WWDC Post-Mortem: 3 Juicy Hardware Predictions for the 2019 iPhone Event

WWDC 2019 offers clues about what Apple has planned for the fall.


Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has come and gone. And it was arguably pretty generous this year, bringing us Dark Mode, a slew of privacy features, and even a new iMac Pro, which, thanks to its pockmarked metallic back, can double as a cheese grater, of course.

Of course, software is only as cool as the hardware it powers. And shortly after Labor Day, Apple will almost certainly convene analysts, developers, and media again to introduce its new hardware lines.

With that in mind, it’s time to talk about how WWDC laid the ground for for the new hardware .that’s due in the fall. So, now that WWDC is behind us, here are some possible hints about what Apple has planned for its new iPhones, the new Apple Watch, and more.

WWDC 2019 was fairly comprehensive. Here's how it may have set the stage for new hardware. 

Danny Paez

Phone XI Owners Are Going to Take Way More Pictures

As with every year since the device was first introduced, Apple will almost certainly announce its new iPhones this September, possibly naming it the iPhone 11, or iPhone XI (our bet is on iPhone XI).

One clear iPhone takeaway from WWDC? Apple completely overhauled their photo storage system, which aligns with one of the most common rumors about the iPhone XI: Apple is indeed going to bet big on a triple-lens camera.

As you may recall from WWDC, Apple unveiled a number of changes to its camera functionality and photo storage at WWDC. This included new portrait lighting modes, the ability to adjust intensity of the lighting, new icon based photo editing with the ability to tap and drag, as well as being able to make photo adjustments to video editing for the first time.

That’s a lot of camera stuff! It’s such a comprehensive overhaul, Apple is clearly figuring that this year’s iPhone customers are going to take a lot more pictures than last year. So it naturally follows that pretty much all the major leakers seem to agree that Apple is planning a fancy new triple-lens camera array. Not only will you be able to take better pictures, these cameras are also said to offer advanced 3D sensing, and would improve the iPhone’s augmented-reality abilities.

Apple's WWDC presentation clearly left the impression it has big plans for its camera array.


The Apple Watch Series 5 Wants to Replace Your iPhone

The release of watchOS 6 at WWDC also strongly indicated that the Series 5 will move away from relying entirely on the iPhone, and instead function as a standalone device.

New Apple watch additions were almost as comprehensive as the iOS 13 update, and included the introduction of a separate, native Watch App Store for the first time. Apple also introduced more native apps, better Siri support, and audio streaming capabilities. The Apple Watch Noise App, meant to alert you to when the noise around you is reaching a harmful level, also points to further integration between AirPods and the Apple Watch.

Despite all these new additions that look ahead to a world where people once again leave their houses without their iPhones, Apple will likely still release the Series 5 in mid-September. Each of the last three years, Apple has released a new watch in September.

AirPods device integrations are another strong possibility for Apple's next hardware event. 


The Next iPad Pro May Finally Be Like a Computer

At WWDC, Apple also demonstrated new software that would support and boost the usability of a new iPad Pro. They announced Dark Mode, to great fanfare, which would also seem to indicate an increased emphasis on OLED screens. They also announced the Sidecar function in Catalina, which allows you to use an iPad as a second monitor on your computer. They also showed off Apple Music, TV, and Podcasts apps (previously known as the mess that was iTunes), as well as Voice Control.

Given the focus on new screens, the viability of using your iPad with your computer, and the entertainment developments, this could be laying the runway for the announcement of some kind of iPad. Apple released a new iPad Pro last October, and new iPad Airs and iPad Minis in March. But it hasn’t updated the good ‘ole iPad since March 2018, making it a possible candidate for a refresh, especially now that March’s event seems increasingly focused on services.

Reading the tea leaves of WWDC can be a tricky business. But the revelations offered by iOS 13, the new improvements to watchOS6, Apple’s decision to close the gap between tablet and desktop all offer clues about where the new hardware is headed. 2019 is shaping up to be a more exciting year for Apple than we might have feared.

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