iPhone 11 Event: What to Expect at Apple's Feature-Packed Smartphone Launch

The big launch is almost here.

iPhone

Apple is about to launch the next-generation iPhone, rumors suggest, and it could set a new standard in the smartphone marketplace. On Thursday, the company invited media representatives to an event at its Cupertino campus for Tuesday, September 10.

The device, rumored to be called “iPhone 11,” has divided the technology sphere due to its triple-lens camera array. While some commentators praise the third lens for adding something innovative — rumors suggest the wide-angle lens will be used to automatically ensure everyone fits into a photo — leaked graphical designs have sparked concerns that the camera bump is set to expand to a larger-than-ever size.

The annual iPhone launch is an important moment for Apple, which at $939 billion ranks as one of the most valuable public companies in the world. The smartphone counts for around 48 percent of the company’s total revenue, a figure that has slipped from its peak of 70 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Buyers have been increasingly waiting longer to upgrade, while Apple has doubled down on monthly subscriptions like Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.

Nonetheless, the iPhone has retained an impressive and influential share of the market. When it launched 12 years ago, it transformed smartphones from a user-unfriendly niche to an accessible, desirable product. Last month, Apple accounted for 22 percent of the global mobile devices in use around the world. Its iOS platform is used on 14 percent of all computing devices, in a world otherwise dominated by Android and Windows.

The launch of a new iPhone makes international headlines, cutting well beyond technology fans to reach the general public. Here’s what Apple is rumored to be planning for its big reveal.

iPhone 11 Event: When Is the Event Scheduled to Take Place?

Apple is expected to launch the next iPhone at an event on September 10, 2019 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater, a building placed next to the spaceship-shaped Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The event invite sent out to media representatives.
The event invite sent out to media representatives.

Apple follows a regular pattern for its events:

  • The iPhone XS launch event in 2018 was announced on August 30 and held on September 12.
  • The iPhone X launch event in 2017 was announced on August 31 and held on September 12.
  • The iPhone 7 launch event in 2016 was announced on August 29 and held on September 7.
  • The iPhone 6S launch event in 2015 was announced on August 27 and held on September 9.
  • The iPhone 6 launch event in 2014 was announced on August 28 and held on September 9.
  • The iPhone 5S launch event in 2013 was announced on September 3 and held on September 10.
  • The iPhone 5 launch event in 2012 was announced on September 4 and held on September 12.

With the event announcement, it seems Apple has maintained this pattern.

iPhone 11 Event: What Smartphones Will Apple Announce?

Apple is expected to announce three new smartphones at the event:

  • A 5.8-inch OLED iPhone that acts as a replacement for the iPhone XS
  • A 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that acts as a replacement for the iPhone XS Max
  • A 6.1-inch LCD iPhone that acts as a replacement for the iPhone XR

The first two iPhones are expected to debut the triple-camera system previously reported. Bloomberg claimed last week that the triple-camera setup will automatically correct combined photos, while improvements to the setup will also boost low-light photography. Video recording boosts will also enable users to edit video as it is being recorded.

The new devices may also gain the ability to wirelessly charge other devices. The feature, previously spotted in the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, would enable users to top up their AirPods headphones by flipping the device over and placing the gadget on top.

AirPods: charge with the iPhone?
AirPods: charge with the iPhone?

Beyond these changes, Apple is expected to make a number of smaller tweaks. Water resistance is expected to be boosted from its current 30 minutes of submersion, shatter resistance will be improved, the Face ID sensor will be able to spot users from a wider number of angles, the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch screen is gone after debuting just four years ago, and a new A13 processor is expected to make the phone even faster.

On the iPhone XR’s replacement, Apple is making a couple of small changes that will offer something for users looking for a cheaper alternative to the high-end iPhones. The most dramatic change is expected to be a new dual-lens camera on the rear, enabling an optical zoom similar to that seen on the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and later high-end devices. The phone is also expected to come in green.

There’s also good news for battery life fans. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported earlier this month that all three iPhones will likely pack larger batteries. The successor to the iPhone XS is rumored to get a 20 percent capacity increase to 3,200 mAh, the XS Max successor a 10 percent boost to 3,500 mAh, and the XR successor a two percent boost to 3,000 mAh.

iPhone XR: now with two lenses?
iPhone XR: now with two lenses?

Although 5G isn’t expected until next year’s iPhone, that may not matter. Research from Decluttr showed that just 25 percent of those surveyed ranked 5G as a must-have feature, despite its faster download speeds and better power management.

iPhone 11 Event: Will Apple Reveal Any Other Products?

Rumors are swirling about updates to the Apple Watch, which was also updated at last year’s iPhone event. The new version is expected to offer new titanium and ceramic casings, revealed by iHelpBR when searching through the iOS 13 beta. Apple previously offered ceramic cases for the third-generation watch, but dropped it for last year’s refresh.

Titanium has never featured on an Apple Watch, but long-term Apple fans may remember the “TiBook” laptop, a nickname for the titanium-cased PowerBook G4 that launched in 2001. Titanium is popular in watches as a durable, lightweight alternative to steel. It’s also handy for people that like stainless steel but can’t wear it due to nickel allergies.

The Apple Watch may get a quieter upgrade.
The Apple Watch may get a quieter upgrade.

iPhone 11 Event: How to Watch

Apple is expected to provide a livestream for users to watch along on their chosen devices. Apple’s event page typically lists previous events and upcoming dates, giving users a single place to check for livestreams.

In previous years, Apple required users to watch along in the Safari web browser, or by using a device like the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple TV. In recent years, the company has dropped this requirement, enabling users to follow the livestream from the likes of Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Considering the event’s potential in bringing new users into the Apple fold, it’s perhaps a smart decision