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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

5G iPhone 12 event set: Apple’s online-only launch will be Sept. 15

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Apple’s event will be Sept. 15

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Apple

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple has set the date for its latest iPhone’s debut. The new device, which is expected to include super-fast 5G wireless connectivity and a new, iPad-inspired design, will be unveiled on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. PT. Like Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the iPhone event will be held entirely online amid continued concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Apple’s event will be streamed via its website.

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This fall’s Apple product launch is expected to touch off a wave of upgrade purchases, analysts say, with fans eyeing the iPhone’s rumored new 5G capabilities and its new boxier look, similar to that of the iPad Pro. Flashier rivals — such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 2 5G, with its foldable display, or Microsoft’s Surface Duo, with two screens sandwiched together — offer new spins on the standard metal-and-glass smartphone construction. But most consumers will be gravitating toward what they know.

And even if the new iPhone offers only a few new bells and whistles and a different chassis, it’ll draw the lion’s share of attention. 

Apple’s invite, posted on its website, included a variation on its logo, done in swirling blue lines that turns out to be a bit of AR trickery.

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This year, Apple’s expected to again announce three new models of its iPhone, replacing the $799 iPhone 11, $999 iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, which started at $1,099 when it launched last year. The prices are expected to largely remain the same, but Apple’s expected to upgrade the devices’ features, including better cameras, faster chips and the company’s newest software, iOS 14.

Apple is also expected to unveil new iPads, a new Apple Watch and potentially new bundling options for its subscription services, including its $4.99-a-month Apple TV Plus, $9.99-a-month Apple Music, $9.99-a-month Apple News Plus and $4.99-a-month Apple Arcade gaming effort.

But perhaps the biggest standout of Apple’s event may be its newest computer, which will be the first device powered by what the company calls Apple Silicon, or its own microprocessing chip

Apple hasn’t shared many details about its newest computers, which will replace the Intel processors Apple’s relied on for 14 years with chips similar to the ones powering its iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. Apple said it’ll continue to sell Intel-powered computers for now, but it’s clear where the company is headed.

“Hardware and software is fundamental to everything we do,” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said when announcing the effort this summer. “It will take Mac to the next level.”

It also appears there’s an augmented reality component to Apple’s event. When viewed on an iPhone, the Apple invite logo morphs into the event’s date: 9.15.

AR could provide Apple with a way to show people its new devices without their having to be there in person. Tech companies have been trying to figure out the best way to hold virtual demo rooms, a key part of any product launch. Last week, Samsung released a gamified tour of a digital home with its new devices.

Apple has been pushing AR over the past several years. The most notable example is the popularity of the Pokemon Go game on its iPhones. The company also has been working on AR and VR goggles. 

‘s Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

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