected.

As ever, Apple won’t confirm or deny the dozens of rumors swirling around the September 9 iPhone-and-more event in San Francisco. Here’s a roundup of the most credible reports.

All-but-confirmed: iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Most Apple customers think of the company’s annual fall announcement as the “new iPhone” event. Apple has refreshed its iPhone line in the fall for the past four years, so the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are essentially a given. The 6S and 6S Plus are expected to be about the same size as their predecessors — 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively — but purported leaked prototypes of the device posted by the blog MacRumors indicate they will be slightly thicker.

“3-D Touch”: Mark Gurman, a well-sourced reporter at 9to5Mac, says the new iPhones’ screens will sport a pressure-sensitive feature similar to the “Force Touch” on the latest MacBook laptops and the Apple Watch. Gurman says the 6S’s “3-D Touch” screens will recognize not only a tap and a press, but also a “deep press” to perform special actions or pull up additional menus.

New aesthetic options: KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a May research note to clients that he expects a new color for the iPhone: rose gold, which is already an option for the luxe Apple Watch Edition. Apple will also port the Apple Watch’s animated home-screen wallpaper feature to the new iPhones,reports Mark Gurman.

Better guts and camera: As usual, the new iPhones are expected to be faster than the prior model, shipping with a next-generation A9 processor. Several reports claim the phones will come with a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera that can shoot ultra-sharp 4K video.

While some initial whispers said this year would bring a 4-inch, plastic-encased iPhone 6C, the latest conventional wisdom is that Apple won’t introduce a lower-end phone.

Apple TV

The long-rumored Apple “iTV” television set never came to be, but the company is expected to revamp completely its Apple TV set-top box.

BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski reports the overhauled Apple TV will start at $149 (compared with $69 for the current model), and that it will be packed with new features: a fancy new remote, a universal search that will let users see all of the sources where on-demand content may be available (Netflix and Hulu, for example), integration with Apple’s Siri voice assistant, a dedicated App Store and the ability to use the box as a video-game controller.

iPad Pro, or no?

The long-rumored “giant iPad” is reportedly ready for showtime. But dueling rumors say the enterprise-focused 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be unveiled on Wednesday … or at its own event in October.

No matter when Apple unveils the professional iPad, it will be a new product category of sorts for the company — and it could be an important one. IPad sales have slowed in recent quarters, and Apple could draw in new enterprise customers with a device that functions with the ease of a tablet but is the size of a laptop.

In addition to all of that rumored news, Apple is likely to refresh its Mac line and the iPad mini.

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